Korn Ferry Survey Shows Culture One of the Top Factors to Organizational Success

Los Angeles, March 22, 2023 – A new Korn Ferry survey of senior executives sheds light on the importance of culture to organizational success.

Korn Ferry surveyed nearly 500 executives from the World’s Most Admired Companies (WMAC) and many of their peers. The executives cited culture as the most underrated (i.e. often overlooked but crucial) determinant of a company’s future success.

Nearly two-thirds of WMAC executives attribute 30% or more of their companies’ market value to culture, and one-third attribute 50% or more.

In the survey, executives in the Most Admired companies named the following as the top characteristics of their current cultures (in order): customer focus, accountability, results orientation, empathy and learning.

When asked about their top future priorities for organizational culture, the executives named (in order) learning, customer focus, collaboration, long-term perspective, and accountability to follow through on culture initiatives such as ESG and customer centricity.

“Ultimately, we see a shift from what to how. Most Admired Company executives are preparing for a future where they’re not purely focused on end outcomes,” said Laura Manson-Smith, global leader of Korn Ferry’s Organization Strategy Consulting practice. “Instead, they’re taking more time to question how they’ll deliver results.”

The survey found that creating and sustaining a favorable culture is more than a one-off initiative for the Most Admired Companies. WMAC executives are more likely than peer company executives to report that culture is regularly measured and that employees would be able to name all of their companies’ values.

In addition, most agree that culture and values are incorporated into performance management processes, used in making decisions about promotions and rewards, and incorporated into recruiting efforts to attract and retain talent.

“A strong company culture starts with top management living the values of the organization, but transcends into every part of doing business – through interactions with employees, partners, vendors and the community,” said Manson-Smith.

The survey also looked at the impact of a weakening economy and found that while confidence in a commitment to culture priorities in changing market conditions is very high, fewer than half indicate they would be willing to sacrifice financial performance to reinforce a desired culture.

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We work with our clients to design optimal organization structures, roles, and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people and advise them on how to reward and motivate their workforce while developing professionals as they navigate and advance their careers.

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