The No. 1 driver of employee engagement and workplace performance is culture, so why do so many companies fail at establishing one that wins?

When your workplace culture is working, it is something that the senior leadership propagates and leverages as a competitive advantage. However, when your company culture is not functioning properly—or not working at all—it becomes a deterrent to productivity, innovation and employee morale.

Business expert Magi Graziano describes the analogy of MORTAR that holds an organizational culture together, as we explain today and tomorrow in Promotional Consultant Today.

Motivate: Leading begins with clearly envisioning the overall mission to accomplish and then communicating that vision and purpose in a way that moves, touches and inspires followers to align with and support that vision.

The mark of a great leader is someone who shapes his or her work culture around a compelling and stimulating mission. A leader who creates a compelling vision and articulates that vision in a way that moves people into alignment and action is a leader who gets high-quality, mission-fulfilling work done through others.

There are two keys to creating a culture of people who are intrinsically motivated and operate in service of delivering on the purpose of the enterprise. The first is the leader's capability and commitment to communicating the vision to his people in a way that generates enthusiasm, inspiration and alignment. The second is the leader's ability to link each individual in the organization to the purpose of his or her specific role, and that role's purpose to the overall purpose of the organization. When this happens, people accomplish great feats and enjoy themselves while they are doing it.

On Boarding: When a new hire comes on board, the most powerful way to connect them to the bigger purpose and vision is to make it a priority for the business leader to share the purpose of the business and the reason it exists. The leader also needs to share the core operating values that each and every employee is expected to demonstrate in their day-to-day implementation of their role. When new hires begin with the end in the mind and formulate an early connection to their role as it pertains to the fulfillment of the mission of the business, they are set up for success because they are taught from the get-go that it is about much more than the task at hand.

Rein in Negativity: Every business deals with setbacks, challenges, breakdowns and disappointments but the real difference between leaders who carry their people through those tough times and leaders who have carnage to clean up along the way, is the leader who takes the time to check in with how people are feeling and the leader who intervenes in the negativity and works to reverse it.

When it comes right down to it, all negativity or upsets stem from one of three incidents, an unfulfilled expectation, a thwarted intention or an undelivered communication. When managers are present and aware of their employees' feelings and work style it is apparent when someone is off-kilter or upset. The astute leader is right on top of those upsets and provides support for their people to overcome and get through these motivational killers.

Inspiring people is a core competency of great leaders; great leaders who foster alignment and engagement in employees do this by inspiring people to bring their best selves to work.

Therefore, leading others for the long term requires that you are able to recognize and bring this energy. People become inspired when they start believing they have more ability than they thought they did.

Read tomorrow's PCT for more tips on creating the MORTAR that makes your organization's culture stick.

Source: Magi Graziano, as seen on NBC, is the CEO of Conscious Hiring® and Development. She's also a speaker, employee recruitment and engagement expert and author of The Wealth of Talent. Through her expansive knowledge and captivating presentations, Graziano provides her customers with actionable, practical ideas to maximize their effectiveness and ability to create high-performing teams. With more than 20 years' experience as a top producer in the recruitment and search industry, she empowers and enables leaders to bring transformational thinking to the day-to-day operation.