Is Your Company Losing Its Soul?

Nov 06, 2015 1 Min Read
employee engagement

Deloitte’s South-East Asia Human Capital Trends 2015 reported that culture and engagement is the third most significant human capital issue in this region.

Globally, employee engagement is the No. 1 concern.

In a new world of work, where organisational structure is becoming less hierarchical, transparency – also termed “the naked organisation” – is key to attracting and retaining top talent.

The millennials entering the workforce are looking for an enriching experience in companies, where they can contribute meaningfully and purposefully. In other words, they are looking for companies with “soul” experience.

‘Soul-ed’ out

You feel it in your gut if a company has a soul. After all, at the heart of every organisation is a mission and a purpose of its existence. Perhaps companies such as AirAsia, Starbucks and Google spring to mind.

And this is where the company’s soul comes alive, because of the people in the organisation who truly believe in fulfilling a higher purpose through core values and corporate culture.


The Deloitte report further states that senior leadership must take a proactive role in defining and embodying the company’s soul, as culture always starts from the top.

If leaders fail to nurture and feed the corporate soul, like a deprived garden, it will “die” eventually.

The following are some hard questions to answer, so that leaders can take the necessary steps to save the company’s soul before it’s too late (adapted from

  • Are your people too busy to make time to do the little things they used to do in the past?
  • Do the leaders find it easier to hire external people than to grow people from within?
  • Do the leaders now view process and procedure as more important than people development and progress?
  • Does management have a philosophy that people work for the company rather than with the company?
  • Is the company’s success now defined by what it has done, rather than what could be done?

Concluding thoughts

Organisational soul plays an important role in determining employee value proposition. With evolving employee motivations, companies need to start treating employees as customers, and not just mere minions hired to work solely for organisational benefits.

The question leaders should ask themselves is:

“How is our corporate soul today?”

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Lay Hsuan was part of the content curation team for, playing the role of a content gatekeeper as well as ensuring the integrity of stories that came in. She was an occasional writer for the team and was previously the caretaker for Leaderonomics social media channels. She is still happiest when you leave comments on the website, or subscribe to Leader's Digest, or share Leaderonomics content on social media.

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