Just like the combination of salt, caramel, and chocolate gives you a rush of happiness, the magic combination of culture, experience, engagement, and motivation transforms an average organization into a high-performing one.

Suppose you take chocolate as culture and caramel + salt as the experience, when you combine them, you get salted caramel chocolate (engagement), and the resulting kick to your endorphins when you taste it is the motivation.

The connection between culture, employee experience, engagement, and motivation

1. Culture is how the organization operates

Culture is the collection of consistent, measurable, and observable patterns of behavior, attitude, and mindset that defines how the employees interact with the company and with each other. To explain it in terms of the chocolate metaphor, culture is the chocolate.

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Culture simply comes down to "how we do things around here." | Gallup

A company's culture is its "tacit social order" reflected in behaviors, in its collection of practices, shared values, and beliefs and expressed through its purpose. Organizations that perpetuate a strong, inclusive culture "drive positive organizational outcomes."  (HBR)

Elements of Corporate Culture

Example: L'Oreal introduced a culture app called 'Fit' to help new hires feel welcome, navigate the L'Oreal culture, and complete real-life "missions" to familiarize themselves with their new workplace and colleagues.

2. Experience is what your corporate culture offers

Gallup defines employee experience as the journey an employee takes with your organization. The sum of all the interactions that occur during the employee's tenure at the company and reflect its workplace culture is what employee experience is all about. Experience is the caramel + salt in the bar of chocolate.\

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Experience is what makes your company irresistible to the workforce. | Bersin

Organizations with a robust culture and a higher purpose aligned with their employee's career goals "positively shape their employee experience and report 47% of employees more likely to be high performers." (Gartner).

Example: By reimagining their employee experience strategy under a new CEO, Campbell's Soup was able to create an inclusive, collaborative, positive workplace environment, resulting in the company's stock being increased by 30% in the first year itself.

3. Engagement results when culture and experience intersect

Engagement happens when a company can achieve the magic combination of culture and employee experience, just like you get the salted caramel chocolate bar when you combine chocolate with sea salt and caramel.

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Engagement happens when employers care. | Forbes

It is measured by the employees' emotional commitment to their company's growth, and organizations with a higher number of engaged or performant employees "report 22% higher productivity." (HBR)

Engagement Drivers

Example: Hilton’s Senior Leadership Business Immersion program enhances employee engagement by helping their leaders understand the work of the ground staff, their emotions, challenges, needs, and expectations.

4. Motivation is why your employees are enthusiastic

Motivation is the reason why employees want to work for their company. To get back to the chocolate metaphor, motivation is the pleasure derived from the salted caramel chocolate.

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Motivation is why companies can retain up to two-thirds of their employees. | HBR

It has been observed, companies that frequently motivate and enthuse their employees see "a 20% improvement in work productivity" (Gallup).

The motivation factors may be intrinsic, where the employee's drive and willpower result in high performance, or extrinsic, where physical or experiential offerings incentivize the employee.

Types of Motivation


Example: Walt Disney rewarded the creative team that came up with the “Magic Kingdom Club” idea with shares of Disney stock, cash, and a hand-written note of encouragement from Walt himself.

Ready, Set, GO!

Every organization is unique, and its culture tells you a lot about the employee's experience within the company, their level of engagement, and motivation towards achieving the organization's goals.

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It is only when the how, what, when, and why are in perfect sync that the organization can achieve what Forbes reports as:

• 4x increase in revenue growth

• Cumulative annual returns as high as 495%

• 20% higher employee satisfaction rates

While the Great Resignation (McKinsey) is disrupting businesses everywhere, you can choose to turn the tides by hiring, developing, and retaining top talent. All you need is the kind of TLC that goes into preparing a Salted Caramel Chocolate bar - nurture your culture, boost engagement, curate experiences, and motivate your teams.

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Employee Engagement
Mary Madhavi Reddy

Mary Madhavi Reddy LinkedIn

Mary is a content marketer with 20 years of experience. Her career spans GE Money, Google, and some growth-stage startups. At Empuls, she handles product messaging and positioning.