Highly Engaged Cultures Lead to Better Client Outcomes

Summary: The study examined the association of organizational culture, casework services, and youth outcomes in child welfare systems. The study provided a 7-year follow-up involving 1,678 maltreated youth as well across 88 child welfare systems. The results of the study found that youth served by child welfare systems with more engaged organizational cultures had significantly better outcomes.

Comments: This is a landmark study. A 7-year follow-up is unheard of and this further asserts the importance of having a positive culture that supports staff. Now, defining what a “highly engaged culture” looks like may need some discussion. The study defined engaged climates whereby employees perceive that they are able to personally accomplish many worthwhile things at work and remain personally involved in their work and concerned about the clients. This may not surprise you from a common sense standpoint, but little research up until this time, has validated this concept. The results of this study could be applied to many other human service organizations, regardless of the clients being served.

Glisson, C. & Green, P. (2015). Organizational climate, services, and outcomes in child welfare systems. Child Abuse & Neglect, 35, 582-591