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This post is part of our biweekly "Office Hours" video series, featuring quick career, workplace and leadership tips from talent management experts and business leaders across the globe.

It's pretty certain that office environment affects the way employees think, act and work. One result of a cutthroat office culture, for example, is almost 50 percent higher health expenditures when compared to other organizations. But does this mean you need to put your entire “employee happiness" fund toward installing a state-of-the-art ping pong table at the center of your sales floor?

Jeff Miller, Cornerstone's senior director of talent management and an expert in human motivation, recommends a more measured approach, one that considers all facets of employee experience.

In this video, Miller explains that companies these days are fixating on organizational “culture" when they should be focusing on organizational “climate." Researchers who study organizational climate have isolated the key variables that motivate and drive productivity in the workplace, including well-defined feedback processes, clear purposes for departments and individuals and a strong team culture.

General culture is important, Miller says, but when the word distracts attention from the specific drivers of success, it can lead organizations to dead ends.

Photo: Creative Commons