Great Places to Work
The four key components to creating a high investment,
high accountability culture
Defining an organization's culture can be tricky. Why? Because it operates in the background so it can take a back seat to other aspects of corporate performance that are easier to measure like goals, tasks, and results.
Examining the Existing Culture
Examining the existing culture begins with an evaluation of the underlying beliefs and assumptions that are influencing people's existing behavior. People take action based on their beliefs and assumptions.
It's important to build a safe, values-driven, and understandable environment for employees to operate in. When you create such an environment, employees feel secure enough to freely apply their skills. But when the environment is perceived as being less than fair, or doesn't consistently demonstrate trust and respect, this creates a sense among employees that they need to be careful, stay below the radar, and avoid sticking out. As a result, engagement, innovation, and extra effort are all reduced, which leads to inconsistent performance.
Defining the Desired Behavior
Once the examination is complete, the next step is to identify the values and behaviors that will best help the organization succeed. While leaders generally know what type of values and behaviors they want to guide their organization's decisions and actions, they must take the time to formally gather input from employees and consolidate the collected thinking into clear, actionable items.
Holding People Accountable for Living the Stated Values
The final step to a successful culture change is holding people accountable once the values and behaviors have been identified and defined. Enlist senior leaders to actively champion the desired culture and be living examples of the values in action. People take their cues from their leaders. If leaders are acting differently, people will start to act differently as well. It is amazing, the power one leader can produce.
People with clear guidelines feel more comfortable and they feel like they understand what the rules are and what it means to be a part of the organization. And a strong, working culture helps to create satisfied employees who feel cared for, trusted, and respected, which increases engagement and ultimately leads to better productivity. Getting employees aligned and rallying behind a common vision, values, and culture is a key to success.
Balancing People with Process—Lead with Heart, Lead with LUV
Successful leaders know that if you treat your people right, great things happen. Treating people with Golden Rule Behavior and ensuring that the work environment is enjoyable, that people feel good about themselves and what they do, and their position in the company is key not only to the adaptation of the culture but also productivity and performance.
Employees who are treated with care and concern treat their customers with the same care and concern. Balancing people with process not only ensures performance and results, it inspires the kind of loyalty that boosts retention, loyalty, and work passion. Profit should never be the focus but rather the result of taking care of your people.
This type of servant leadership is what leaders must focus on: when everyone is clear about where they are going; when policies, procedures, systems, and leader behaviors cascade from senior management to the front line; and when the operational components of leadership are aligned. Servant leadership is about loving your mission, your customers, and your people so that your people can be magnificent.
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