What's Yours?

By: MarkWeaver Friday August 16, 2013 comments

Culture... every organization has at least one.  It is created by what the leader says, does, promotes and tolerates.  Culture can change from great to mediocre quickly.  It takes more time and a whole lot of intentionality to go the opposite direction - from mediocre to great.
Why should you care?  Couple reasons:

  1. Engaged workplaces have a 24% lower attrition rate than disengaged workplaces.
  2. Fully engaged employees have a 3x higher ROI than average employees.

Ask yourself these questions as you think about the culture of your organization:

  • Have I written out the vision and mission statements?  Employees need to know where you are going and why.  Don’t assume they see what you see or get what you see from osmosis.
  • Have I talked about the mission and vision at every opportunity?  Most employees know more about the mission of the Starship Enterprise than they do the mission of their organization.  Why?  Frequency!
  • Do all employees understand the part they play in my company’s mission and in seeing my vision become reality?  Employees love to be part of a bigger picture.  Give them a compelling one that they can see themselves productive in.
  • Have I articulated values?  Don’t do some kind of meaningless baseball and apple pie statement.  What are the corporate distinctives that mark your organization (or should)?
  • Have I articulated non-negotiables (behaviors that are not acceptable)?  It’s frequently easier to rally people around a common set of things they don’t like, than it is around the things that they do.  Use that.
  • Do I hold all employees accountable to the values and non-negotiables?  If you don’t, they become meaningless words.  As the leader, you must be direct.  When you aren’t, your best employees will think you either don’t care or are clueless.
  • Do we have clearly defined strategic goals?  This is not a place to be merely visionary; this is where you must set expectations that people can understand and buy into.
  • Do all employees understand their role in the accomplishment of our strategic goals?  If you want your strategic plan to do more than gather dust on a shelf, every employee needs clearly-defined goals that roll up into the corporate strategic goals.
  • Do we reward employees for significant contributions to strategic goals?  Don’t just give people raises because they are “satisfactory.”  Reward the accomplishment of things that reward you.  Otherwise you are merely paying for a butt in a chair.
  • Do I involve my employees in decisions that impact the company and their jobs?  If you treat employees like mushrooms, you will get entitled employees who watch the clock and are only with you for the money.  If you involve them, employees will think more like owners which will make them invaluable to you.
  • Are the jobs in my company interesting?  You can make even the most mundane jobs more interesting by educating your people about the company, the competition, the industry, the financials, and the potential for them.  See them as an investment rather than an expense.  And then expect an ROI.
  • Do my people know that I appreciate them?  Appreciation is not the same as reward.  It’s free, but it’s one of the top 3 motivators for employees.  Give it!

A great culture is attainable for a savvy employer.  Be one!

About the Author: MarkWeaver


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