A 2014 study on employee engagement and organizational culture reported that 64% of the surveyed employees could see no signs of a strong culture in their workplace. That number is an abomination, and we can do better, and we MUST do better! Here’s how….
As the leader of your company, you must insist upon alignment and cohesion at the leadership level in your company. To put it bluntly, if your leadership is misaligned, or if they cannot walk the talk, your team will not be inspired to follow. Develop a finely honed team of leaders who are confident, well trained, ethical, empathetic, and who understand the importance of relentless congruence between the company’s values and the results we deliver and how we go about it. As your managers manage the day-to-day performance of the employees in the business and pursue the vision, the workers will be keeping a keen eye on your leadership to ensure that it is authentic and congruent. There are no substitutes for consistency when you’re aspiring to influence your workers to become inspired by the handpicked and well-prepared leaders who show them the path to greatness.
Be certain to consider and carefully select the measurements that will help you and your team to mark your progress toward consistent accomplishments of expected results. Measure progress on a regular basis and hold responsible parties accountable to ensure that you consistently meet objectives, goals, budgets, and timelines, and deliver results. Companies that hope to achieve greatness must prove that they can sustain their success over an extended period of time. Set the bar high and keep your team focused on delivering extraordinary performance over a sustained period to position your company as a leader in your industry.
Remember that less than 15% of companies successfully execute their strategies. Your company must learn to excel at executing your strategy, and this must become a core aspect of your company’s culture. This culture of ownership and accountability is established by setting great expectations right up front with everyone on the team and describing in great detail what success will look like and how it will feel. Every great company must honor its commitments and deliver consistently on their promises. There is no benefit to being bashful about this, you can, and you must demand an absolute commitment to ownership mentality and accountability for results. Always put people first and doing things right ahead of results at all costs, but be very clear that around here, we deliver results. We are counted upon to find a way to deliver, every time.
Establish meetings that everyone will value. Make meetings count. Make meetings powerfully productive. Raise the level of everyone’s game in the meetings at your company by being sufficiently focused, prepared, and organized to ensure strong forward progress and results. Meetings at most companies are less than ideal. Great meetings are productive, fun, and lead to decisions that propel the team and the company forward. A great meeting must have at least the following:
- An Agenda – This agenda must clearly identify the time and purpose of the meeting, the issue we will decide how to resolve, who will attend, and any preparation that attendees must do in advance.
- A Facilitator – Someone must lead the meeting, and ensure that the team comes to a decision and next steps, and manage the meeting to ensure positive outcomes.
- Clear Communication – Once a decision has been made, the leader must clearly communicate what has been decided, and what next steps will be taken, and by whom. The leader will ensure that all in attendance are 100% committed to the decision and will cascade critical communication to the people who were not in attendance so that they understand the decision and its impact on future operations.
- Email Summary – Within 24 hours, the leader sends an email summary of the meeting dialogue, the decision details, and expected timelines to all involved and affected, to guide forward progress and clarity.
With a bit of focus and some elbow grease, we can establish a culture of ownership and accountability, and set an expectation that our company exists to deliver on our promises EVERY time, not just when it’s convenient. Unfortunately, less than 15% of companies today successfully execute their strategies but you can change the tide by making it a core element of your company’s culture.