“Talent is the multiplier. The more energy and attention you invest in it, the greater the yield.” — Marcus Buckingham.
When people talk about aspects that make a company a great place to work, the main factors that most of them take into account are compensation paid to employees and brand value of the company.
Senior professionals and managers want to believe that brand and salary are the magnets that pull people to their organizations. However, there’s one critical element that many overlook – and that’s the work culture.
Work culture plays a significant role in attracting and retaining people to a company; it’s the impalpable environment that makes some organizations great to work with, and others, toxic.
As a manager, you have the power to decide what the culture of your organization is going to be. Is it going to be high-performance, with motivated and energized employees or low-performance, with dull and unfulfilled employees?
If it’s high-performance culture, then this article is for you.
Here are the steps to building your own high-performance culture:
Define the culture
You cannot transform your company’s culture without stating what the desired culture looks like. Consider what your current culture is and what you want it to look like in the future. Then, establish values that anchor the new culture. Remember, values drive behavior; they also determine how relationships run.
So, you must define what the company’s values are, and also think of how you can model them every day. Once you have all these squared out, your next step is to reinforce the value – remember, human beings learn which behaviors are okay and which ones aren’t based on how they are rewarded or punished. So, you should make an effort to recognize and reward someone for exemplifying the values of the company and give constructive feedback to those who oppose them.
Apply employee performance metrics to retain key employees
As the boss, you should be ready to either coach your employees up or out. If you’ve defined these behaviors and values and some individuals are not following them, then you’ll need to hold them accountable.
By monitoring employee performance metrics, like time management, customer satisfaction, quality, productivity, cost-effectiveness, revenue per employee, waste, efficiency, volume, turnaround time, budget variance, quality, defect density, schedule variance, return on investment, new revenue rate (whichever applicable), it’s easy to know who is performing as expected and who isn’t. A performance management process will give you a clear picture of how each employee is performing against their job description.
Recruit for value
When you are hiring new staff, assess the ability of the applicants to assimilate into the high-performance culture that you have defined. If you are looking for an IT person, for instance, doesn’t just focus on how much experience that person has, instead, look into their values. A good candidate is one whose values align with those of your company.
Communicate targets and goals clearly
Your team should be aware of the company’s position in relation to its goals and objectives. They should also be equipped with the necessary skills and an understanding of how their assignments and tasks fit in with overall company goals and benefit both their department and the company as a whole. This will enhance their motivation to execute the job well. The best way to go about this is by ensuring you communicate goals and target clearly, and empower your team.
Implementing a continuous feedback model is also a great approach as it lets you give clear, specific feedback regularly, recognize employee achievements right away, share task relevance, anticipate for any obstacle and have open dialogues with the team.
Actively promote employee learning
Organizations with high employee engagement enjoy a range of valuable benefits, including improved productivity and innovation, increased employee motivation, high retention rates, and employee loyalty, enhanced company image, increased capacity to adopt new methods and technology and so on.
One way you can drive employee engagement and improve their value is through learning and development programs. Give the green light to any employee who wants to participate in training sessions, go back to school or improve their market knowledge. Organize internal seminars and benchmarking programs. You can also make sure that your team is consistently attending job-related workshops and training to stay up-to-date with the industry trends.
Cultural development isn’t something you place in the microwave and warm up in a single day; it’s a slow process and will require lots of patience, repetition, coaching, and training. It’s safe to say that transforming culture is more like a lifelong commitment, but the results are often worth the effort.