by Ann Rhoades, People Ink.
One of People Ink’s Six Principles to Creating Culture is: You are on the Outside What You are on the Inside…No Debate! In other words, your customers’ experience will only be as good as your employees’ experience. Think about that. How many of you know what your employees’ experience is in your company? I’m also not talking about spending loads of money so that people can have a great time at work or take off whenever they want. You don’t need to do that. But there are many things you can do to improve your employees experience and much of this comes down to common themes like inclusion in company decisions, implementing suggestions, rewarding innovation, and promoting great people oriented managers.
Creating an engaged culture is the key to finding – and keeping – top talent. Mounting evidence proves a strong correlation exists between high levels of employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and ultimately performance. Gallup researchers studied the differences between engaged and actively disengaged work units and found that those scoring in the top half on employee engagement nearly doubled their success in key performance measures such as earnings per share (EPS), profitability, productivity, and customer ratings. Gallup Business Journal, June 20, 2013
Culture drives performance because by our definition “culture is the collection of behaviors in an organization.” Many of the great brands that deliver exceptional customer experiences have strong cultures. In these companies leaders know that their culture is critical to their success and they have devoted the necessary time, effort and expense to ensuring that their culture is sustainable.
Culture Transformation Starts with Leaders
What is the key to the successful transformation of culture? Leaders must first set the example through their own behavior. The commitment of leaders is critical. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it will happen just because you say so.
Culture by Design
A great culture doesn’t happen by accident. You have to build your culture by design so that everyone, including leaders, has a common focus. The organization needs to define the culture they want. For example you need to consider what characteristics to embody and how this will best serve your customer. We have found that using values and behaviors is an easy way to do this. Next, implement a system to ensure that people know what behaviors are expected and how they will be recognized and held accountable for living the values and behaviors.
A successful culture is about “doing the right things the right way.” You must build a credible accountability system around how the results are achieved rather than just considering those results as ends in themselves.
In the news:
Ann Rhoades will be a keynote speaker at SHRM’s new Emerging LEAD(HR) Conference on Sept. 30, 2014. For more information, visit the SHRM conference site: http://conferences.shrm.org/emerging-leader-conference