Previous Newsletters have focused on a process of attaining desired results and the necessary elements needed in order to accomplish those results. I have touched upon expectation setting, accountabilities, continuous improvement, discomfort and trust.
Putting it all together to build a company culture of ownership, mindset of ownership and objectivity that engages employees and rewards their results, building a trust with those that supply you and those that purchase and consume your products and services is essential.
No matter the business, Manufacturing, Service Provider, Religious Institution, Education…. a culture that is real, transparent and dedicated to attaining the desired results of the organization with engagement of external and internal resources is one that provides great clarity.
Culture of an organization is founded upon a set of defined beliefs. These defined beliefs must be communicated to all and truly lived not simply when convenient. Included in culture you find defined values and attitudes. The values must be lived by all creating the culture. Culture utilizes defined desired outcomes, imperatives, team leaders and teams, working sessions and performance metric to set principles. The culture is strategically developed in an effort to set engagement and reward excellence. I have written of trust in a previous Newsletter. Trust of one another to perform individually and collectively to attain the desired results is a key element of trust. Without trust the culture is something literally written, stored away but not lived. Employees must trust that the culture is real and genuine and those that consume your product or service must too feel and develop the trust that your product and or service will meet their requirements all the time.
Ownership is a culture that promotes trust, communication, objectivity and provides employees a stake in the outcome.
As mentioned earlier, trust is at the cornerstone of a culture of ownership. Trust is earned and given when it is earned. Communication vehicles to get the word out to all employees of what is expected of them in their job function, how performance will be measured and frankly what is in it for them individually when the numbers are reached builds engagement. Working sessions, touched on previously, become one of the vehicles of communication and you can come up with other ways to communicate the expectations, accountabilities and status reports versus the desired results.
Mindset of ownership is essential because it does require a certain defined perspective. Taking accountability for the quality and success of the outcome of your work is one aspect of a positive mindset. Each of us must have expectations for our functional performance and for the teams we participate on. This expectation setting is again a key element of communication and the working sessions an opportunity to drive home the communication. Accountability comes into play through the performance measures set and reviewed.
Objectivity in the workplace is utilizing fair, balanced criteria for making decisions concerning employees and company results. That statement is so, powerful fair and balanced criteria for making decisions. Decisions are based upon hard facts and evidence and NOT THE PERSONAL JUDGEMENT OF ONE PERSON OR GROUP. By applying fact based, numeric, decisions to employee and company results employees see fairness. Trust is built. Do not fall into the trap, decisions made on personal judgement of one person or group. That is the quickest way to breakdown trust, disengage good employees, allow mediocre employees to say I knew that would not work and poor employees to say I win. This approach of personal judgement builds apathy that leads to poor results. Once apathy sets in the neigh sayers win and to try and go back and build trust is impossible without upheaval.
Culture of the company is important. It becomes the way of life of the organization. Trust is so powerful when employees believe in what they are doing. Direction and communication become clear as all work for the same desired result.
In the definition of ownership and the mindset of ownership is providing employees with a stake in the outcome. All of us want to know what is in it for me? Define the reward structure for attaining the desired results and communicate it with the employee. I witnessed such a program and participated in such a program early in my career. I participated in a business that grew top line results, reduced cost and improved earnings far beyond my wildest thoughts. A three-year program that had incentives year 1, 2 and 3 with even greater rewards at the end when the cumulative results were attained. We all worked together because we knew the expectations, we knew the performance measures, were provided regular updates and learned to trust and lean on one another across functional boundaries to succeed. I have also been part of meaningless reward systems arbitrarily set by you guessed it one or two people based upon personal judgement. When people realized they would never attain the goal apathy set in. Why bother that will never happen.
We all have personal stories of where culture was simply on a piece of paper that may be addressed at Strategic Planning time never to see the light of day. Why dwell on the negative build a culture of success.
Regardless your chosen profession, regardless of your functional expertise, regardless of your level within the organization be a beacon of light. Become that person that others inside the organization and outside the organization trust. If the organization has not set expectations and accountabilities for you set your own. Develop your performance metrics and review them. Hold yourself accountable for your quality of work and success. Your reward maybe later in your career elsewhere where culture matters.
If your organization has a culture of trust, ownership, mindset of ownership and objectivity thrive to do your part, hone your individual skills, work well with others and build that culture that succeeds so you reap the rewards of attaining the desired results.