We have all experienced the lack of full employee engagement either at the bottom or even the top. First hand you have seen customers not being treated well. When stepping between companies we have seen virtually the same exact business capability cost two to five times more. The question is why? Why does this occur and what as an executive can we do today to help?
The answer is culture.
Tip 1: Focus on the Shadow of the Leader
The team is not open to change. The senior team does not collaborate across divisional lines. Project the shadow of the leader you want to be. The “Shadow of the Leader” is how a leader through their behavior and actions, tend to influence the behavior and actions of those below them, thus “casting a shadow” across the organization. This “Shadow of the leader” usually refers to the situation where the CXO (or anyone else in a position of authority over others), through his likes, dislikes, treatment of subordinates, language and idioms, personal preferences, beliefs and values tends to shape the characteristics, culture and ways of doing business in the organization. In short, how you act impacts how others act below and next to you. Be deliberate in the shadow you cast.
Tip 2: Evaluate the Team
Focus on the following key six areas and honestly determine where your team is strong: Performance Orientation, Teamwork and Collaboration, Openness to Change, Ethics and Integrity, Organizational Health, Services or Commitment to Customers, and Lack of Alignment at the Top. From this exercise then determine what areas are the strongest and start there.
Tip 3: Align the Team Strategy
It’s easy to talk about “let’s make a strategy.” However, here we are talking about defining a strategy the linking it to structure and wrapping it with culture. More specifically connect team and individual goals to processes and link them to people that are accountable. Then empower those people with the roles and responsibilities to lock in their success. Win as a team, or fail as a team. Everyone is, ALL IN.
Tip 4: Align Corporate Culture with Organization Strategy
The corporate culture has likely gotten out of alignment with the organization’s strategy. Is staffing being added frequently? Is there a greater need for innovation? Do employees not feel empowered? Do you hear a lot of “we tried something like that before?” Do people agree in the meeting or simply aren’t vocal, then they go off and do their own thing? These are all strong visible signs of misalignment. Once a company has gone through a growth burst, it’s necessary to realign the corporate culture with the organizational strategy. The corporate culture is developing, you mine as well play an active role in its evolution.
Tip 5: Establish Clear Organizational Values
These are values not goals. These are the desired characteristics for each and every employee in the company from the CEO down. A few examples of values include: Team Play, Accept Accountability, Empower, Care About and Recognize Others, Listen and Be Here Now, and Encourage Smart Risks. These values drive positives results and a high performance culture of empowerment, leadership, openness to change and integrity.
Do all team members feel accountable for each other’s success? If they do that’s great. However, if you’re reading this then likely that is rarely the case. Leaders can fall into the myth that well, ‘people at this level shouldn’t need my coaching’ or ‘I don’t have the time.’ Leaders at all levels of the organization, must invest in their team. What are the values that really drive YOUR company?
Our thinking drives our behaviors.
Change your thinking, change your behavior and change your life.