Casual, Compliant, Chaotic, Committed: Which Culture Are You Creating?
Why do the best-intentioned,
savviest business plans fail? It mainly comes down to employee commitment,
which, as leaders know, can't be mandated. Organizations that achieve the
promise of their business plan are able to create positive accountability - a
powerful, healthy culture that results from goal alignment
is a common challenge,
yet its solution can be as simple as how goals are established. If developed
through a process of top-down collaboration with employees, strategic
imperatives will cascade to frontline behaviors, dramatically impacting an
organization's success. Effectively channeling employees' talents boosts their
productivity and job satisfaction. And satisfied employees often become
high-performing, passionately engaged team members.
allows organizations to tap into their employees' discretionary efforts. However, studies show 52% of American Workers say they are “just showing up” to their jobs and 17% describe themselves as "actively disengaged” (Gallup, 2017). This means a large chunk of the workforce is consistently failing to execute to their full potential.
Addressing alignment and engagement challenges can result in significant bottom-line dividends. High-performance cultures (think Google and Netflix) sustain their competitive advantage by leveraging the commitment of their employees. They have created cultures that drive alignment and engagement to achieve their strategic goals.
Accountability Model helps to illustrate four different profiles that
organizations typically fall into. Specifically, it examines how varying
degrees of and can result in or cultures.
Most organizations struggle with disengaged employees, but have more than their share. You'll often spot the in the wake of a merger, acquisition or new CEO. It's often embedded in entrepreneurial companies, fueled by passionate, egocentric leaders, rather than by calculated ones who, instead, implement collaboratively planned process discipline.
In a , people often do mediocre work, maybe just showing up and following bare-bones procedures. They lack passion for the organization's mission, and often don't understand why or how they need to achieve both personal and company goals. The often operates in "survival mode."
What to do? Use consensus-building to develop and implement strategies that establish clear goals and expectations, a Vital Factors metrics-based system to inspire success, and the means to hold people accountable. Once developed, the consensus plan must cascade down through the organization, and be communicated in both word and deed.
must also leverage the strong ties created by alignment to improve engagement.
When people that their goals and tasks have meaning, they're
more likely to provide the organization with an extra measure of accountability
that leads to goal achievement.
The workforce may understand the company's direction yet remain generally disengaged, resulting in a deceptive behavior pattern of doing what's asked but little more. This creates the "it's not my job" syndrome, as leadership finds it hard to tap into the discretionary effort of their people. Every manager has one or two people who fall into this behavior because of their personal style but, when it's pervasive in an organization, it's difficult to get things done and nearly impossible to implement change.
this major accountability barrier, most often requires effective, inspiring
leaders who encourage open, honest communication. If a safe environment can be
established it's possible to reverse this dysfunctional behavior. They enable
team members to understand the business rationale behind their goals and take
risk in an effort to achieve them. It will empower these employees to the alignment between what they do daily and
their company's goals. When an employee develops positive attitudes and beliefs
relative to goal achievement, their motivation to maximize their potential
grows along with the passion in their commitment to company results.
Put simply, these cultures diffuse energy and squander talent, so there's ample activity with little to show for it. Employees have the talent and passion for greatness, but their strengths can sour if not channeled into predictable, focused behaviors. Without clear expectations, confusion reigns in the . What's more, studies show that employees commonly fail and leave organizations simply because they don't know or understand the expectations.
What's needed is goal clarity, managed by a leader who sets expectations and deadlines for achieving them. To ensure employee engagement, leadership should encourage their participation in building a plan based around SMART goals - those that are Specific, Measurable, Aligned, Realistic and Time-bound. Once that's accomplished, an effective leader must hold the team accountable through regular performance assessments and check-ins, determining what goals have been met and any corrective action that should be taken.
. It's the healthiest of work environments - what every organization should strive to achieve. Employees work with clarity and purpose and, although they might not always meet all goals, they stay committed to an action plan to fulfill them. Because they have an understanding of what success looks and feels like, they can develop the attitudes and beliefs that release achievement drive. This provides the energy and motivation to execute with accountability.
A isn't foolproof. An aligned, engaged
culture must be nurtured to sustain performance standards. Regular progress
reviews can ensure employees are meeting their goals and whether corrective
action is necessary to stay on track.
Why strive for a ? When your workforce is fully engaged and clear about its goals, your employees will be loyal to the core. And a loyal workforce is one that naturally inspires loyal customers - emotionally satisfied customers who refer new customers to you and generate repeat sales. An organization that develops a has unlocked the secret to successful plan execution and profitable growth. It has created a culture of Positive Accountability.