Is your team or organization experiencing:
- High “snicker factor” about values
- Diminishing discretionary effort
- Rising absenteeism
- Turnover of top people
- Declining customer service
- Resistance to change
- Lower trust and teamwork
- Slipping quality levels
- Reduced health and safety
These are symptoms of the cultural malaise or dysfunction many teams and organizations are experiencing today. How many apply to your team or organization?
In their study on “The Power of Three,” Willis Towers Watson identify three intertwined elements critical to a high-performance culture:
- Engaged — attachment to the organization and willingness to give extra effort.
- Enabled — a local work environment that supports productivity and performance.
- Energized — individual physical, social, and emotional well-being at work.
The study reports, “We found that companies with the combined impact of all three exponential engagement factors can generate operating margins three times higher than companies with low engagement, and nearly two times higher than companies with high engagement alone.”
What’s the magnetic field of your culture? Do you attract and retain or repulse and repel top people? How do you know?
Tomorrow we publish my May blog posts in our June issue of The Leader Letter. This issue focuses on a few of the many facets of culture development. Most high-performance cultures foster leaders at all levels. They harness the exponential power of an engaged, enabled, and energized workforce. This powerful force can be key drivers of agile and change adaptive organizations. This is leading in the key of E.
Too many cultures create the perfect habitat for moose. Silence kills. Cultures that discourage open conversations, rigorous debates, raising touchy issues, and pointing out serious problems can kill people. Bad news averse cultures also kill innovation, initiative, and engagement.
An organization’s culture is its brand. Are you the leader of your brand? Is your culture on your brand wagon?
You and your team don’t have to be poisoned by a toxic culture. It’s easy to feel victimized by a dysfunctional culture. But you have a choice. Strong leaders significantly shift their local team or organization’s culture by applying leverage in the right places. Like an annual physical check-up, leaders need to periodically do career check-ups.
Unlike the weather, strong leaders do more than just talk about team or organizational culture — they change it.