• Engagement: how has the culture affected it?
• Customer Service: What do members think about bellwether items?
• Trust and Teamwork
Previously, we have discussed what drives of culture and the factors comprised in those norms. Reasonable people might ask at this point, what are the outcomes that result from these behaviors? Engagement, Customer Service and Trust. And those correlate directly to customary organizational measures of profitability, retention, error rates and productivity.
Engagement – Management’s Holy Grail
We have often mentioned the importance of engagement and its impact on the performance of an organization. Engagement empowers the enterprise to reach its highest ambitions. Leaders can spend their time looking for ways to best support those doing the work rather than concern themselves with overseeing execution. The best thing about engagement is that it is voluntary, despite the challenges that accompany it.
Engagement appears in many forms. In the 100-meter dash, an athlete must run the distance in 10.16 seconds or less to meet the minimum standard to qualify to compete in that discipline. That time, however, is literally the starting line. Usain Bolt’s Olympic record in this discipline is 9.63 seconds, and the World record is 9.58 seconds. There is a gap of over a half second between that minimum qualifying standard and the Olympic record, and another 5/100th of a second to the world record. Imagine the amount of training, effort and “want to” the eight or so Olympic finalists invested merely to be able to attempt to best Bolt’s time. It would be easy to argue that those athletes were fully engaged.
Similar to qualifying minimums for Olympic athletes, organizations set standards of performance so that they may compete at the top level. For an enterprise to merely get into the hunt to become world class, those aspirants and members who perform below those minimum standards cannot remain with the team. And despite that performance requirement, to obtain the level of effort needed to cross the chasm from the entry point to competing for the top prize, leaders must inspire themselves and their members to operate on a “want to” basis – to voluntarily embrace the responsibility for the training, growth and execution that yields the performance difference. Thus, the greater the level of engagement, the greater the level of performance.
The outcomes we see when engagement is high are that the members remain loyal to the company, do not seek employment elsewhere, and feel that they are valued by the organization. Because they receive regular feedback on their performance, they are highly committed to the company. These kinds of behaviors translate immediately into productivity gains and cost reductions caused by mistakes, poor communication, and flawed execution.
Customer Service – The Gold Standard
In terms of customer service outcomes, many organizations keenly track “Net Promoter Scores.” They place great store in two key areas: Would you recommend this company to potential customers? And would you encourage others to work here? Researchers have relied on these two key attributes to help determine the strength of an organization for many years.
Strong cultures feature members who respond that they are confident of providing superior customer service, and that they have the necessary flexibility and nimbleness to adapt to changing customer needs and special requests. This capacity reflects immediately in repeat customer business and the potential to expand margins.
Trust – Tough to Build: And Well Worth the Effort
There are trust and teamwork outcomes as well. For example, do members perceive that they are treated fairly? By consequence, to what extent has that treatment created a level of trust and the level of confidence that organizational members have in the long-term viability of the organization? Lastly, what is the perception among the members that the organization promotes and encourages collaboration and teamwork?
The path to high performance is created by engagement, great customer service and high levels of trust among the members. Organizations invest heavily in creating the promise and creating expectations among their target audience. When those customers experience reliable delivery on those promises and expectations, it results from the strong culture that produces these outcomes. Our experience points to the need to invest at least equally, if not more, on that internal side of the corporate coin to enable the other, external side to reap the value presented to the customer. At Level Three, we are happy to show you how it works.
Ready, Mindset, Grow!: Nuggets Mined from the Leadership Journeys – June 13, 2021
Business leadership books abound today. What makes this one worth the read? Actionable insights! Ready, Mindset, Grow, delivers to today’s leaders entertaining stories of the transformative power of culture. Backed by solid research, these brief tales, and the lessons they convey, can be put into practice for short-term wins and long-term growth. Entertaining and insightful, the author has filled the pages with cultural nuggets and jewels from his 30+ years of experience in leadership coaching and consulting. Smart leaders will appreciate the candor, catch glimpses into their own circumstances and gain the conviction needed to accomplish positive cultural change.