Culture & Values Matter. Here’s Proof!

Culture
S Chris Edmonds
S. Chris Edmonds is a speaker, author, and executive consultant. He shares insights on organizational culture, servant leadership, employee engagement, and workplace inspiration. He writes books and articles and records podcasts. In his free time, he's a working musician with the Brian Raine band in Denver, CO.
S Chris Edmonds

@scedmonds

Speaker & consultant with own firm & @kenblanchard. Author: The Culture Engine & 6 other books. @BrianRaineBand mate. @iStock photog. Blogger, pod/video caster.
Secure clear agreements. Ask questions to ensure alignment. #Quote #Leadership https://t.co/ifPi9SSgyR - 6 mins ago
S Chris Edmonds
S Chris Edmonds

Latest posts by S Chris Edmonds (see all)

Culture and Values DO Matter!

I’m a culture fanatic. I’m assertive with leaders, telling them they’re leaving money on the table if their team or department or company culture doesn’t demonstrate trust, respect, and dignity in every interaction.
Study after study shows how organizational culture affects employee engagement. TINYpulse’s 2014 employee engagement report identifies vital trends that impact today’s workplace. The news isn’t good!
TINYpulse surveyed over 200,000 employees from more than 500 organizations. Among the “lowlights” they found:
  • 64% of all employees do not feel they have a strong work culture.
  • 49% of employees are dissatisfied with their direct boss.
  • 66% of employees do not see opportunities for professional growth.
  • Only 21% of employees feel strongly valued at work.
Despite these undeniable figures, there is a natural cynicism among leaders about workplace culture and culture change. Leaders are used to dealing with facts and hard data. So, let us examine the facts and hard data about the benefits my culture clients have enjoyed
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One client came to us because of low employee engagement survey scores. They scored 32 out of 100 possible points, the worst score of the eight business units owned by their corporate parent. This plant’s senior leadership team embraced our culture process (outlined in my new book, The Culture Engine) completely.

They defined values with observable behaviors so that everyone – leaders and employees – understood what the rules were for effective daily interactions. They increased performance accountability across their production lines. They measured how well leaders lived the organization’s new valued behaviors. They praised leaders who modeled their values, coached leaders who struggled, and redirected leaders who didn’t model or manage to the new values.

They even “lovingly set free” those leaders and employees who were unable to embrace the new valued behaviors.

Within six months, conflicts, absenteeism, re-work, and grievances dropped by 60 percent. Within twelve months, efficiency had improved by over 40 percent. Customers were WOW’ed at the “new service attitude” that company staff displayed.

When the next “all company” employee engagement survey came around twelve months later, their plant scored 62 out of 100 points! Theirs was the biggest gain in engagement scores of any of business unit in their company system. And, their plant earned the top score across the organization.

 At the eighteen-month mark, employee engagement had grown 45 percent and customer service rankings had grown 45 percent. Performance boosts were impressive; hard dollar profit gains surpassed 35 percent.

Plant leaders gave all the credit for these gains to every leader and employee’s alignment to their organizational constitution.

 Another client, a seven-state region of a large retailer, embraced our culture change process because the new senior leader’s vision wasn’t taking hold fast enough.
 Joel, the region’s senior leader, believed and preached “People with Passion drive Performance!” Joel’s messaging and coaching in his first 18 months in the position helped some store managers “get it.” However, most store managers did not.

Joel came to us to create more structure and discipline for the desired culture change.

We helped their leadership team create their region’s organizational constitution and manage to it. Twelve months later, Joel’s region enjoyed 40 percent gains in employee engagement, 40 percent gains in customer service, and 30 percent gains in results and profits.

Another client, a manufacturing plant in the Midwest discovered a fabulous peripheral benefit to their organizational constitution. Their small town suffered flash flooding one spring, which caused tremendous damage in their community. Families were evacuated with little time to gather necessities.

Within hours, plant employees banded together to provide food, clothing, and transportation for their neighbors. They volunteered hundreds of hours for the Red Cross at the evacuation center. They secured funds from the plant’s parent company to rebuild homes and businesses in the following months.

The plant manager said in the 40 years that plant had been operating in that town, no one had ever seen employees rally so quickly and confidently to serve their fellow community members. Some of the employees who volunteered to help had also suffered significant losses in the flooding. “Our values and behaviors didn’t just apply inside the plant. These employees made sure they applied in our town, too,” she said.
The reality is that your culture drives everything that happens in your organization, good or bad. If you’re only paying attention to results, you’re leaving money on the table.

 

 

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