It is fair to say that the new modern age of social connectivity is changing how we do business. It is also having a profound effect on how businesses are managed. Old structures and ways of thinking and behaving are changing. The typical hierarchical model where employees are viewed as simply cogs in a machine is having to change to adapt to a new paradigm that emphasises connection, collaboration and innovation.
Companies have to take a serious look at the current culture within their organisation and examine whether it supports an environment of employee engagement. Employee engagement has become a buzz word but it has very real consequences for the organisation.
A study by Towers Watson, a professional services firm, interviewed 90,000 employees in 18 countries, and identified that companies with high employee engagement had a 19% increase in operating income compared to a 32% drop in operating income for companies with low levels of engagement.
How do you create higher employee engagement? Two simple steps to implement are to clearly define and articulate your organisation vision and your core values. An inspiring business vision creates purpose for employees beyond their current day to day activities. Defining your core values signals to your current and future employees what is important to your company. The core values of your business determine your expectations about behaviour in your staff and your partners. Knowing your core values helps to identify the type of people you want to work in or with the company, and vice versa.
Longer term employee engagement comes from changing the top down culture of being told what to do to one that encourages personal responsibility and accountability. Supporting staff to be accountable encourages people to behave outside their current comfort zone and explore their inherent potential. This allows for personal growth and ultimately generates higher levels of performance. Studies have shown that employees who are offered the opportunity for self direction, the chance to better themselves, and given a greater sense of purpose are much more highly motivated.
One of the keys to changing the existing culture, thinking and behaviour in an organisation is to examine the underlying operating paradigm within it. Uncovering the unspoken beliefs about how the team operates is not an easy thing to do as they run unconsciously in the background.
In the team leadership sessions that I run with clients when we get to the point of identifying the underlying limiting beliefs or paradigm we call this the “moment of Change”. It is really an “ahhh” moment for the team when they can see the thoughts that have been running them in the background and what has been holding them back. It is called the moment of change since at this point teams can choose a new paradigm that is more effective and empowering. It is akin to upgrading the operating system of a computer to make it work more effectively.
Creating a culture of accountability and responsibility takes time to develop. It is not something that will change overnight but once done the impact is enormous. Individuals are happier, teams perform better and ultimately the results in the organisation are significantly improved.
If you would like to find out more about how one of our team programmes could impact the culture and performance in your organisation please click this link so that we can plan a time to talk together.