5 Ways Company Culture Drives Performance

image_pdfimage_print

People Metrics - Tracking Employee Satisfaction

In any managerial position, employee performance is something that is closely looked at as a metric for the success of the company. When team members are doing good work, productivity is at high level, morale is bubbling, deadlines are being met with ease, and customer satisfaction is five stars, you can be sure that the business is doing well. 

A straight line can be drawn from the success of a company to the performance of the employees in a company. Similarly, that line can be drawn directly to the company culture. 

Company culture is something that covers the everyday behaviors, attitudes, and policies that affect a workplace environment. A company builds a top-notch team culture through choices that empower employees to work at their best. And when the collective is at their best — naturally, the group is too. 

Culture is the key though. It is the solid ground that the work environment is built upon. The right cultural foundation and the right priorities can help your organization rise to levels of significant performance improvements. In addition, it can create some of the strongest value propositions that can lift you head-and-shoulders above your competition.

It should then be noted that a culture which drives performance is one worth nurturing. Here are some ideas to cultivate such a culture in your workplace. 

Communication

While communication as a general subject could be discussed at length, workplace communication is the area of focus here. The exchanging of information and ideas within an organization is vital for anything to get done. Effective workplace communication is when this information is sent and received accurately and is central to all business goals. 97 percent of workers believe that communication impacts tasks every day. Poor communication can lead to missed project deadlines, lower employee engagement, and a lack of confidence across the organization.

It is essential to create a positive communication strategy that will help to grow an organization by making employees feel valued, informed, and comfortable to speak openly and to connect with one another and with management.

Poor workplace communication leads to inefficiency and mistakes. 28 percent of employees cite poor communication as the reason for not being able to deliver work on time. Therefore, having a policy of clear and effective communication in an office naturally leads to better productivity. Once a communication policy is in place, instructions and expectations can be defined clearly and important information can be shared with ease, leading to better results and an improved company culture.

Values

Figuring out the core values of your organization should have happened long before you hired your first employee. These values articulate, determine, and monitor the mission of your business. But as a side effect, they determine the quality of your company culture since they act as your moral compass in business. 

Your core values should be clearly stated, and your team should all be well informed and aligned. It isn’t enough to just have a set of core business values on the company website. It needs to be a shared value system that permeates the hearts of all team members. Anything short of that, and you’re not reaping the benefits of a group which is truly should-to-shoulder in the pursuit of the same purpose.

Simply put, purpose is the reason something is done. It is the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.

It is the “why.” Why are we doing this? What is the reason our company does what it does? It must be clearly stated – with simple words everyone can understand. If a 10-year-old can understand it, then it is simple enough. Critically important in understanding what purpose is — is also understanding that purpose must be something you can measure or “prove” you are accomplishing. 

For example, if your purpose is to build houses — then do you have customers telling you that you built their houses somehow? Or do you have physical evidence (photos perhaps) of those houses being built? This is an obvious example, but you get the point here. Your purpose must be something you can prove to your employees by showing them the “proof.” It is a way of saying, “Hey look! We’re doing the thing we set out to do!” And that gives everyone a boost in morale, having accomplished something or having contributed to that accomplishment.

By outlining your initiatives and core values you can attract talent to your organization that think the way you do, and this can lead to better teams, better decision making, and a crew of individuals willing to go the extra mile for something they believe in. There is a higher rate of staff retention, and you can attract top talent that may have decided to go elsewhere if they believe you stand for the same values. 

Teamwork is bred by sharing the same values and goals. You work together to get projects done. You share time and passion with your fellow professionals and are rewarded for it. By clearly defining your values you will figure out ways to build accountability into them. This helps you and your team live the values rather than just look at a list of nice ideas on a wall. By truly adhering to a core value system, you can start to build a culture of integrity and honesty. And this, in turn, will lead to trust and better business results.

Team building

Building your team takes time and attention. Working together needn’t be a worrisome problem. Rather it can be joyous and feel like you are supported and valued, up and down the administrative ladder. This is what makes a great team. A common goal and set of values are one thing, but when you are all in the same mindset and striving to achieve greatness together it becomes an amazing place to work rather than just a job.

Sometimes you inherit people from other teams and that requires its own set of skills to work out dynamics fast and figure out how to get the best out of them.

Building a team takes time and effort. 

Once built, the team needs to be nurtured. It cannot be taken for granted that individual team members will work well together — and nowadays, remote teams present even more variables. Trying to keep employee engagement high and use teamwork to get things done is all well and good but without a culture of trust, you won’t be able to access the true potential of your team. A lack of trust can be fatal for a team, as well as an organization as a whole. Leaving a team to wallow in its mediocrity is not the role of a team leader. 

As a leader, it is a reliable policy to lead by example. Be the type of team member you want. Setting a great example every day through thick and thin is your priority as a leader. This means your community will be built through communication. Be sure to be always open and honest. Your job is to increase trust between the team members. It is also to build trust from your team members towards you as the leader. Trust is earned through shared experience. Don’t let your team down and they won’t let you down in return. 

Focus on your people

Culture refers to the way people in a company act, work or behave. It is a group of individual characteristics, attitudes, and behaviors shared by those within a group. It’s the commonly accepted way that professionals act and behave within a business. Note that a group is made up of individuals. That can’t be overlooked. It is your people — the individuals who are the human capital of your business. 

Truth is that the part of culture that people miss is the part that mentions “characteristics or behaviors.” It really is that simple. Create a list of characteristics or behaviors you want for your company. Share it with everyone in your company. This is your culture – this is the culture that you have decided to create and work towards. Culture is a journey. You use the characteristics and behaviors as the map for that journey. It isn’t a destination – you are never done working on culture or training on culture or talking about it daily. Culture should be tied into your company purpose and everything you do as a company.

Culture requires a top-down look, and a bottom-up engagement. It takes constant attention, care, and compassion from leadership as a priority to improve, support and preserve the well-being of a company’s most significant asset — its people. 

Performance

Productivity levels are always a concern for managers. Do you track keystrokes and timecards? When it comes to your team productivity and the measurement of how successfully your individual employees are contributing to the success of the company, there are several ways to measure and track performance. 

One of the most reliable ways is the use of statistics. Measurement by statistics is an accurate barometer of performance when done right. Essentially you need to know what is being measured first, and then you can track or graph those metrics over time. A brick layer placed 10 bricks today, as opposed to 12 yesterday. The number of bricks went down, so that gives you an insight into an area that could use some improvement. A salesperson made 20 more sales this month compared to last month. Maybe the number of calls to potential clients was way up, or maybe a better sales pitch was used. Gross income for the company is up by $100,000 this year compared with last year. That is cause for some celebration — and so you start to see how measuring using statistics over time can be a useful tool. 

It would be wise to take stock of overall productivity on regular evaluations, using productivity metrics that provide insights you can use to not only measure total output but also the achievement of company goals. 

The driving of performance and productivity alone is not enough. It goes hand in hand with the creation and nurturing of a company culture that encourages higher levels of performance, but also treats its employees with respect, kindness and decency in a workplace culture that results in the professionals there wanting to work for better results because of their passion, rather than their paycheck.