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Culture Catalysts: will help your culture to blossom. Natural advocates, their behaviours radiate your company values. They will help to reap the seeds of change in the business.
Culture Vultures: left unsupported, these potential saboteurs will destroy shoots of growth either deliberately, or simply through lack of interest.
Why does it matter?
Highly successful companies recognise the value of their culture. Their staff know how to respond and what is expected of them. Their skills and expertise are valued and built upon. They are trusted to deliver.
Highly successful companies attract and retain staff. Their leaders clearly define the business values and bring them to life through their decision making, behaviours and brand.
Highly successful companies understand that the recruitment process is two way, that they have to appeal to potential employees to come and work for them. They recruit Culture Catalysts, people who can contribute to and thrive in their business.
Highly successful companies have loyal customers. Their customers appreciate the customer experience that they receive and are confident that if something goes wrong, it will be resolved.
Culture Vultures can often be the result of poor management. They may have been promoted beyond their competence and struggling without support. They may be a reliable employee, who has been left behind as others are recognised for exceeding expectations at the expense of their colleagues. A Culture Vulture may be disenchanted and will readily share their frustration with anyone and everyone. A Culture Vulture is likely to be a disengaged employee, who is unproductive. Each Culture Vulture costs you 1/3 of their salary.
Many of the Culture Vultures that we come across are valued for their expertise, their unacceptable behaviours are completely ignored. Left to infect others with these unacceptable behaviours, Culture Vultures ferment in the “too difficult box” resulting in a toxic environment which at best, prevents others from being the best they can be at work. At worst, their colleagues leave, along with your loyal customers and sometimes your brand reputation too.
Grow your own Highly Productive Culture with the resources you already have:
Growing your own culture with a mix of Culture Vultures and Culture Catalysts may seem impossible. By assessing the environment and designing the future, organisations define the values and behaviours that are needed to Grow their Highly Productive Culture and future proof their business.
Culture Catalysts are to be encouraged to become involved in shaping the new culture. The Culture Vultures, who influence their peer group, are to be invited to join them. Their collective involvement and contribution to two-way communication and developing solutions, accelerates the growth of your Highly Productive Culture.
Growing a Highly Productive Culture is not a quick win. It takes leadership commitment, combined with their cohesive behaviours to bring the values to life. It requires upskilling managers and staff, setting clear expectations and new processes to support behavioural feedback, recruitment that attracts the people who will thrive and contribute to business growth.
Your unique breed of Culture Vultures will become extinct.
Need to find out more? Then please do not hesitate to contact us.
Fiona’s passion, belief and expertise is in culture change - inspiring, energising and embedding personal & organisation wide transformation, for the benefit of all. +24% increase in staff motivation in 6 weeks is one example of how she can add value to your bottom line.
boosting performance & accelerating growth
delivering results - whatever your challenges
Awarded: for Inspiring Employee Engagement in UK 2018
Exemplar: Driver of Culture Change, The Manufacturer 2015
Founder: Greater Birmingham Engage for Success Network: Share + Learn + Inspire
Registered: NHS Executive Coach
© 2019 valuingYOU and My Change Expert ALL RIGHTS RESERVED www.valuingyou.co.uk
Email: fiona.anderson@valuingyou.co.uk ( 0783 4209240
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Increasing productivity with the resources you already have
If this appeals, then please do read on. If not, then please ignore - at your peril!
And if you are working in a Government Department or in the Public Sector, please don’t switch off when you read about brand and customers, you too (can) have both!
If we have one thing to thank the banking crisis for, it is that culture change is a topic that is regularly discussed in the business context. It is a subject that appears in research and business articles. More recently, it is linked with productivity.
Which comes first, employee engagement or a highly productive culture? The two are intrinsically linked. Successful, culture change can be measured by an increase in Employee Engagement. Headline business benefits include an improved customer experience, a reduction in sickness and staff turnover, improved innovation and a positive impact on your bottom line. So how do you convince your Executives of the need for culture change and more importantly, the personal leadership investment that it requires?
Culture can be your Achilles Heel or your competitive advantage. When successful, it is the unique selling point (USP) that attracts and retains highly committed staff and even more importantly, it attracts and retains loyal customers. Loyal customers are so much more profitable than satisfied customers, they tell others about you. They do your global marketing for you on social media.
So what is culture? It is like a jelly. It wobbles often, is hard to describe and difficult to grasp.
Culture describes: “how things are done around here.”
It is about behaviours. These are often rooted in and defined by values that underpin the vision and brand. Culture is created by the behaviours of leaders and those who work for you. Culture is embedded by aligning the processes and technology that you use. When leaders consistently demonstrate the culture, it grows roots and flourishes.
I can identify a highly productive culture when walking into a business. I sense the energy, the buzz and the pride of those who work there. I can see their engagement in everything they do. I connect with the business and its ethos. Their brand is threaded through the employee and customer experience. Staff understand what is expected of them and are empowered to deliver. They have loyal customers who are their advocates and do their marketing for them. Technology and processes are aligned. Leaders lead.
Many businesses focus on “what we do here.” The measures, the conversations, the agendas in fact the majority of the time is focused on tasks. This focus ignores that humans design and deliver the majority of their products and services for other humans to buy and use!
Employee Engagement | Employee Experience | Employee Satisfaction | Net Promotor Score, one of these is likely to be the label applied to the headline result from a survey that is used to measure an employees connection with their work. Many employers are so intent on the number of staff who complete their survey and improving their scores, that they forget about the humans they need to be involving and connecting with to achieve an improvement.
Culture change is not for the faint hearted. Some say it is the “soft, pink and fluffy” aspects of a business. In reality, culture is the hardest aspect to shape and change. It is often ignored and left in the “too difficult box” to fester and manifest its own, often unmanageable, characteristics and unacceptable behaviours. In our experience it is not unusual for a business culture to be toxic.
How many times have you personally made a New Year’s resolution only to find yourself breaking it within the first few days or weeks? If it’s difficult to change our own behaviour, then how can we hope to convince the Executives of the benefits that can be achieved from a business wide behavioural change?
Building the Business Case:
The majority of people will have a preference for either logical decision making (based on rational and objective analysis) or feelings based decision making (that considers personal values and conviction whilst also considering others values and how they are feeling)[1]
So let’s first consider the logical, rational case for culture change:
If your Executives are not already focussing on the value of your business culture, then inevitably it is the rational case that you will need to focus on. They will require the logical reasons for investment. Specifically they will be seeking a return on their investment.
Culture cannot be copied by your competitors! Consider Apple, Pret a Manger, Google, Innocent ……. They differentiate and succeed by recognising that their business culture is their USP (Unique Selling Point). Their culture is their competitive advantage.
What examples can you provide within your own sector?
Achieving an increase in productivity: of the 18 countries in Western Europe, the UK has the 6th lowest level of engagement in Western Europe.[2] The UK has the third lowest productivity in the G7, with Germany, USA and France where productivity is 1/3 higher than UK.[3]
Engage for Success demonstrates there is a firm correlation between employee engagement and high productivity across all sectors.[4] Gallup’s global employee engagement database reports business units in the top quartile are 17% more productive and 21% more profitable than those in the bottom quartile.[2]
So what does your employee survey tell you about your employee engagement?
Gallup Research[2] tells us that:
Only 11% of the UK workforce is engaged (down from 17% in 2013). Employees are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.
21% are actively disengaged (26% in 2013) Employees aren't just unhappy at work; they're busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged co-workers accomplish.
The remaining 68% (56% in 2013) “feel no meaningful attachment to their job and their company."[5]
(By comparison, U.S. employee engagement is more than, three times higher at 33%)
Now replace these figures with your own from your employee opinion survey. Then use the following research to calculate the cost and impact on your bottom line.
Disengaged employees have a negative impact on profitability – they cost an organisation approx. £3,400 for every £10,000 annual salary.[5]
Using your staff survey results, you can now calculate the cost of your business culture, simply and effectively.
No staff survey results?
Then use the Gallup research data2 (ie 21% are actively disengaged) to calculate the impact of disengagement on your bottom line:
No employees x total salary bill pa = £ cost of disengaged employees, every year [2]
5 3
For those who need further evidence, here are some more rational calculations that contribute to the head line calculations:
Attracting and retaining talent – UK Unemployment is at 4.1% [6] This is great news for those seeking a career move however it also means that access to the skills and expertise that you need in your business is becoming more and more difficult each day. This means that costs are rising to attract, to recruit and to retain staff (and therefore customers too). As a result, businesses are having to offer higher salaries and have to be the fastest to connect with candidates and integrate new recruits. The impact of Brexit is unclear and is of growing concern to many employers seeking to recruit and retain talent.
What is your recruitment and staff turnover data telling you about the impact that these have on your bottom line? How many times have you failed to recruit the right people? What is this truly costing you in in terms of HR and management hours: writing the JD, advertising, long listing, short listing, interviews, induction, performance management ..?
Disengaged staff rarely take ownership for the customer problem. Sixty-eight percent of customers leave because of poor employee attitude [5], they take their custom elsewhere. A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%.[7]
Consider your customer retention. Review repeat and loyal customer spend. Now consider how much it costs to attract new customers? How much does it cost to lose customers who never return? What are the real costs of your customer complaints handling processes and systems? What decisions are front line staff able to make? What does it cost to escalate decision making up the management chain?
Culture influences recruitment and retention: Next to pay, culture is the 2nd most important factor that influences an employees decision to stay or accept a job offer. 62% are prepared to take a pay cut to work for an organisation that offers a better culture fit.[8]
What are your exit interviews telling you?
Disengaged employees are not productive – they make 100 times the number of errors. [5]
How much does this cost in management time? In managing customer complaints? What does it tell you about your recruitment process, induction, training and development, manager interaction?
Disengaged employees take time off “sick” – engaged employees take an average of 2.69 days sick a year; the disengaged take 6.19 [4]
What are your sickness levels? How much is this costing you? What impact is sickness having on the engagement and productivity of those who are having to pick up the additional work? How much time is spent managing sickness? How much is this costing? What fails as a result of sickness? What do these failures cost you?
Disengaged employees will leave your company – 65% of employees leave because of lack of recognition. [5] In 2017 The Resourcing and Talent Planning report (CIPD in partnership with Hays) calculate the median cost for hiring senior managers/directors is £6,000. The cost for all employees has remained at £2,000. Engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their organisations than disengaged employees. [9]
Staff comment that a “thank you” is often all they need, how much would this cost you instead?
The emotional case for culture change:
Brand and culture cannot be separated, they are at the core of every successful business.
Before reading the next paragraph, take a few minutes to consider your responses to the following questions:
What is your favourite brand?
List all the factors that describe why it is your favourite?
Describe how these factors impact on your decision making to buy, use and recommend this product/service?
In addition to the rational reasons for using/buying your favourite brand, there are also the emotional connections.
70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. [10]
Successful businesses recognise the intrinsic value of their customer experience. It is these, often subconscious connections that drive our buying decisions. And when our own customer experience matches or even exceeds our expectations, then we build an emotional and loyal connection with the brand and business. Highly successful businesses realise that they cannot achieve this without first creating an employee experience that delivers their customer experience. This is achieved through a focus on culture change, one that defines clear expectations of staff, involves them in developing how it is achieved, then upskills and empowers them to achieve it.
Additionally, we buy from people we like. We value a business that values what is important to us. Tesco Clubcard was one of the first loyalty schemes that tapped into our purchasing behaviours. Now it’s rare that a business doesn’t try to capture something about us so that they can connect with us personally and emotionally.
And so emotional connection with the business that employs them is vital for the majority of staff in the workplace. This is referred to as: employee engagement; the psychological contract; employee branding; employee experience; hearts and minds……... Whatever you call it, it is recognising that the business culture “how we do things round here” is fundamental to business success.
Engage for Success highlights: “no wonder that 94% of the world’s most admired
companies believe that their efforts to engage their employees have created a competitive advantage” [4]
Demonstrating a return on investment:
To obtain the Board's approval to embark on culture change, you also need to demonstrate a return on investment. Having undertaken the analysis above, you now have a baseline from which to define the business benefits from culture change and to track progress. Review and report these back to your Executive board, at least quarterly. It can take up to 2 years to fully embed and begin to deliver a tangible return on investment.
This phase involves scoping the activities, developing the plan and budget required to achieve the culture change.
Need to find out more? Then please do not hesitate to contact us.
Fiona’s passion, belief and expertise is in culture change - inspiring, energising and embedding personal & organisation wide transformation, for the benefit of all. +24% increase in staff motivation in 6 weeks is one example of how she can add value to your bottom line.
boosting performance & accelerating growth
delivering results - whatever your challenges
[1] Myers Briggs Type Indicator: Thinking - Feeling preferences
[4] The Evidence, Engage for Success
[5] Achievers, The Cost of Disengagement to your Company
[7] Leading on the Edge of Chaos: The 10 Critical Elements for Success in Volatile Times, May 1, 2002 Authors: Emmett C. Murphy (Author), Mark A. Murphy (Author)
[8] What Workers Want 2017 – Culture Completes the Full Package https://cloud.email.hays.com/www-dac-2017?_ga=2.223192600.208827133.1547643183-315773419.1547643181
[10] The Moment of Truth, McKinsey, 2006
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It can be both challenging and highly rewarding working
with colleagues in the same office in the UK.
Leading highly productive, global teams working in different countries, across different time zones, with a mix of office and home based can be .………?
Personality and behavioural profiles are in abundance and many of us are able to understand our self and our colleagues so much better as a result. When we’re based in the same office, we recognise our similarities and our differences from our accents, from what we wear and how we react. But when it comes to cultural differences, how comfortable are we at exploring our differences to fully understand each other, without fear of offending?
I was recently asked to design and deliver a webinar: Leading Virtual Global Teams. Leadership development in this area lacks attention and investment. Yet the benefits from a diverse and inclusive workforce is crucial to encouraging different perspectives and ideas that drive innovation. So where do you start? Here is a gem that I discovered and it received a hugely positive response from my clients.
The Culture Map© by Erin Meyer https://www.erinmeyer.com/tools/
The Culture Map© by Erin Meyer provides an overview of how we differ in our behaviours and our responses. It is based on years of research and experience and provides us with an insight into the extent of our differences.
Take for example some common tensions:
How we communicate (Communicating - 1). In Germany communication is precise, simple and clear. It is taken at face value and repetition is appreciated to aid clarification. In Japan and China messages are both spoken and read between the line, in nuances, implied but not plainly expressed. The differences can be described as a couple first getting to know each other (those on the left of the map) to a couple who have been together for many years and can communicate just by looking at the other person (those on the right)
How we make decisions (Deciding – 5) A colleague in Japan will take time, liaising with and obtaining input from others to achieve a consensus. Whereas a colleague in China will act on a decision from one other, usually the boss.
Building Trust (Trusting – 6) Germans trust business related activities, our expertise and credentials. Chinese develop trust over a period of time in a social, relationship context.
How we plan and achieve deadlines (Scheduling - 8). Consider someone from Germany (on left) working on a project with a colleague from China (on right). The German preference is to schedule the project, focus on and achieve deadlines, one at a time in an organised manner. The Chinese preference is much more flexible, exploring opportunities as they arise, adapting and flexing as they progress.
Developing highly productive, multi-cultural teams
How often do you hear someone referring to a colleague as “difficult”?
How do we change our own reaction from one that considers another person as difficult to a response that encourages us to understand our differences?
As Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says: “To be understood, seek first to understand.” The Culture Map© enables you to achieve this. For a small fee, you can build your own Culture Map© https://www.erinmeyer.com/tools/.
The Culture Map© provides you with a general picture and we know from our own experiences, how much we differ in the UK. By completing the Self Assessment Questionnaire you can explore how your behaviours and responses compare to the norm in your country. My results indicate that I respond to the left of the UK norm.
The Country Mapping tool allows you to map up to five countries to explore their similarities and differences. Both maps can be used as follows:
Team facilitation: by completing both maps, provide an opportunity where you can collectively share and explore the results face to face to understand your similarities and differences. Asking the questions “help me understand….” is a great starting point. Agree how you individually and collectively need to adapt to increase productivity.
As a leader: use the maps to have in depth one to one conversations with each of your team members. Explore the similarities and differences. Discuss what works week and surface the tensions. Set clear expectations by agreeing specific objectives and a personal development plan as appropriate. Consciously adapt your style for each culture.
Induction: when you introduce a new member into the team, include the maps in their induction and team integration.
Keen to explore further? Then please do contact us: info@valuingyou.co.uk
Further reading:
Erin Meyer: The Culture Map
HBR: Managing Across Cultures
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