So what?

Why organisational culture matters.

Good employees quit when management is bad.
Bad employees quit when management is good.

– Peter Drucker

Organisational Culture

Organisational culture is the dominant driver of people engagement, innovation and competitiveness.  Getting it right is not an option; it’s a necessity if your aim is lasting excellence.  Either you will manage your culture, or it will manage you.

The Results Pyramid explains how the three essential components of organisational culture – experiences, beliefs and actions – interact to determine the results achieved.  Experiences foster beliefs, beliefs influence actions and actions produce results.

Whether they realise it or not, leaders are continuously creating experiences that shape the organisational culture – either good or bad.  With every interaction, leaders form experiences that either reinforce or undermine desired beliefs.  With the CDI Way, Leadership in Action means leaders deliberately create the desired organisational culture.

Disengaged Employees

Across all industries and sectors, disengaged employees (talented employees you have failed to switch on) can negatively affect the workplace causing it to become toxic, companies to lose their competitive edge, or even start-ups to fail.  Disengaged employees are costing you money and affecting your profits.

Thus, doing nothing is the most expensive option.  Each disengaged employee costs you 34% (Gallup, 2017) of their salary because of lost productivity, missed shifts, chronic tardiness, and disrupting others by spreading negativity throughout the company.  Actively disengaged employees (17,2 % of all employees – Gallup, 2017) are miserable in the workplace and destroy the positive benefits engaged employees work so hard to build for the company.

A Few Examples of How Experiences Foster Beliefs

Much of what companies believe to be common wisdom, turns out to be not so wise after all. Every day, through our processes and behaviour, we are creating experiences for the frontline and our leaders alike that do not support a healthy organisational culture. The main role of senior leadership is to continuously challenge these beliefs, actions and experiences to build a healthy organisation. See below for a few examples:

All levels in the organisation are measured against the same KPIs, from the frontline all the way to the executive team. Leaders are rewarded for the performance of the frontline.

Frontline:
Leadership do not trust me to deliver the expected results and I don’t have to think for myself, they will tell me exactly what I have to do.

Leadership:
My main role is to ensure that the frontline deliver results.  How I do it is not so important.

Leaders resort to cheerleading tactics to distract team members from the harsh realities of the workplace. Leaders fail to create a conducive environment for growth, accountability and exceptional performance.

Frontline:
Nobody really cares about my well-being and development.  I am only being manipulated to do more with less.

Leadership:
Engaging and empowering my team is an event-driven activity.  Team members should stop complaining and be grateful for all the nice things we do for them.

We never have time to solve problems properly in the first place, but there seems to be enough time to keep on solving them again and again and again... People seem to get confused between “business” and “busyness”.

Frontline:
Fixing problems is more important than solving problems.  I do not have time to do anything properly.  As long as I am busy, leadership is happy.

Leadership:
Getting things moving is more important than preventing it from stopping in the first place.  Time spent on problem solving is waste, so we should limit that.

In order to achieve our quarterly result, the most important stakeholders, the customers and employees have to suffer. The long-term value-creating capability of the organisation is gradually destroyed.

Frontline:
Management ignores my cries for help (because there is no money in the budget) and they have no understanding of the large gap between the realities of my workplace and their unrealistic expectations.

Leadership:
The shareholder (or my boss) is the most important customer.  Nobody is interested in the long-term success of our organisation.

Compliance (tell and check) is still the primary approach to “install” safety and quality. There is no evidence of any efforts to create a safety and/or quality culture in the organisation.

Frontline:
I “do” safety and quality for management.  As long as I do not get caught breaking the safety or quality rules, I am okay.  Hiding safety risks and quality defects is a good idea.

Leadership:
Team members don’t want to do things right and, therefore, need to be micro-managed and controlled.

Employee engagement is still considered the responsibility of the HR department and continuous improvement is the job of the CI team.

Frontline:
My leader is only interested in my performance and to what extend I can contribute to his/her success.

Leadership:
Engaging and empowering my team is not my responsibility.  Also, continuous improvement should be driven by the CI team.  My main responsibility is to maximise the output from my team.

What other examples can you share that will assist us in better understanding the experiences that we need to foster in organisations today?