Many go in search of it, some achieve it, Many don’t. I am talking about great performance culture. A culture that’s as invigorating and challenging as much as it is supportive and creative. A culture that is people based but performance driven. Many leaders search it out, only a few will achieve.
Great Leaders Create Great Performance Culture
Leaders who continually build their leadership capability have the skills and the knowledge to create great performing companies. They build performance through their people and in return, achieve greater loyalty and commitment than companies that don’t. It has been reported that companies with great culture have a 30% improvement in their people measures like increased retention and reduced absenteeism.
Does culture drive performance or does performance drive culture?
In my eyes, they certainly go hand in hand, but firmly believe that when teams are winning, people focus on the positive.It is easy to believe you have a great culture when you are winning. Winning hides cracks. It is only when teams suffer a loss or two, that culture becomes truly evident. Culture either drives them up or buries them under.
So what tips are there to create and drive a great culture?
1. Values based foundation
The company has a core set of values that are communicated daily by their words and actions. Every person in the company is aware of the values and they are tuned into every decision made within the business. If any decision is not aligned with the core values, it doesn’t go through
2. Behaviours Align with the Values
Every team member knows what behaviours and actions align with their core values. They are developed and trained in the awareness and feedback provided to support the implementation. I heard the term “Gentle Pressure Relentlessly Applied” in a short talk from Dan Cathy from Chic-Fil-e and that sums up the way to breathe life into the behaviours and actions preferred in your business. Align your actions to your values.
3. Traditions and Practices that Live the Culture
Great culture is driven, in many ways by the traditions and practices of the company. Many companies have vibrant, almost life-changing, annual general meetings which have a life of their own aligned strongly with the culture of the business. They have practices that bring the culture alive, like Daily Huddle Meetings, Team Listening posts, regular brain-storming sessions and continual development, just to name a few.
4. Stories and Legends build the Culture
All companies have stories and legends, but for companies that build great culture, the stories and legends support the values and the culture in every way. Legends are the people that have built their success by valuing the culture of the company and the stories are ways in which the business has driven its success, or shared their culture with the team.
What does good look like. The culture is easily identified and team members know what good looks like. They can easily capture it in words and easily visible by actions and deeds. The culture isn’t a secret. It is known, respected and loved and breeds a performance based atmosphere that drives the potential of the business.
Some Questions to ask?
What is your business based on?
What behaviours do you see in your team and people?
What does your traditions and practices say about you?
What does your legends and stories say about your culture?
If someone looking at the interaction between your people, what culture would they identify?