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Nov
27
Alex Somos

After being recently interviewed for an article in the Toronto Star, I was thinking about the powerful impact culture can have on results.

Outstanding leaders pay as much attention to their culture as to their results. They know that great results come from creating a great customer experience and a great customer experience is driven by a great employee experience.

A lot of leaders don’t understand the impact of a great culture. It is often seen as soft and fuzzy, and a nice-to-have.

Culture is not a program or an initiative - it is the perceived reality in which employees live. Culture can help people flourish, or it can deplete them. Once you have a clear sense of what your culture should look like and feel like from your employees’ perspective, work with your leadership team to create the conditions to create that environment. It may mean you need to create or modify processes and programs. However, it all starts with one thing – conversation.

An energized culture marked by great outcomes is a culture where employees get their emotional needs met. There are five needs that matter more than anything else, to an employee’s energy and engagement. An employee needs to feel they fit, they need to be clear, they need to feel supported, valued and inspired.

One of our healthcare clients reduced their nurses’ intent to leave by 22 percent in one year by paying attention to these five drivers. If retaining talent is important to your organization, then understand that engaging employees’ hearts at an emotional level is 4X more powerful than simply engaging their minds.

Does your culture allow results to flow easily, and does it feel good to work at your organization? Here are some indicators to help you evaluate the current state of your culture:

  • We vs. Us and Them. If a silo mentality exists, identify the causes and deal with them.
  • Ease of communication. Does it happen across and between all levels?
  • Transparency. Critical information is accessible to everyone and it isn’t distorted as it goes up or down the chain.
  • Client Focus. The whole organization has a keen interest in serving those who serve the customer.
  • Energized Employees. A sense of purpose and optimism, and the removal of interference that hinders performance are indicators that employees are energized.
  • Innovation. Ideas freely flow because there is a sense of curiosity and openness to try new things.
  • Feedback. Coaching, mentoring, and course correction happen in a timely way.

Conversations are at the core of each of the above indicators. Conversations matter because they are the operating system in your organization that drives results. A productive culture is a competitive advantage.  You may have heard it said before, "Culture will eat strategy for lunch every time.” I disagree! You don’t have to choose - you can have them both - great people and great results!

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Brady Wilson

Brady Wilson

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Alex Somos

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