Leadership

Your Guide to Creating a Purposeful, Positive, Productive Work Culture – Every Day

The financial industry has pockets of excellence - great places to work - and pockets of misery (not great places to work).

How well is your organization performing? When I ask executives that question, they’re quick to share performance metrics, market share, sales to date, and more. They pay attention to results daily.

I then ask “How well is your organization operating? In other words, is everyone – leaders, team members, customers, vendors, etc. – treated with trust, respect, and dignity in every interaction?”

I get blank stares and pauses. The vast majority of executives I speak to don’t have their fingers on the pulse regarding the quality of their work culture like they do of their organization’s results

The reality is that our organizations are not great places to hang out in. Gallup’s daily engagement dashboard indicates that only 35 percent of U.S. workers are actively engaged on the job. The global percentage is much worse – only 13 percent. TinyPulse’s 2014 engagement and culture report found that only 21 percent of workers feel strongly valued at work.

The financial industry has pockets of excellence – great places to work – and pockets of misery (not great places to work). Though no financial institutions appear on Glassdoor’s 2017 top large “best places to work” list or on it’s 2017 top small to medium “best places to work” list, no financial institutions appear on it’s 2017 ten “worst places to work” list.

Based on Glassdoor’s data, one would think that financial institutions are just “OK” places to work. However, there are financial institutions that are highly regarded as employers. Vault.com rated four financial institutions (out of fifty) as excellent places to work, with those organizations scoring 8 points or better on a 10 point scale.

How can executives create a purposeful, positive, productive work culture, a culture where values are as important as results? They must craft an organizational constitution, then align all plans, decisions, and actions to it.

An organizational constitution specifies your company (or team)’s servant purpose – it’s “reason for being” besides making money or selling coffee or delivering whatever your product is. Your organizational constitution then formalizes your desired values and defines them with observable, tangible, measurable behaviors. It also includes performance expectations in the form of strategies and goals.

Defining your desired culture with an organizational constitution is, to be honest, the easy part. The hard part is aligning all plans, decisions, and actions to these new expectations. Leaders must live the new servant purpose and valued behaviors, every minute. Only then will their organizational constitution be considered credible by employees – and worthy of embracing it by those employees.

It’s not science fiction. It’s what happens today in world class organizations like WD-40 Company, Ritz Carlton, Starbucks, Assurance, Madwire, and others I’ve studied. It’s real – and the impact of a purposeful, positive, productive culture is rather astounding.

I can prove it. When leaders align practices and behaviors to their desired organizational constitution, three things happen within 18 months of implementing the change. Employee engagement goes up by 40 percent. Customer service goes up by 40 percent. Results and profits rise by 35 percent.

Those are amazing transformations that are within every leaders’ grasp.

Don’t leave your culture to chance. Take charge of the health of your organization’s culture by defining it with an organizational constitution, then aligning all plans, decisions, and actions to it.

Chris Edmonds is a speaker, author, and executive consultant who is the founder of The Purposeful Culture Group.