In Patrick Lencioni’s recent book The Advantage he talks about the value of clarity. His four disciplines to developing Organizational Health emphasize clarity:
Discipline 1: Build a Cohesive Leadership Team
Discipline 2: Create Clarity
Discipline 3: Over-Communicate Clarity
Discipline 4: Reinforce Clarity
As President and CEO of Fleck Sales, Dudley Fleck is the ultimate advocate and evangelist for the company’s culture. Each meeting he asks his leadership team to put in their words Fleck Sales Vision, Purpose, Core Values and Strategy Statement. He isn’t looking for perfection, rather what it means to each of them, eliciting their true feelings about the company’s culture.
When your team is clear on their expectations and where the company is headed engagement improves!
Gallup’s Leading Engagement From the Top reveals the impact executive engagement has on managers as well as the impact manager engagement has on front line employees:
- Managers who are directly supervised by highly engaged executive
teams (those in the top quartile of employee engagement) are 39% more likely to be engaged than managers who are supervised by executive teams with below-average engagement.
- Frontline employees who are supervised by highly engaged managers are 59% more likely to
be engaged than those supervised by managers with below-average engagement.
A recent article by Gallup “Can You Really Manage Engagement Without Managers? Explores Zappos plans to eliminate their managers. The article notes Zappos is morphing into a "holacracy" – an organizational structure intended to eradicate bureaucracy and politics, promote self-governance, and distribute power more evenly. After the transition, employees won't have formal job titles. And instead of forming conventional teams based on hierarchy and work function, they will move among 400 "circles" in which they can assume various roles based on project needs.
Gallup points out that perhaps what Zappos should be doing instead of creating this more level field in the workplace is to hire better managers. While Gallup notes it hasn’t studied the “holacracy” approach, it has done extensive research on how managers affect employee engagement, and in turn how improving employee engagement has a positive effect on company performance.
According to HayGroup Article Engaged Employees and Boost Performance offices with “engaged” employees were as much as 43 percent more productive.
Bullet points from this study:
People who believe their jobs are meaningful channel their “discretionary effort” into their work.
Hay research and studies by leading business schools confirm the engagement/productivity link.
Strong leadership is the ultimate perk.
When you throw the number one reason employees stay with a firm, results from the GrowBiz Media Small Business Hiring and Retention Survey 2012 offered in The Number One Reason Employees Stay in a Small Business, According to Employers, at 78% you begin to realize how important managers are to your business success.
The number two factor for employee retention? The same survey indicated Company Culture at 66%. That places even more confirmation on Lencioni’s the Advantage.
Does all this lead to success for your business?
Several books including Good Company and Conscious Capitalism support the idea that being a good company can lead to growth and increased profitability. The definition for being a good company is a specific focus on three areas:
1) They are value creating organizations committed to their culture and community of employees.
2) They use business intelligence to balance the concept of an employee as a cost and the employee as an asset.
3) They possess authentic core purposes: A difference they are making in the world.”
This not only supports Lencioni’s work but also Jim Stengel’s Grow. Yet Conscious Capitalism, author John McKey, the founder of Whole Foods, goes further providing data to show in the last 15 years companies he terms “Firms of Endearment” perform 10X better than Good to Great companies and even better than that over the S&P 500.
We'll explore how being a good company can make you superior performer in our next blog.