Is your culture driving high performance?

Is your culture driving high performance?

Is your organisational culture where it needs to be to drive high performance?

Customer expectations continue to be raised through new entrants and so-called disruptors. The ongoing raft of legislative, technological and commercial challenges means an adaptive, customer-focused culture is essential for sustained success.

Yet, while culture change is understood intellectually, it is not always done well. At its heart it involves mindset shift and behaviour change to bring about more effective ways of working and different outcomes.

It can be tricky to shift but by no means impossible, and the rewards speak for themselves: Pecan has helped organisations build on their strengths to develop cultures that have delivered results like a 50% reduction in cost of sale and award winning NPS.

Is your organisational culture where it needs to be? How can you check this and make change where required?

Here are some areas worth exploring, each one proven to raise the bar in helping organisations successfully change and perform:

1. Review the organisation’s stated purpose.
Is it still relevant? Is it compelling? Is it interpreted consistently? If not, test it out with staff and customers and revisit it with leaders and staff across all teams

2. Enable everyone to own it and communicate it
Often the purpose is overly-associated with the leaders of the organisation. This is not enough to ensure the whole company is focused on fulfilling a common purpose. Equip leaders and managers with the tools and confidence to bring the purpose to life in their area, through their communications, their decisions and their attention

3. Make the purpose and values live and breathe
Does everyone get it? How real are the values in the day to day work? Develop leaders to inspire and connect everyone with why and how it makes a difference for them and crucially how it impacts the customer experience

4. Have the customer present in the physical environment
How central are customers to decision-making? It’s easier to put customers at the heart of decision-making if they are visible. Make creative use of posters, videos, blogs and social media forums to create insight and test ideas

5. Align reward and recognition to putting customers at the heart
As we are measured so we behave. Strike the right balance of quantity and quality in the people management and appraisal process. Capture and share best practice examples to illustrate how teams have collaborated to improve customer experience and increase success rates

6. Remove sacred cows
Find out what’s really getting in the way of fulfilling your purpose and providing a great customer experience. A key role for leaders is to remove blockers to performance – even those that people have never dared touch before. Courage may be needed to challenge fixed mindsets, power-bases, old habits and outdated ways of working

7. Check out the customer journey
From initial enquiry through completion and towards becoming an advocate, what is it like? How smooth, efficient and joined-up is the journey? Get staff to mystery shop to see whether your target customers would choose your organisation

8. Act on customer and staff feedback
Whether direct from customers or from customer-facing staff, there are invariably golden nuggets of insight that can enable significant improvements. Give customer-facing staff the power and influence to make a difference

Leaders are responsible for up to 80% of an organisational culture so it’s vital that they take it seriously and understand their role in shaping it. You can’t delegate organisational culture.

Why not explore the above list in the boardroom? It will open up discussion, raise curiosity and help to keep culture living and breathing at the heart of the corporate agenda.

We’d love to hear your experiences on how your culture is driving or hindering performance. How many of the points above do you see happening in your organisation?

Image: Sergii Bozhko,

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