Culture—The Ultimate Profit Tool

© Madartists |

© Madartists |

For three decades, companies across the spectrum have talked about the need to convert to a sales culture.  Talk, talk, talk.  Yet for all the chatter, the number that has successfully converted to a sales culture is still well below five percent! Millions have been spent in an attempt to make the change.  So why have so many repeatedly failed?

Sales and service skills do little to change results UNLESS there is a strong base of people who love what they do.  It’s about the culture! Without the right spirit, no amount of training or hiring will get you headed in the right direction.

A survey by the Corporate Executive Board showed that employees who are “true believers”—who value, enjoy, and believe in what they do—displayed 57 percent more discretionary effort and were 87 percent less likely to leave, while Gallup says that for every $10,000 of payroll, $3,400 of productivity is lost due to “disengaged employees.”

That’s an ugly number.

So what makes people love their jobs, fully engage, and produce greater results? Contrary to what most believe, money has very little to do with it.  What does matter is the three overlooked “must haves” to rejuvenate your people’s passion for extraordinary results.

1.  Kick-butt Rituals of Celebration and Appreciation
Healthy cultures have appreciation as their cultural backbone. They create an environment where everyone, not just the managers, oohs and aahs over each other’s successes and contributions.  They create daily, weekly, and quarterly rituals of celebration and appreciate and coach their people to be positive coaches to each other.

Maybe you have a daily huddle before opening where each person briefly shares an accomplishment while the rest of the team cheers and claps.  Maybe you have a “positive” sharing at the beginning of each weekly strategy meeting and a quarterly awards ceremony filled with many awards and recognitions.  If you create a childlike energy of people high-fiving with joy, you can expect people to thrive under the recognition.

2.  Ironclad Values
Your defined values are your “true north” and a powerhouse of results IF you do them correctly. If your values could be listed as the values of any other company in the country, you haven’t done a good enough job of creating values that will guide you powerfully.  When you say “honesty” or “integrity” or “hard work,” you haven’t really said a thing.  And if people don’t have their quarterly project plans built around the values, guess what? They aren’t really your values.

3.  “We mean it” Behaviors
When an organization defines its behaviors well, then supports and coaches to those behaviors as if they really are to be followed consistently, miraculous transformations begin.

Besides sales and service behaviors, behaviors regarding how to treat and respect coworkers must also be defined, like “no excuses” or “no talking behind peoples’ backs” or “state things in the positive.”  When you are clear in expecting the best in others, people bring their higher selves to work—that part in all of us that knows the right thing to do and the willingness to do it.

Most of all, remember that EVERYTHING is a leadership issue. If you want people to thrive at work and bring their passion for extraordinary results, you must, as a leader, create the environment in which people can thrive.

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