Is your organization suffering from high employee turnover? Has your strategic plan lost its momentum? Is your leadership team struggling to improve the productivity of their business units? Are you getting more and more frustrated by the lack of solutions? I believe it’s time for leaders to engage in a full spectrum scan of their culture. It’s not enough just to ask your employees about the culture. How about asking your customers, suppliers and shareholders?
The Employee Experience
Your culture exists either by design or default. Your employees are the ones who are living it every day. How work gets done in your organization can be efficient, lively, and done with pride. Or it can be done despite complications, in an unproductive manner, and without any passion. And of course there is always the in-between.
Your employees are the best source of the truth when it comes to getting a perspective on what’s really going on in your organization. Doing a values-based culture survey opens the door to robust conversations. These are the conversations that will fill you with ideas for improvement.
Voice of the Customer
Many organizations have engaged in customer surveys. For example, I remember when we launched a Net Promoter Score program to measure our field technician performance. After a service call to the home, customers would get an automated call asking them to rate their experience. These types of surveys help an organization deliver better customer service.
However, this is just one aspect of a company’s brand. Customers can experience your organization through a variety of channels. And if your culture isn’t aligned with your brand, even great service provided by a field technician will not guarantee customer loyalty. It’s time to check in with your customers through a values-based customer assessment and get their perspective on your culture.
The Supplier Scene
In our ongoing quest to attract, service and retain customers, we often forget that we are also customers. If you’ve ever thought about firing that one customer from hell, you might do well to consider if your suppliers have ever had the same thought about your company. I know many leaders who are passionate about partnering and collaborating with their clients. However, when it comes time to working with their suppliers it’s more about how to squeeze them on price and delay payments for as long as possible.
I remember a time when we were going through an accounts payable system upgrade. It didn’t go that well, and we had a big delay in getting supplier payments out. One of our contractors went almost a month without a cheque when normally he would be receiving weekly payments. Talk about taking a hit on his cash flow and his ability to meet his payroll commitments. I felt just as strongly about partnering with him as I did about partnering with one of our largest customers. I arranged for a manual check to get produced and handed it to him personally. He told me later this action made our company an organization that he was committed to serving. What would your suppliers tell you about your culture? Would it be similar or different than what your customers see?
Shareholder and Stakeholder Point of View
Finally, let’s not forget about those who are invested in your business. Did they sign up to support a company with a growing bottom line only to encounter one that is producing the status quo at best? Did they expect you to deliver competitive dividends in return for their investment and now find themselves looking at a shrinking stock price? What three words would they use to describe the management of your organization?
The Full Picture
According to a Strategy& Survey, 86 percent of C-Suite respondents believe their organization’s culture is critical to business success. And yet, only 35 percent think their culture is being effectively managed. If you want to join this small group and take advantage of the competitive edge that a strong, positive culture can deliver, then it’s time to get the full picture on your culture. With input from employees, customers, suppliers and stakeholders, you can discover and remove the barriers to success and build on the strengths within your corporate culture.
By the way, I’m here to guide you along the way. Learn more about this opportunity to get values-based assessments that will grow your business with a free 30 minute consultation.