Aligning People with Business Strategy: Your Secret Sauce to Organizational Excellence!
What if you’ve spent time and money on creating a healthy team culture, but you’re just not moving the dial on your company’s bottom-line business performance?
Is your culture helping or hindering your strategic priorities?
CULTURE DRIVER #4—ALIGN PEOPLE AND PROCESSES
To crack the code, consider finding ways to align your culture and core values with your business strategies. When core values are supported by strategies, policies and processes, bottom-line business performance is the result.
Here are examples of core values and company practices that are at odds:
- A company with honesty and integrity as a core value has a sales department rewarding people on sales volume—no matter how they have to twist the truth—risking losing their greatest asset, the trust of its customers.
- A company with work/life balance as a core value has overworked employees whose extra effort is expected without acknowledgement.
- A company with accountability as a core value continually misses deadlines, frustrating the sales team and customers.
- A company with excellence as a core value has antiquated systems or outdated processes.
- A company that touts teamwork as a core value rewards individual performance over team performance, creating a divided culture of factions and divisions.
Translating Values Into Actions
Core values and culture only matter to the extent they shape the decisions and activities of leaders and employees on a daily basis.
Here are some examples of well-known companies that “walk the talk” by making the link between values, behaviors and performance:
- HubSpot, #1 on Glassdoor’s list of best places to work, explains, “Culture doesn’t just help attract amazing people, it amplifies their abilities and helps them do their best work.”
- Deutsche Bank underscores the importance of integrity to rebuild trust of key stakeholders: “By living these values and beliefs in daily interactions with customers, employees have a critical role in helping us restore the trust lost during the financial crisis.”
- Netflix’s value of “avoid rules” is about maintaining agility in the face of changing market conditions. Employees are expected to be “extraordinarily candid with one another,” because “we will learn faster and be better if we can make giving and receiving feedback less stressful and a more normal part of work life.”
As we’ve seen, alignment between cultural and strategic paths is critical for organizations to thrive.
A team aligned behind a vision will move mountains. See them on your roadmap and don’t compromise—care about the details, the fit and finish
— Kevin Rose, Founder of Digg and Partner at Google.
The most common problem is task-oriented leaders and managers who focus on strategic issues and hard numbers while discounting perceived “softer” cultural aspects of the organization.
As leaders, we have to take a hard look at how well our organization is living up to its core values:
- Which elements of our culture are working well?
- Which are falling short?
- Where are the pockets of excellence?
- Which teams are undermining our culture?
- What systems, processes or policies are at odds with our core values.
To increase alignment, communication is the key.
Regularly share your company’s vision, mission and values, and define the necessary behaviors to support your culture. Lastly, ensure that the right behaviors are recognized and rewarded throughout the organization and that its systems, policies and processes support your culture and core values.
Building a strong culture is not just a feel-good, check-all-the-boxes type of activity. It’s about winning and building an organization for success!
Need Business Leadership Coaching?
Learn more about identifying your organization’s core values, and how they impact business growth, strategy, and team culture development by scheduling a consultation with Chris Naylor, M.A., professional EOS implementer, business coach, and speaker.
Send Chris a message to get in touch, and she’ll connect with you shortly.