Most reasonably successful organisations work towards established and communicated objectives that link each individual to their area and each area to the organisation’s overall goals. These are ‘key performance indicators’ for each individual and they are measurable. From these, leaders then need to provide objective feedback in the form of recognition or correction to keep the team on track. So far so good…
However, individual behaviours (how people perform) can often create significant performance issues. What are the objective measurements of behaviours that allow for effective feedback to improve performance?
Many leaders are hesitant to discuss behaviours and create potential conflicts or poor outcomes. When they do, they can base them upon their own opinion of ‘appropriate’ work behaviours, which can be well-intended but is certainly subjective.
At High Performance, we help companies define their core value statements as the foundation for establishing staff behaviours. Value statements are grounded in ideals and define how people need to behave with each other to achieve the organisation’s Vision. They are statements about how the organisation will value customers and suppliers; they are also statements about how staff will value each other. Value statements are living enactments of the fundamental ideals held by individuals within the organisation. These actions are observable behaviours that can be measured.
Effective organisations identify and develop a clear, concise and shared meaning of values, beliefs, priorities, and directions so that everyone understands and can contribute. Once defined, values impact every aspect of the organisation.
Leaders at all levels must support and nurture these behaviours or the process of identifying values will have been a wasted exercise. People will feel fooled and misled unless they see the impact of the exercise! If you want the values you identify to impact on behaviours, the following must occur:
- People demonstrate and model the values in their personal work behaviours, decision making, contribution, and interpersonal interaction.
- Organisational values help each person establish priorities in their daily work life.
- Values guide every decision that is made once the organisation has cooperatively created the values and the value statements.
- Rewards and recognition within the organisation are structured to recognise those people whose work embodies the values the organisation embraced.
- Organisational goals are grounded in the identified values.
- Adoption of the values and the behaviours that result is recognised in regular performance feedback.
- People hire and promote individuals whose outlook and actions are congruent with the values.
- All members actively participate to ensure a truly organisation-wide, value-based, shared culture.
If you codify your organisation’s core values and observable behaviours, staff can ‘live the values’ at work, provided they are reinforced by their leaders.
High Performance facilitates the development of organisation values and behaviours and provides tools for objective measurement (e.g. 360 degree feedback). Your workplace culture is defined by leadership and staff behaviours.
How are behaviours defined and reinforced at your workplace?