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Four more levers that drive impact at work

Ambiguity in the workplace has a direct impact on a company’s level of performance and employees’ engagement levels within the organisation. But taking a purposeful approach to address areas of ambiguity and provide clarity can drive an organisation to its desired future state.

In our three-part series, we discuss the 11 levers that together can shift the organisation towards positivity and drive performance. We work with leaders to identify the best ways to pull these levers to make an impact inside their unique organisations.

Our previous article dug down into the definition of a “lever”, explained the differences between a compliant and committed organisation as well as laid out the first three levers: Organisational Audit, Vision and Strategic Plan.

As a reminder, compliant can be defined as an organisation simply doing the minimum that is required. Committed, however, is where your very being is invested in both the endeavour and the expectation of lasting impact.

Below are the next four levers that drive impact. Each lever includes a description of what it looks like when you are only in compliance with them. The key is to understand the impact you can and want to achieve. Are you simply being compliant or are you committed?

Lever 4: Behavioural Alignment

Being compliant/underperforming:

Compliant organisations believe in their people and invest energy in the furtherance of their values. They share their values in posters and messaging, and sometimes carry badges listing them. Compliant companies often weight knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) over behaviours in their hiring and development processes.

Some companies unintentionally allow competing models across the organisation and do not link behaviours and values.

Being committed/creating impact:

Set clear expectations. Identify levels and behaviours.

• Align behaviours with values.

• Understand important traditions. (Big T’s and little t’s ― the big T’s are the set-in-stone traditions that cannot change; the little t’s are the newer actions that people believe are longstanding traditions.)

• Educate and engage employees around your values and behaviours: what they mean and what successful actions look like.

• Integrate values and behaviours into how you hire, evaluate and develop your people.

Lever 5: Employee Performance Management

Being compliant/underperforming:

Compliant organisations work to ensure employee performance through a series of tools, including using some of the most sophisticated software programs available. These companies confuse the systems and software with the act of truly driving and measuring employee performance. Some organisations mistake performance management for an annual performance review and traditional top-down processes.

Being committed/creating impact:

• Establish clear goals and expectations aligned with the strategy.

• Develop a feedback culture providing ongoing coaching and development.

• Evaluate on values and behaviours, not just KSAs.

• Conduct 360 Reviews on leadership focused on values and behaviours.

Lever 6: Reward and Recognition

Being compliant/underperforming:

Compliant organisations work to recognise and reward employees on a regular basis. There is talk among leadership about recognition and reward, with much of it tied to general performance.

Many companies provide end-of-year bonuses based on unclear metrics or overly complex structures. Many of the most compliant companies place greater emphasis on reward over recognition. Other organisations limit their efforts because of budgetary constraints (often not included in the annual budget).

Being committed/creating impact:

• Develop meaningful recognition programmes ― tie them to specific targets and areas.

• Encourage involvement in the development of the programme.

• Make the process as transparent as possible and ensure leadership’s continuing involvement in it.

• Emphasise recognition of behaviours over results (results are important too, but the focus here is the behavioural alignment).

• Ensure the recognition and rewards programme is far-reaching ― touching all levels and all areas of the organisation (in other words, it’s not just about one group or another, that is, sales or service, but everyone).

Lever 7: Positivity

Being compliant/underperforming:

Compliant leaders spend time and effort spinning a positive story regardless of the facts or situation. They go out of their way to incorporate lines and key phrases in memos, presentations and speeches.

Their words and energy can be perceived as disingenuous if not embedded in their actions, organisation or leadership style. Compliant organisations have C-level leaders who embrace positivity, while others below them do not. Gratitude is not encouraged or practised throughout the organisation.

Being committed/creating impact:

• Promote and demonstrate gratitude in action.

• Conduct purposeful and positive exercises ― create positive thinking.

• Create an empowerment culture ― purposeful visibility leadership.

• Encourage and promote mental and personal health and wellbeing.

These levers together will have a demonstrable impact on moving your organisation towards positivity and propelling performance.

Look out for Part 3 in two weeks’ time where the last four levers will be discussed in our Moments of Clarity articles.

To check out our previous articles, visit our blog on our website https://bermudaclarityinstitute.com.

There you can also learn how to create impact and generate organisational change.

Stuart Lacey: Moments of Clarity

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Published September 27, 2021 at 7:51 am (Updated September 27, 2021 at 8:02 am)

Four more levers that drive impact at work

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