Creating a High Performance, Values-Aligned Culture

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Creating a High Performance, Values-Aligned Culture
Leaders who are clear about their company’s reason for being (purpose) and who define what “good corporate citizens” look like (values) are able to deliver and sustain both performance and employee satisfaction over time. The creation of a purposeful culture—one that holds employees accountable for exceeding performance expectations while modeling the organization’s declared values—is critical for business leaders in today’s marketplace. Developing a high performance, values-aligned culture requires three integrated steps. They are: 1. Clarify performance expectations 2. Define values in behavioral terms 3. Hold leaders and staff accountable Clarif y Performance Expectations

All good performance starts with clear goals, yet it is amazing how unclear goals are in many organizations.

Leaders can help contributors gain an understanding of their performance expectations through formal planning forms or more informal discussions. The critical outcome is for everyone to agree on standards for key goals. This step reduces confusion, clarifies targets, and focuses efforts for everyone. One key to creating a sustainable business that creates passionate employees who exceed performance standards is shown in the Performance Values Matrix. This model comes from Jack Welch, who, while President/CEO of General Electric, was one of the first corporate senior executives to formally hold leaders and managers in his organization accountable for both performance and values. The model is a simple X-Y graph with the vertical axis representing Performance and the horizontal axis representing the Values Match. The quadrants represent the four possible combinations of high or low performance and high or low values match. The Performance-Values Matrix



High Performance and Low Values Match

High Performance and High Values Match

Low Performance and Low Values Match

Low Performance and High Values Match

The Leadership Difference.





Senior Leaders Must Model Declared Values: Four B est Practi ces to Unlock the Potential of Your Executive Team It is extremely important for senior leaders to model the desired values and valued behaviors—every day, with every interaction. Unless senior leaders embrace the new expectations, demonstrating valued behaviors, the change will not take hold and senior leader credibility will suffer. Here four ways that a senior team can get off to a good start acting with one voice, one heart, and one mind. 1. Clear Purpose: The executive team must define it’s reason for being—beyond their relationship as direct reports of the president/ CEO. The purpose statement clarifies why the team exists, who their primary customers are, and what they’re trying to accomplish as a team (provider of choice, employer of choice, etc.). 2. Team Goals: What strategic goals are the executive team trying to accomplish? Clarifying executive team goals helps define what a good job looks like at the end of the fiscal year. Performance goals might include employee work passion targets, customer service excellence, financial success, etc.

The best place for all staff members (leaders, managers, supervisors, employees) to exist on this model is the upper right quadrant. That means they are meeting or exceeding performance standards and are consistently demonstrating desired valued behaviors.You should wildly praise and recognize the high performance, values aligned players who reside here! A poor place for staff to reside is the lower-left quadrant. If they are here, it means these players fall short of performance expectations and do not demonstrate desired valued behaviors. This group does not have a future in most organizations, as it is unlikely that time and energy spent to raise skills (to improve performance) and coach to modify behavior (to increase the values match) will pay off...
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