How alignment and engagement can create positive accountability
In a Casual Culture, people often do mediocre work, maybe just showing up and following bare-bones procedures. They lack passion for the organization’s mission, and often don’t understand why or how they need to achieve both personal and company goals. The Casual Culture often operates in “survival mode.”
What to do? Use consensus-building to develop and implement strategies that establish clear goals and expectations, a Vital Factors metrics-based system to inspire success, and the means to hold people accountable. Once developed, the consensus plan must cascade down through the organization, and be communicated in both word and deed.
Leadership must also leverage the strong ties created by alignment to improve engagement. When people feel that their goals and tasks have meaning, they’re more likely to provide the organization with an extra measure of accountability that leads to goal achievement.
The Compliant Culture
A Compliant Culture is clear about individual goals, but not about how these goals connect to strategic corporate outcomes. The workforce may understand the company’s direction yet remain generally disengaged, resulting in a deceptive behavior pattern of doing what’s asked but little more. This creates the “it’s not my job” syndrome, as leadership finds it hard to tap into the discretionary effort of their people. Every manager has one or two people who fall into this behavior because of their personal style but, when it’s pervasive in an organization, it’s difficult to get things done and nearly impossible to implement change.
Overcoming this major accountability barrier, most often requires effective, inspiring leaders who encourage open, honest communication. If a safe environment can be established it’s possible to reverse this dysfunctional behavior. They enable team members to understand the business rationale behind their goals and take risk in an effort to achieve them. It will empower these employees to discover the alignment between what they do daily and their company’s goals. When an employee develops positive attitudes and beliefs relative to goal achievement, their motivation to maximize their potential grows along with the passion in their commitment to company results.
The Chaotic Culture
Most employees in a Chaotic Culture are engaged but unclear about their goals. Put simply, these cultures diffuse energy and squander talent, so there’s ample activity with little to show for it. Employees have the talent and passion for greatness, but their strengths can sour if not channeled into predictable, focused behaviors. Without clear expectations, confusion reigns in the Chaotic Culture. What’s more, studies show that employees commonly fail and leave organizations simply because they don’t know or understand the expectations.
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