Do You Face These Culture Challenges In Your Business?
Your company's culture is too important to ignore. It is everywhere in your business and affects everything you do.
Although you cannot touch it, you can certainly feel it and see it in action. You know when it needs addressing... even fixing.
Below are seven common culture challenges companies face. (Even those which are wildly successful can still face these culture challenges, or know they could be a higher performing and more profitable company if they only addressed their culture issues.)
Do you recognise one or more of these challenges in your company? Is your company's growth being hampered or held back from reaching higher levels of revenues and profits?
1. Your senior management team and employees are not fully aligned.
2. You know your teams could work better together (for the benefit of your customers).
4. You know your employees' motivation, morale and engagement could be stronger.
5. You know communication and collaboration could be more free flowing within your company.
6. You know you could provide a more remarkable customer experience.
7. You know you could be more entrepreneurial, innovative, creative and relevant as a company.
If you can relate to any of these culture challenges, Enterprise LEADER can help you.
Problem 1. Your senior management team and employees are not fully aligned.
As a CEO, SVP, Board Member or member of the Senior Management Team, you'll have a clear vision of how you want to take your company forward. You'll be clear in your mind about what the future looks like, and what you need to do to reach your goals.
Your direct reports will understand your vision and perhaps even a level below them as well.
But what about the rest of your employees?
The very people who are doing the day-to-day work? The very people who are interacting daily with your customers, or developing your products and services?
In many companies -- even those which are highly successful and profitable --- there is a gap between the vision which is held at the senior management level, and what is understood and believed in the wider workforce.
You may recognise this gap in your company too.
This 'disconnect' can be a major barrier to achieving your company's goals.
Example 1 - The Story of Tom's Software Company:
Tom is the CEO of a mid size software company, employing 400 people around the world.
Tom and his fellow VPs have a clear vision of where they want to take the company, but they know that the rest of the workforce doesn't fully understand, believe in and emotionally connect with the vision.
This disconnect between the Boardroom and workforce is hurting the company, as the message employees give customers does not reconcile with the message the senior management team want customers to receive.
By using Enterprise LEADER as a vehicle for change, the senior management team (supported by middle management) are able to explain to employees the vision, purpose and goals of the company and create alignment between the boardroom and workforce.
Through the mentoring materials featured in Enterprise LEADER and the group face-to-face mentoring sessions, employees get to hear in depth the goals and vision of the senior management team, and also have a forum and framework to share their ideas and concerns back to management.
Problem 2. You know your teams could work better together (for the benefit of your customers).
You know you have great people in your company -- some really talented employees -- people who are exceptionally skilled, knowledgeable and first-class at what they do.
But you know your employees could work better together as a team. You know they could support each other more --- and help each other out more when needed.
You know they could be more unified as a team, believe more in the vision and goals of your company.
You know they could collectively serve your customer at a higher level.
You know if they did, you'd be more successful as a business.
Example 2 - The Story of Sarah's Insurance Agency:
Sarah is a VP in an insurance agency and runs a 'book of business' focused on the corporate transportation market. She manages a team of 20 sales staff and 40 customer service representatives.
Every day the sales team are on the road generating new business and the support staff are in the head office managing the accounts, taking calls, processing claims and where possible, selling additional policies.
Sarah knows that calls coming into the service department often go unanswered even when other team members are available to pick them up. This means that customers become frustrated by the lack of timely service.
Sarah knows that if she could get her team to understand the bigger picture and work better for each other, they could give customers a greater experience and retain more customers for longer.
With the help of Enterprise LEADER, Sarah is a able to get her team together on a regular basis in an informal but structured way, to explore new ways to service their clients at a higher level.
Using the structured MP3 mentoring materials and group face to face mentoring sessions, Sarah has the tools to get everyone thinking about how to give customers the best experience so they are not left frustrated waiting on the phone and thinking about taking their business to another insurance agency.
This shared experience of Enterprise LEADER enables Sarah's team to get to know each other and understand each other's challenges better, facilitates communication and gets them to see how each and every one of them contributes to the customer experience - and overall department and company goals.
Problem 3. You know your employees could be more accountable and take more responsibility.
As a business leader you are used to taking responsibility and ownership of problems. You are used to thinking like a business owner. You know that your actions and decisions have a direct impact on your customers' experience.
But not everybody in your company thinks this way. Not everybody is accountable and answerable for their actions.
Imagine the rich experience your customers could receive if every employee in your company took full accountability, responsibility and ownership of their work, and thought like business owners rather than employees.
Example 3 - The Story of David and the Hotel Chain:
A major international 4 star hotel chain notices that it is receiving an unusually high number of negative reviews on Tripadvisor.com for three of its hotels in the same city. Guests complain that staff are unhelpful, unresponsive and unaccommodating.
David is a new area manager charged with turning round the performance of these hotels which have over 400 employees between them.
David knows that he needs to find a way to make every employee in the company take more ownership and responsibility for their work, and ensure that customers consistently receive a 5 star experience (in a 4 star hotel).
By using Enterprise LEADER as a vehicle for change, David is able to take all 400 of his employees on a journey of personal, professional and business development.
With the case-study approach of Enterprise LEADER, David is able to explore the problems faced by Amroze Technology (the company featured in Enterprise LEADER), and identify why they had some of their problems.
David is able to get this employees to see similarities between Amroze Technology and their own company, and identify areas and strategies for improvement.
Problem 4. You know your employees' motivation, morale and engagement could be better
As much as you want to believe that ALL your employees are fully motivated, driven, passionate, engaged and deliver their best work - the reality is this is seldom the case.
More likely, the engagement of your workforce follows the statistics suggested by the research company, Gartner Group.
Gartner suggests that typically only 20 to 25% of the workforce is fully engaged, motivated, passionate and working for the good of the company.
Gartner suggests that as many as 20% of a workforce are unmotivated, disengaged and damaging your company. This leaves the remaining 50 to 55% of employees who can be referred to as 'middlemen' and 'middle women'. These are people who neither over perform, nor under-perform and provide a tremendous opportunity to improve the performance and profitability of your company.
There is a clear one to one relationship between the engagement of your employees and the profitability of your company.
By simply working on your company's culture you can quickly turn middlemen and women into high performing employees who help drive the profitability and performance of your company forward.
Example 4 - The Story of SVP George and Telco Inc:
Telco Inc is a large telecommunications company servicing millions of B2C and B2B customers. George is a SVP and on the Board of Telco Inc. George is aware that for many of his employees, working on the phones is just a job and nothing more.
George knows that his call centre employees are the direct connection between the company and the customer and are the face and voice of the brand.
He also knows that their lack of enthusiasm and engagement is damaging the customers' experience and having a negative impact on Telco Inc's brand. In a highly competitive market space, Telco Inc cannot afford to let this happen.
Since George has his entire team in one building, it is easy for him to use Enterprise LEADER as a catalyst for change and a vehicle to better engage his workforce.
He gets his high performing superstars to act as leads in mentor groups and uses the structured materials and face to face group mentor sessions. Through the face to face mentor sessions employees are given a platform to voice their thoughts and ideas and explore new ways to make their work more meaningful and engaging.
Very quickly George notices high levels of enthusiasm, passion, motivation and morale in his workforce which translates through to a better experience for Telco Inc's customers.
Problem 5. You know communication and collaboration could be more free flowing within your company.
Talk to any of your senior managers, and chances are, they'll tell you that they are great at communication. They'll say, "We keep our employees well informed and involved in everything that is going on."
Now have the same conversation with any of your employees and more likely than not, they'll tell you "Our senior management are poor at communicating with us!", or "We don't know what's going on in our company, or in other departments or teams."
In many companies - possibly yours too -- managers never really know how employees 'feel' , because they never take the time to really 'talk to them! -- at an emotional level'. All too often, managers never really know their employees (or employees know their manager) -- and so employees feel disconnected and uninvolved. Work just becomes 'work' and employees' motivation and morale starts to drop.
Could communication be better in your company? Is there room for improvement? Would better communication lead to better results?
Example 5 - The Story of the CEO and his merger:
Two large engineering design consultancies have recently merged to become one of the biggest engineering design companies in the world with offices in 20 countries.
With any merger comes uncertainty, redundancies and a clash of cultures. In order to make the merger work and gain the desired economies of scale, the new CEO recognises that effective communication is key.
More specifically, he knows that he needs to get the vision of the senior management team out of the boardroom and into the heart of the workforce and to get the newly merged teams (from company A and company B) talking to each other and feeding their thoughts, ideas and concerns back up to the boardroom.
The CEO decides to role out Enterprise LEADER across the 20 international offices. Reporting directly to the CEO, Emma is given responsibility for the worldwide role-out of Enterprise LEADER.
Emma in turn works closely with each country's regional director and helps them design and implement a tailored roll-out schedule which means every employee in every country gets to go through the Enterprise LEADER program within 3 months of the launch date.
For the CEO this means that very quickly after the merger, employees get to understand exactly what the new company is about, and what the vision and goals of the company are. They also get to meet their new co-workers and have a platform to share their ideas, thoughts and concerns with senior management.
Problem 6. You know you could provide a more remarkable customer experience.
You know that the success of your company depends entirely on attracting and retaining customers and providing them with such a remarkable experience that they turn into raving fans who buy, repeat buy, and then recommend you to their friends, family and businsess colleagues.
However, in many companies (even established and profitable ones), the customer experience can often be inconsistent and disappointing. Customers can start to fall through the cracks as no one takes full responsibility for ensuring they always receive an extraordinary experience.
The Sales Department pass the customer to Customer Service, who in turn pass them to the Support Team and so on. Customers start to become frustrated as they get passed from pillar to post and feel that nobody cares about them.
Do you recognise this in companies you deal with? Do your customers recognise this in your own company? It is a hard fact to swallow that your customer experience could be better, but once this is accepted, action can be taken to improve it.
Example 6 - The Story of the CEO and BuildCo:
BuildCo is a mid-sized B2B construction company providing building and construction services to commercial property developers. BuildCo has 400 employees and serves customers in a major capital city. It has a team of surveyors and negotiators who are responsible for acquiring new customers.
Once a customer and new contract is agreed, the sales person passes the account over to the construction team who are responsible for building the project. The sales person then typically steps out of the relationship and focuses on getting new business.
Inevitably, with construction projects, problems often arise due to mistakes being made during the selling stage. Internally in BuildCo, conflict happens between the build team and the sales team with no one taking responsibility for the customer.Sadly BuildCo employees are not seeing the bigger picture and fail to see how their actions negatively impact on their ability to get repeat business with this customer, and miss out on leveraging this relationship to get more referrals.
The CEO of BuildCo knows he needs to close the gap between sales and operations so that the experience the customer receives is seamless.
He knows if he can give his customers a remarkable experience he will be better placed to retain more customers (major accounts), upsell and cross-sell more customers and get more new business through word of mouth referrals.
With the help of Enterprise LEADER (through both the structured mentoring materials and face-to-face mentor sessions) the CEO is able to get all of his employees focused on delivering an extraordinary experience for BuildCo's customers.
Problem 7. You know you could be more entrepreneurial, innovative, creative and relevant as a company.
The world is changing rapidly. In this fast moving, technology driven, global environment, your customers' needs, wants and expectations are changing faster than ever.
But as a company, are you keeping up with their changing needs?
Are you as relevant to your customers today, as you were yesterday, last month or last year?
Do you foster a culture which welcomes change … which is innovative, creative and responsive to your customers' wants and needs?
Or, are you guilty of being complacent, resting on your laurels, about to be blindsided by your competitors - perhaps one you have never heard of before? Are your employees stuck in their ways and totally resistant to change?
Could your company be more open, responsive and embracing of change?
Could you be more relevant to your customers?
Example 7 - The Story of FashionCo's Management:
FashionCo is a multi channel women's clothing company which sells through the web, catalogue and retail outlets, and has seen its revenues drop as customers switch to a new overseas brand.
The company has been guilty in recent years of resting on its laurels, becoming complacent and lacking an entrepreneurial spirit.
The senior management team of FashionCo know that they need to work harder to be more relevant and attractive to their existing customers as well as finding new ways to appeal to their new customers. The company employs over 700 talented people and wants to tap into its own workforce's creativity and innovation.
The CEO of FashionCo recognises that they can use Enterprise LEADER as a catalyst for change. One of the key features of Enterprise LEADER is new idea generation which comes from asking employees what changes they would make if they were CEO for a day.
After rolling out Enterprise LEADER to all 700 of FashionCo's employees, the CEO is armed with over 1,000 employee generated ideas about how to make FashionCo more relevant to its customers and in the marketplace.
Additionally, Enterprise LEADER has helped give the company a new energy, spark and enthusiasm to re-stake its position in the marketplace as a leader in women's clothing.