I recently worked with a client organization that called me in to help them solve a problem.
They had experienced significant growth over the past 5 years, but they had also been plagued with a turnover rate in excess of 50% over the last 2. The client was alarmed. I was alarmed. This kind of turnover jeopardizes growth. And it’s always a red flag when A and B players begin walking out the door.
What went wrong? The company had done a good job of hiring motivated people, but it hadn’t done such a great job of creating a high-performance culture where motivated people want to work.
This isn’t uncommon. Without a healthy, high-performance culture, organizations lose steam instead of creating acceleration. How do you fix that? The key is to create visibility around challenges and engage in open and honest dialogue to resolve them. This is true regardless of your company type or SIC code.
Creating Visibility for a High-Performance Culture
A big part of what I do as an executive coach is help management gain the confidence and skills to receive honest feedback. If you want to identify and solve the challenges your organization is facing, your leadership team must be open to learning about them without becoming defensive. Hearing about issues from employees isn’t a problem; it’s an opportunity to make improvements.
Employees who care about the organization and its success will bring concerns to leaders—if those leaders are open to hearing them. It’s when you don’t hear about problems that you’re really in trouble. That means your A and B players have checked out and are polishing their resumes for a quick escape.
If your management team is defensive, holds grudges, or isn’t open to continuous self-evaluation, you’re on a path to stalled growth. But if visibility is baked into your organization’s DNA, you are poised to grow employee engagement, retention, top-line revenue and profitability, as well as employee engagement and retention.
Quiz Yourself: 7 Questions for Management
The following evaluation criteria highlight the management characteristics that strongly contribute to the creation of high-performing teams that achieve performance goals, create momentum, and scale well.
Grade yourself and your management team on these 7 components, with an effectiveness rating of A, B, C, D or F for each of the following criteria. We:
- Have healthy relationships throughout the organization
- Are intentional/proactive about investing in and developing healthy relationships corporate-wide (across departments and geographies)
- Communicate respectfully and compassionately while considering the big picture (business challenges, perspectives, and strategy)
- Demonstrate empathy to create greater trust and insight into what others may be thinking or feeling about decisions, strategy, and more
- Have self-awareness and control over their personal energy and its impact on others
- Continuously seek feedback about our own performance and blind spots; are open to critical dialogue
- Assume the best intent in others, and strive to support, promote, and value the skill and experience of the collective team, even when differing points of view arise
Now, ask your employee team to complete the same exercise, evaluating you and the management team as a whole. It will be interesting to see if your effectiveness ratings align with the perceptions of your team.
Every high-performing company understands that its people are its differentiator. If your grade is lower than a B for any of these factors, identify a suggested improvement for that area.
As you work toward creating a culture of greater performance, you may discover a member of your leadership team is struggling with a couple of the above areas. If so, call me so we can discuss this development opportunity for your organization and help your leadership team break through.
If hearing the particulars of this story would help you or your partners, send me a note or give me a call: firstname.lastname@example.org and (414) 315-0523. You can also get on my calendar directly for a free discovery call here: https://pmydlach.youcanbook.me/.
My career path started out at IBM before moving on to start, build and eventually sell two technology service companies. From there, I’ve been a global channel development partner, and personal/corporate achievement coach helping leaders and teams break through to the next level.
If you or your team needs help breaking through to the next level of performance, or if you have a friend who’d appreciate having access to me as their personal and/or corporate achievement coach, please reach out for a free discovery call or email me at email@example.com.