Ambiguity in the workplace has a direct impact on a company’s level of performance and employee’s engagement levels within the organization. But taking a purposeful approach to address areas of ambiguity and provide clarity can drive an organization to its desired future state. In our three-part series, we discuss the 11 levers that together can shift the organization toward positivity and drive performance. We work with leaders to identify the best ways to pull these levers to make an impact inside their unique organizations.

Our previous article dug down into the definition of a “lever,” explained the differences between a compliant and committed organization as well as laid out the first three levers: 1) Organizational Audit, 2) Vision, and 3) Strategic Plan. As a reminder “COMPLIANT” can be defined as, an organization simply doing the minimum that is required.  COMMITTED, however, is where your very being is invested in both the endeavor 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: Behavioral Alignment

Being Compliant/Underperforming:

Compliant organizations 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 behaviors in their hiring and development processes. Some companies unintentionally allow competing models across the organization and do not link behaviors and values.

Being Committed/Creating Impact:

Set clear expectations—identify levels and behaviors.

  • Align behaviors 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 long- standing traditions.)
  • Educate and engage employees around your values and behaviors: what they mean and what successful actions look like.
  • Integrate values and behaviors into how you hire, evaluate, and develop your people.

Lever 5: Employee Performance Management

Being Compliant/Underperforming:

Compliant organizations 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 organizations 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 behaviors, not just KSAs.
  • Conduct 360 Reviews on leadership focused on values and behaviors.

Lever 6: Reward and Recognition

Being Compliant/Underperforming:

Compliant organizations work to recognize 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 organizations limit their efforts because of budgetary constraints (often not included in the annual budget).

Being Committed/Creating Impact:

  • Develop meaningful recognition programs—tie to specific targets and areas.
  • Encourage involvement in the development of the program.
  • Make the process as transparent as possible and ensure leadership’s continuing involvement in it.
  • Emphasize recognition of behaviors over results (results are important too, but the focus here is the behavioral alignment).
  • Ensure the recognition and rewards program is far-reaching—touching all levels and all areas of the organization (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, organization, or leadership style. Compliant organizations have C-level leaders who embrace positivity, while others below them do not. Gratitude is not encouraged or practiced throughout the organization.

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 organization toward positivity and propelling performance.  Be on the lookout 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 organizational change