Driving organisational performance: 5 aspects of paramount importance
[5 min read]
How to get a step ahead with a human-centred leadership approach.
There is no denying that effective organisations perform better, earn more and are more competitive. And organisational effectiveness does not just consist of streamlined processes; it also includes employee performance, leadership approach, alignment of the different business areas, and culture and behaviours. Driving organisational performance can be a challenge, but a holistic, integrated and robust human-centred leadership approach can prove highly useful to achieve ultimate business success.
In our proven Organisational Performance model, human-centred leadership creates the foundation for your success. There is not much room for ego in this model of leadership, but there is plenty of room for self-awareness. It is important that we lead by example and inspire our workforce to follow our path.
“A great leader’s courage to fulfil his vision comes from passion not position.” ~ John C. Maxwell
Following is an overview of our structured approach to improved culture, strengthened team(s) and enhanced execution. It consists of five areas built on the foundation of human-centred leadership, and closes the circle with the process of continuous improvement.
Let’s look into these 5 aspects of paramount importance a little deeper.
Foundation | Human-centred leadership
Human-centred leadership is the act of guiding self and raising interpersonal skills to lead another individual or team to go from A to B (from where they are right now to where they want to go). In other words, human-centred leadership is about people achieving a certain goal through direction and motivation. Leaders encourage self and others to take the actions they need to succeed. To be a great leader, it is necessary to learn and cultivate these crucial skills.
Culture | Values and behaviours
It is an undeniable fact that culture impacts every aspect of a business. It affects customer service, reputation, absenteeism, employee motivation and turnover, ability to acquire great talent, and many other areas. Culture addresses the qualitative aspects of organisational performance, including the vision, the values, the goals, the attitude, the standards, the expectations and the purpose of the organisation.
Forward thinking organisations create and sustain a culture that engages and motivates their employees. They understand that when the culture isn’t strong, more effort needs to be placed in controlling employees, monitoring their behaviour and keeping them working as efficiently as possible. Engaging employees in companies with a good work culture is much easier because they all know what needs to be done, why and how, and they work together to achieve it. When everyone from senior management down reward behaviours that contribute positively to the culture, it becomes deeply embedded in the company.
Team | Workforce development & Structure and planning
Teams are made up of many individuals and combined they should be our ‘Human Resources’
not our ‘Human Liabilities’, hence we must ensure we invest in them accordingly. As Simon Sinek points out in one of his Ted Talks, many members of Senior Management proudly believe that their priority are their customers. Most likely, this is not the case and they often haven’t even had any direct interaction with end customers in a while. The Senior Managers’ actual priority should be the people who are responsible for the customers!
“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.” ~ Simon Sinek
It is crucial to hire great people, invest in them and then give them the freedom to be awesome. By investing into our workforce, we attract amazing people who thrive on this approach. They welcome the opportunity to work smarter, to challenge and disrupt the status quo, to find new markets, new systems, new products and new ways of doing business by using their competency with confidence and fulfilment.
In addition, it is vital to review and align policies and work procedures, so we can identify and if necessary remove any stumbling block. We must ensure to have structure and planning in place that makes jobs more efficient and more effective which in turn has an immensely positive effect on morale and employee motivation. Let’s get rid of clutter instead of drowning our team members in countless rules and processes, essentially stopping them from achieving anything. Let’s support our team by eliminating obstacles, barriers and meaningless timewasters, and thus improve their efficiency, effectiveness and satisfaction.
Execution | Implementation & Monitor and assess
With a solid foundation of a safe and supportive culture and a well-trained and balanced team,
it is time to look at how to drive organisational performance through a range of empowering strategies.
When we step into new leadership roles or if our responsibilities change as a result of re-organisation, we tend to be overwhelmed with the vastness of tasks and new responsibilities that come our way. If we want to successfully navigate through this daily blast of things to do, the concepts that have been introduced by the book ‘The 4 Disciplines of Execution’ by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling can be of great assistance. Following are a brief description of a couple of the disciplines:
- Focus on the Wildly Important Goals (WIG)
The first discipline is to focus your finest effort on the one or two goals that will make all the difference, instead of giving mediocre effort to dozens of goals. Practicing Discipline 1 means narrowing our focus to a few highly important goals so we can manageably achieve them in the midst of the whirlwind of the day job.
- Finish line
Too many organisational goals are hazy and vague, leaving people wondering “what” they are supposed to do and “how” they are supposed to do it. Discipline 1 provides clear, unmistakable finish lines so people know exactly what success looks like, whereas this rule dictates that every WIG must have a finish line in the form of X to Y by when.
The last crucial aspect of driving organisational performance is continuous improvement. In an ongoing effort to enhance processes, we often focus on products and services. However, as we learned throughout this topic, it is essential to step back even further and get the culture, team(s) and execution right, which ultimately creates excellent, high-performing products and services.
An important part of this process is feedback, a generally vital part of any leader’s skillset; and knowing how to give feedback is just as important as receiving it. We can assist others to understand the implications of their behaviours and actions by providing constructive, effective feedback which will promote a healthy environment, boost productivity and engagement, and achieve overall better results.
“Feedback is the breakfast for champions.” ~ Ken Blanchard
The best place to start driving and improving organisational performance is from within, aligning the vision and goals, positively changing the culture and taking your employees with you on the journey. This human-centred approach will not only secure your place in the market and improve your bottom line, but furthermore encourage employee progress, increase job satisfaction and heighten your reputation as an employer of choice.
“Dare to make a difference!” #WeMakeItEasy #LeadershipSkills
PS: To gain further insights and a detailed approach to driving organisational performance, download our PDF resource; it includes 40 pages of insights, tools and strategies, easy-to-follow checklists and action plan template, inspirational quotes and a bonus video tutorial.
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