Commentary: Create a Positive Work Culture for Increased Performance

Culture is driving everything in the warehousing industry, and management drives the culture whether they know it or not. The benefits of work place inspiration have been proven time and again. Research indicates that happy employees – those with positive personal well-being – compared to unhappy employees:

· Deliver 31% higher productivity

· Demonstrate 3 times higher creativity on the job

· Are ten times more engaged by their jobs

· Are 40% more likely to receive a promotion within a year

· Generate 37% greater sales figures

· Are three times more satisfied with their jobs

How well is your organization performing? When I ask senior leaders that question, they’re quick to share performance metrics, market share, sales to date, and more. They pay attention to results daily.

I then ask “How well is your organization operating? In other words, is everyone – leaders, team members, customers, vendors, etc. – treated with trust, respect, and dignity in every interaction?”

I get blank stares and pauses. Senior leaders don’t have their fingers on the pulse regarding the quality of their work culture like they do of their organization’s results.

The reality is that our organizations are not great places to hang out in. Gallup’s daily engagement dashboard indicates that only 35% of U.S. workers are actively engaged on the job. The global percentage is much worse – only 13%. TinyPulse’s 2014 engagement and culture report found that only 21% of workers feel strongly valued at work.

Leaders must create a culture where values – how people treat each other – are as important as results, every day.

How can leaders create a purposeful, positive, productive work culture? They’ll craft an organizational constitution, then align all plans, decisions, and actions to it.

An organizational constitution specifies your company, or team’s, servant purpose – it’s reason for being besides making money or selling coffee or delivering whatever your product is. Your organizational constitution then formalizes your desired values and defines them with observable, tangible, measurable behaviors. It also includes performance expectations in the form of strategies and goals.

Defining your desired culture with an organizational constitution is, to be honest, the easy part. The hard part is aligning all plans, decisions, and actions to these new expectations. Leaders must live the new servant purpose and valued behaviors, every minute. Only then will their organizational constitution be considered credible by employees – and worthy of embracing it by those employees.

It’s not science fiction. It’s what happens today in world class organizations like WD-40 Company, Ritz Carlton, Starbucks, Assurance, Madwire, and others I’ve studied. It’s real – and it’s rather astounding.

I can prove it. When leaders align practices and behaviors to their desired organizational constitution, three things happen within 18 months of implementing the change. Employee engagement goes up by 40 percent. Customer service goes up by 40 percent. Results and profits rise by 35 percent.

Those are amazing transformations that are within every leaders’ grasp.

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