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21 Steps to Shaping an Organizational Culture- Part 2

A healthy Organizational Culture is necessary for the workplace, virtually or live to function in today’s world. Having a healthy, constructive corporate culture is necessary for organizational success. Shaping an intentional culture unlocks the wealth of talent within your people and drives productivity, engagement and profits.

With information from KeenAlignment’s 21 day framework in shaping organizational culture, these 21 steps provide you with highly effective strategies and tools that empower you to set the foundation for a thriving corporate culture.

Missed part one? Read it here.

Step 11) Manage Performance Through an Understanding of the Seven Levels of Personal, Group, and Organizational Effectiveness

Performance reviews are ineffective when either side of the desk responds negatively to the process. Often this is caused because the sender or the receiver is operating in a lower state of mind. The Seven Levels of Effectiveness begin with the three levels of effectiveness; hopelessness, fear, and frustration. When a leader or employee operates in these states, neither person is present during the performance conversation and responses from both parties often go negative. The next four levels, courage, engagement, innovation, and synchronicity are considered to be above the “Power and Freedom Line.” When people are operating above the “Power and Freedom Line” there is an increase in effective communication, collaboration, and synergy.

Performance reviews need to be done with a clear understanding of what level of effectiveness an employee is operating in. To manage performance effectively, Leaders need to know how to identify when employees are operating in lower states of effectiveness and what to do about it. Performance reviews work better when they are scheduled at regular and frequent intervals, and give both the employee and manager an opportunity to prepare and respond in a positive state of mind. Regular meetings allow both manager and employee to be on the same page. When there is a clear path to the conversation and core values, role purpose and key performance indicators are clear to both parties conversations naturally flow more easily.

Step 12) Understand How People React and How People Listen

In the absence of clear communication, people make things up. It’s just how the human brain and ego is wired. People fill in the blanks when there is a lack of communication and the blanks are typically filled with thoughts that negate empowerment. Even when there is good communication, often specifics are misunderstood or misinterpreted, which derail the original intention. When listening, people have a bio-reaction. When the listener has a positive bio-reaction, they are more open to communicating positively, and when the listener has a negative bio-reaction they are more likely to reject the speakers’ words, meaning and message. When a bio-reaction happens, whether it is positive or negative, it automatically creates feelings, thoughts, and beliefs that affect how a person behaves . Conclusions are drawn and the listener is left with their personal thinking of what they believe to be true. This conclusion then gets shared with other employees and all of a sudden, you have an entire organization working based on one misinterpretation of a communication.

As a Leader, it is important to listen from the 3 deeper levels of listening per Otto Scharmer’s Model of Listening, listening to the other (with no preconceived notion of what you ‘think is being said’, listening from within (listening from empathy and a desire to connect), and listening from the source (listening for what is possible). To avoid the problem of your employees making assumptions based on personal conclusions from their own unconscious bias; make effective communication a cornerstone of your organizational culture.

A Twenty-First Century Talent Strategy shapes the work environment, how people feel about working there, and how they relate and share knowledge with each other. To design a Twenty-First Century Talent Strategy there are four steps to follow; Establish desired Outcomes, Define the Employee Brand Promise, Align the People Systems and Shift Transactions into Interactions. Desired Outcomes define the purpose and international results an effective and progressive Talent Strategy Promises. The employee and customer brand promise is one in the same and needs to be integrated with the organizational Core Values and both woven throughout every step of the employment life cycle, day-to-day work-flows and processes, including how meetings are run and how leadership interacts with the team and its members. Aligning the People Systems in a structured and methodical approach gives your organization a grassroots super power. Every member of the team knows, understands and works towards living and performing powerfully inside the organizational core values. When the behaviors of the people in the organization are active demonstrations of the core values high performance is attainable and beyond that, it is sustainable. Shifting transactions into Interactions takes into consideration the human condition (detailed throughout the first 12 steps of Shaping Constructive Culture) and the elements required to formulate a high-performance organizational culture.

All 4 key components are vital when building a successful twenty first century talent strategy.

Step 14) Consider Your Audience

For the first time in history, the workforce is experiencing five different generations working with one another. Each generation works differently from the next and has conditioned perspectives about work, how work is best done, and life at work. It’s important for Leaders to recognize this uniqueness and respond to the uniqueness accordingly. The psychographics of each generation impact how they perceive and respond to their experiences in the human system. The human system must be agile enough to respond systematically in a way that honors process and workable structure while at the same time optimizing the employee experience. Said in another way, turn HR transactions into Culturally Aligned Interactions.

Step 15) Understanding HUMANITY is KEY to Designing a Robust Talent Strategy

Designing a robust talent retention strategy requires the developer of the strategy to understand a thing or two about how human beings are wired, and how they respond to organizational change. Tapping into the creative energy of the collective requires a basic knowledge and understanding of neuroscience and leadership. The space just above your eyes, your forehead is where your Executive brain lives. There are two hemispheres in the Executive Brain, the left and right. Using both hemispheres in the talent strategy development process ensures a balanced plan and a high probability of success. The left hemisphere of the brain is logical, analytical, and allows for sequential thought, which is critical when strategizing. It’s important to understand ROI and the organization’s business model when looking at potential elements and components of your talent strategy. The right hemisphere is the creative side of the Executive Brain, which is where our creative and innovative thinking is generated. This part of our brain is also the region that allows us to connect with others and, understanding what people need and want. Integrating both types of thinking gives you a much better access to building a talent strategy that appeals to all levels in the organization and makes dollars and sense.

Step 16) Strategic Hiring

Organizational culture is made up of values, beliefs, and behaviors that companies expect their employees to share and be motivated by. An effective Talent Strategy ensures a conscious, strategic approach to hiring that increases the organizations hiring batting average. Hiring mindfully gives leaders the know-how to strategically define intentions and desired outcomes for the role and to clearly articulate competencies, behaviors and attitudes of the ideal hire. When a leader is clear about what the leader wants, everyone involved in the hiring process has a better shot at winning.

Step 17) Train Your Leaders in Emotional Intelligence and ResponseAgility

Self Awareness Leadership Training and Impact Awareness training allows the Leaders of an Organization to understand and be responsible for their own experiences of life while at the same time being fully responsible for their impact on others experiences. Emotional Intelligence shows Leaders that they have the power can choose their response at any given moment and in any given circumstance. Leaders and employees that demonstrate and are accountable for the behaviors reflective of the corporate culture, even when that is the last thing they feel like being, like in the midst of an upset; become role models for other employees.

Step 18) Train Your Leaders in Resiliency Training

People with resilience are better equipped to manage stress, which impacts workplace performance. Change is happening at an ever-increasing pace and it’s important to have employees who can lead and adapt quickly. With a team that is trained in resiliency, your organization is less susceptible to breakdowns.

Step 19) Find Your True North

Your true north represents who you are at your deepest level, made up of your values, passions, and motivations. Discovering your true north is a vital element for leadership success. When you define and articulate your True North, your vision acts as a magnetic force and decision making matrix in choosing your course of action. People, opportunities and ideas will come your way and your True North will help you identify what to say yes to and what to say no to. Once you know where you are going, you are much better equipped to adjust your course when you fall off track. When your words, actions and reactions are aligned with your True North you are operating in integrity with yourself as a Conscious Leader.

Step 20) Provide Development Opportunities

People are hungry for development and every HR leader needs to be responsible for ensuring all employees are equipped with the resources and skills required to be productive and engaged. Design all HR Services with the end in mind. Look at the outcomes you want during the design and delivery of any workshops for employee development. People hungry for training are not a guarantee of engagement during your training program. It is important to link the outcomes of the training to strategic business objectives and organizational priorities. In order to keep people’s attention and engage the learner, integrate experiential learning and the various types of learning models into your program.

Step 21) Creating Learning Paths for Emerging Leaders

As the older generations begin to leave the workforce, it’s important to give the younger generations who are taking over for Leadership and Management roles, the resources they need to step into a Leadership Position. Having tenured employees pass down knowledge to mentor younger employees is a great way to pave a path for emerging leaders. People at the earlier stages in their career, especially in the twenty first century need to see how their current role will shape their career. A proactive, effective talent strategy takes this into consideration and illustrates a typical career path or career road maps for up and coming talent.

Cultivating an organizational culture takes time and can’t be done overnight.

Use these 21 steps to build and transform your business into an organization that thrives through culture. Watch the entire video series framework here.


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