Many business owners I know tell me that they want a performance culture. That is they would like a culture that supports their people, drives performance and is engaging so they retain the best people. They want a culture that supports their business and delivers great results for their clients. Sadly, many businesses are not achieving a performance culture.

What are the signs of a performance culture? 

If we are looking for signs that the culture is supporting performance we look for performance indicators across the board that go beyond financial indicators.

Now don’t get me wrong, financial indicators are important. We all want to see our business bank accounts looking healthy because it’s a good indicator that our customers like what we are doing. A good financial return means business leaders can invest back into their business and their people – but it doesn’t tell us much more than that.

Indicators show when your culture is high performing. 

The key areas of the business that I look at to give a quick assessment of the culture and performance are:

  • How the business makes decisions.
  • How planning is conducted.
  • How performance is measured and monitored.
  • How many processes are helpful and how many are harmful.
  • How are people supported to grow and do their best work.
  • How customers feel about the business.

These six areas give me a good overview into the culture. They will provide any business leader a quick assessment as to how much time and focus is on delivering customer outcomes and how much is diverted to non-value adding “busy” work.

The other key area to review is your business outcomes.

There is a direct correlation from the culture you have to the outcomes you are getting for your business. Therefore it goes to reason that if the outcomes you are getting are lower than you want you need to look at your culture.

Start today and review the areas I’ve mentioned above. They are a good place to start to get a feel for what may be holding you back from achieving the success you want. Many business owners find that looking at these elements through an impartial diagnosis is really helpful to determining root cause.

If you’ve tried other things or are in a position to invest time and resources into your culture, then I recommend a deep dive into your business using a research based diagnostic tool to give robust results and a guide for improvement. The diagnosis tools I prefer to use are the ones developed by Human Synergystics because they tell me immediately what the root cause is and provide a gap analysis against other high performing business cultures. Please let us know if you’d like help understanding your culture.

When you know that your culture and outcomes are not serving you, what’s next?

You need to determine the culture you do want and make sure everyone is working towards that vision. Easy huh?

There is a systematic process that we at SynergyIQ use to help you develop your culture vision. If you want to know more then contact us.

Author Michelle T Holland