When ASA Members ask “What’s ONE THING my organization can do to move us closer to having a high-performance culture?” The answer is strikingly simple. Yet, the implementation can be more challenging.

Most companies in our industry do a good job articulating their annual goals. The senior leadership team takes a look at their achievement from the prior year, it identifies adjustments that could add value to the owners, and it shares those top goals for the new year with employees. Generally, these goals focus on new target levels of sales volume, margin and product category aspirations. Financial goals are easier to measure.

Some organizations create non-financial goals around operational efficiencies, people development, customer service, etc. They are no less important than the financial goals, but can be more difficult to measure. In a nutshell, the goals are established and communicated. But goal-setting alone doesn’t create a high-performance culture.

The secret sauce is in how each and every employee views their ability to impact those top goals, no matter where they are in the organization and no matter what role they have. Unfortunately, many employees are indifferent to what they see as lofty or aloof proclamations by their senior leaders. “I’m a truck driver! I don’t have anything to do with the company selling a ka-jillion dollars of stuff.” Even more concerning is the comment, “I don’t work in the customer-service department.” And there it is: Those statements are what keep the organization from having a high-performance culture.

Creating this culture comes from everyone in the organization rowing in the same direction. In this environment, the company is an organism unto itself as opposed to a collection of individuals and departments with their own priorities. True, we need everyone to do their part, but with the goal of organizational success as defined by achieving those organizational goals. Together. As one.

So, what can you do if you hear those short-sighted statements in your company?  Educate. Not with courses or speakers or exams, but with discussions. The truck driver needs to see how he CAN impact revenue by talking to inside sales when he sees an installer without supplies while delivering product to a jobsite. The accounting clerk needs to see how he CAN impact customer service when he picks up showroom parking lot trash on his way into the office. The company doesn’t need to hire more people to perform those two tasks if shared accountability is established and the individuals assume ownership for impacting the goals. This creates the high-performance culture.

Some people are naturally going to pick up the concept quicker than others. And, you know who those people are in your organization. Highlight and communicate the ways these people step beyond their job descriptions to help the organization get closer to achieving a corporate goal. The more this happens, the more others will start to see opportunities where THEY can be a part of the success. Then, those goals aren’t just a fancy list of meaningless things on the wall in the break room. They are the common denominators that define the high-performance culture you’ve achieved.

> Questions or comments? Contact Doug Dillon, director of talent acceleration, ASA University at 920.207.8225 or dillon@asa.net.