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business career entrepreneur success

Building the Excellent Service Foundation

Corporate Culture is Personal

Corporate culture is the system of shared beliefs and values that develops within an organization and guides the behavior of its employees. It relates to the habits, expectations, and moods of everyone in the organization from the receptionist to the chief executive officer. A workplace in a good mood not only results in higher-performing employees, but also in happier customers.

An organization’s corporate culture provides guidelines for some very important “style” issues. It’s not what employees do, but how they do it. In defining corporate culture both for employees and customers, it’s important to know:

  • what the organization expects from its staff,
  • what kinds of behavior the organization rewards, and
  • the rules of conduct.

Healthy Corporate Cultures Start at the Top

Philosophy, values, and behavior are the basic elements of every corporate culture. To help create a healthy corporate culture, chief executives must hold and profess positive values.

Executives who promote these values create a friendly and creative job atmosphere as these values are filtered down and adopted by each employee:

  • honesty,
  • trust
  • open communication,
  • positive work ethic,
  • accountability,
  • mutual respect, and
  • reliability.

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Performance Measurement and Mission Statements

Importance of mission statements

Mission statements are integral to high-performing organizations. Nearly all leading corporations have a written mission statement. They’re short statements that set out an organization’s mission and strategic direction, and they communicate the company’s purpose to employees and customers alike.

A good mission statement clearly and concisely imparts a company’s reason to exist, its goals, and how it will achieve them. This can guide employees and inspire them to contribute to the organization’s high performance.

There are two primary characteristics of a good mission statement. The statement should be well-defined, and it should provide a focal point for employees’ actions.

There are three ways in which an organization’s mission statement should be well-defined. A well-defined mission statement includes objectives that are quantifiable, appropriate, and specific.

As well as being well-defined, a high-performing organization’s mission statement also provides a consistent focal point for employees’ action. It helps align leader, manager, and employee action with the organization’s strategy and underlying philosophy. Everyone sees how their role helps the organization achieve its goals.

When writing your mission statement it may be beneficial to consult with employees. When you incorporate their input, you’re more likely to create a mission statement they’ll stand by and have a greater interest in fulfilling. You could create an informal employee survey in order to get feedback from all quarters on how your organization’s mission should be defined.

If possible, you could even get feedback from customers with regard to your mission statement. Although mission statements vary in length, they should be, if possible, written so that they can be easily memorized by staff members. This makes it easier for employees to refer back to the mission statement for guidance. A great mission statement may not only guide your employees, but also inspire them to greater work.

A strong mission statement sets out in well-defined terms the purpose of the organization, its prospects for the future, and it also provides a focus to clarify employees’ positions within the organization. A well-written mission statement can even serve to inspire customers and attract prospective employees.

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Using Diplomacy and Tact in Communication

Tact and diplomacy

Being a better communicator can help you build or improve working relationships. By displaying tact and diplomacy, you can make connections, garner respect, and command influence. You can get your message across more effectively because people will be more willing to listen.

Tact is the ability to recognize and react appropriately to delicate situations. Being tactful means acting with sensitivity and respect. While tact requires a certain amount of thoughtfulness, it doesn’t come at the expense of assertiveness. Sometimes assertiveness is incorrectly thought to be the same as aggressiveness.

Being assertive means having the ability to communicate with confidence, but in a respectful way. On the other hand, being aggressive means getting what you want, no matter who gets hurt. You can be assertive and tactful at the same time. In fact, it’s probably difficult to be assertive without demonstrating tact.

If you’re not considering others, you could be acting more aggressively than you think. Using assertiveness and tact together can help you get your point across without yelling or being insensitive.

Along with tact, diplomacy is required in professional communication. To be diplomatic is to be on good terms with people no matter the situation. It doesn’t mean you have to like them; it just means that you’re sensitive to them. You respect them in their professional roles, and you understand that everyone occasionally makes mistakes.

Being diplomatic involves communication that’s pleasing as well as assertive. It also requires you to make connections with people that will gain their respect. Making connections means you’re able to relate to people so they respect you.

That being said, these connections should be genuine and not forced. Sometimes it can be hard to focus on finding common ground in a heated situation. However, the effort is worth it. If you’re authentic and inspiring, you’re more likely to get what you want. You’re also more likely to not regret what you say later.

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The Culture in High-performance Organisations

High-performing organisational cultures

Every organisation has its own internal culture. An organisation’s culture encompasses the shared values, norms, and beliefs of its employees. These shared assumptions shape what actions and strategic options are considered within the organisation.

To make yours a high-performing organisation, you must ensure that a culture exists that’s conducive to high-performance.

In order to build a high-performing organisation, you need to foster a culture that will give it a competitive advantage. Your organisation’s culture should align with its strategic mission and with the external environment, while differentiating itself from competitors.

However, the culture has to be flexible in order to adapt to changing circumstances beyond the organisation. The ability to adapt quickly is crucial to maintaining an edge over rivals.

Deliberate steps toward a positive culture

All organisations have a culture. In some instances, however, a corporate culture can hinder the organisation by being too rigid, resistant to change, and by maintaining working methods that have outlived their usefulness. In high-performing organisations, managers usually take deliberate steps to influence how the culture is formed.

They can help shape a culture through their actions and words, espousing the organisation’s values, and displaying those values in their actions. Organisational culture is something that managers can guide but can never fully control.

For every aspect of the culture that you can adjust or influence, there are other aspects that are beyond your power to change. However, those factors that you do have control over can be manipulated to contribute toward your organisation’s success.

Remember, every employee in your organisation contributes to its culture. Employees should be given the tools and the encouragement to work toward both personal and organisational high performance.

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