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What is the most crucial asset owned by an organization? In the modern business landscape, a company might possess a well-defined vision, mission, and set of value drivers, along with a carefully articulated strategy and aligned objectives throughout all levels of the organization. Nevertheless, employees may fail to adopt these values, as these are not inherently embedded in their actions due to the absence of a performance-driven culture.
Hence, the company must foster a culture that actively facilitates the execution of its strategy. This culture should empower every employee to operate in alignment with the established value drivers, behavioral norms, and competencies set forth by the organization to fulfill its mission while being consistent with overarching corporate goals.
Central to cultivating a successful performance-driven culture are leaders. They stand as key inﬂuencers, coaches, and role models. Organizations must shift their focus from having managers who assert authority to nurturing leaders who coach and guide. These leaders should serve as advocates for aligning and interpreting corporate objectives for employees at all levels. Proper training is fundamental in equipping them to effectively manage their subordinates.
To enable leaders to construct a thriving performance-driven culture, organizations can implement the following steps:
Additionally, they provide coaching and growth opportunities to empower employees. This creates an environment where everyone feels valued and engaged, forming the basis of a performance-driven culture.
- Build the desired organizational culture. For an organization to deﬁne the fundamental characteristics of its desired culture, it must translate its mission and vision into tangible value drivers, anticipated behaviors, and needed competencies. These elements must be communicated extensively to all employees, ensuring their adoption, with an emphasis on starting this process with the leaders themselves.
- Highlight a leader’s role in cultivating performance excellence. Leaders are essential in shaping the desired performance culture within an organization. They lead by example, embodying cultural values, behaviors, and skills. This sets a motivating tone for their teams and encourages others to follow suit. Effective leaders foster openness and feedback, which leads to transparency and collaboration. They recognize and reward behaviors that match the culture.
- Foster performance by promoting employees’ mental wellness. In creating a culture of performance, the importance of nurturing a healthy mindset and prioritizing employees’ mental well-being cannot be overstated. A positive mindset is crucial for a culture of excellence. Employee mental health directly affects engagement, productivity, and satisfaction. Providing resources like counseling, stress management, and ﬂexible work options not only demonstrates commitment to well-being but also leads to a focused, creative, and productive workforce. A mental health-supportive culture enhances individual well-being and aligns employees with organizational values, ultimately improving performance.
- Empower performance culture through data interpretation. Organizations have a wealth of data that offer insights into employee engagement, performance, and overall health. Leaders must use data analytics to guide culture development. By studying metrics like satisfaction, productivity, and alignment with values, leaders can spot improvement areas and measure initiative impacts. This data-driven approach reﬁnes strategies based on evidence, creating a ﬂexible culture. Regular data analysis shows employees that their contributions matter, boosting transparency and commitment to growth.
Google provides a noteworthy example of a strong performance culture as exempliﬁed by initiatives like Project Aristotle and Project Oxygen. Project Aristotle highlights team dynamics and psychological safety, fostering an environment where all members freely share ideas and take calculated risks. Meanwhile, Project Oxygen focuses on effective leadership qualities such as coaching, communication, and genuine care for team members. These initiatives underscore Google’s dedication to establishing a culture of collaboration, innovation, and leadership, creating a thriving workplace for both teams and individuals.
Another notable example is Netﬂix, which embodies a performance culture centered around “seeking excellence.” This entails encouraging each employee to excel and contribute to produce their best work. Netﬂix values individual responsibility and open feedback, creating an environment where high standards and innovation are prized. The company hires top talent and empowers them with trust and autonomy. This adherence to excellence shapes their decision-making and has contributed to Netﬂix’s success.
Creating the right organizational culture lays the foundation for success. Leaders drive performance excellence by setting an example and supporting their teams. Taking care of employees’ well-being adds to the positive atmosphere, and using data helps leaders make smarter choices. Combining these aspects builds a culture where everyone thrives, innovation ﬂourishes, and organizations prosper.
This article is written by Chadia Abou Ghazale, a seasoned banking professional with 24 years of experience and who excels in budgeting, sales performance management, data analysis, and resource planning. Beyond banking, she is a dedicated reader of self-development topics and passionate networker. Chadia believes that life’s purpose is the pursuit of knowledge. Her extensive expertise and unwavering enthusiasm are a dynamic combination, driving success in her career and enriching her life’s adventurous journey.
All performance frameworks—whether it is the Balanced Scorecard (BSC), Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), Management by Objectives (MBO) or the Performance Prism—have a shared DNA and purpose: to create synergy in the organization to optimize key results. However, two important questions need to be asked: which performance framework should a company implement and what should one consider when selecting a performance framework?
A well-defined performance framework enables the organization to achieve its desired goals, and having various performance frameworks in hand can make it a bit tricky to choose the right one. Thus, one might be tempted to try implementing what big companies such as Google have implemented and attempt to do the same within their own organization without contextualizing the company culture, size, and business nature.
This article will illustrate the four things to consider when selecting a performance framework for the organization.
- Understand your company’s goals and objectives.
It would be silly to start furnishing an empty room without first understanding its intended purpose. Is it going to be for dining or a personal workspace? The same thing can be said when selecting a performance framework. Understanding the company’s goals and objectives is crucial as it will give you a sense of direction. For example, if the company’s goal is to have a disruptive, innovative product or achieve fast growth, then you might consider the OKRs framework as it will enable you to set challenging objectives and provide flexibility to support innovation. On the other hand, if the company’s objectives gravitate toward stability and sustaining the current market share with modest growth, then the BSC is more suitable for this type of environment as it will assist in cascading the objectives from the top down and preserve company status quo while supporting growth at the same time.
- Consider the company size and structure.
When we talk about company size, we are not only talking about its capital and asset value, but we are also talking about its workforce size and how they are structured into various functions. If the company has a huge hierarchical structure where each employee is expected to perform a very specific and specialized task that is repetitive and operational, then selecting a framework that exhibits this nature of work will enable the company to create clarity and focus for the employees. A framework to consider for this purpose is MBO, which is defined by The KPI Institute as “clearly setting and defining objectives agreed by both management and their employees.”
- Involve internal stakeholders in the selection process.
Highly engaged employees produce substantially better outcomes, are more likely to stay at their organization, and experience less burnout, according to analytics and advisory firm Gallup, Unfortunately, employees can’t reach that level unless they feel that their day-to-day tasks are linked to the company’s purpose and that they have an impact on the results. A good performance framework should be able to convey this to the employees. Asking employees what they value the most and involving them in the decision-making process will result in a highly engaged organization and limit the silo work environment. A performance framework should not be imposed but rather tailored to serve the company’s goals and its human capabilities.
- Review and assess the performance framework.
Just like a strategy review, a performance framework needs to be reviewed regularly and not ossified and treated as set in stone within the organization. As the company’s strategy, size, and market grow and change, the performance framework needs to be updated and changed as well.
In conclusion, selecting a performance framework is only the first step. It is a tool for enablement, not a purpose. All performance frameworks can be customized to fit the company’s needs—these are not off-the-shelf products that must be implemented as-is. Nevertheless, other factors play a huge role in executing performance frameworks, such as employee engagement, company structure, and business processes. All these factors influence and impact which framework to select.
This article was written and submitted by Ms. Wedad Alsubaie, who works at the Strategy Management Office of the National Unified Procurement Company in Saudi Arabia.
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Today’s fast-paced and rapidly changing business environment is characterized by uncertainty and the interdependence of economies, societies, and markets. Thus, organizations are facing numerous challenges that can threaten their ability to survive and thrive. According to the Harvard Business Review, the key forces stressing the business landscape include the pandemic and geopolitical instability along with other factors, such as technological disruption, climate change, and globalization. Unsurprisingly, given these difficulties, business leaders decided to focus on organizational resilience in order to adapt to this dynamic environment, leverage opportunities, and deliver sustainable performance improvement.
In a report from Cranfield School of Management, Professor David Denyer defines organizational resilience as the ability of an entity to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and adapt to incremental change and sudden disruptions to survive and prosper. His paper underlines the idea that organizational resilience requires special control over multiple independent and redundant layers of protection for all critical assets (people, products, property, information) and compliance (standard operating procedures, processes, and training).
Organizations can increase their resilience by adopting various frameworks and models (see Figure 1).
To increase resilience, organizations should develop capabilities, competencies, and principles that are aligned with their chosen resilience framework or model. Some of the capabilities and competencies that can enhance resilience include leadership commitment, risk management, business continuity planning, incident response planning, communication, training, and awareness, according to Stephanie Duchek’s article from 2019. In addition, the six principles stated by Harvard Business Review for enhancing organizations and decision processes to become more resilient can be consulted (see Figure 2).
The International Consortium For Organizational Resilience (ICOR), a global consortium of business continuity and resilience professionals, developed a model based on ISO 22316. The model is composed of three dimensions (leadership & strategy, preparedness & managerial risk, and culture & behavior) with nine strategies directly subordinated to them and six sets of corresponding behaviors. One benefit of the ICOR model is its structured approach to resilience management, which can help organizations better understand their vulnerabilities and develop more effective risk mitigation and response plans. The model also emphasizes the importance of ongoing evaluation and improvement of resilience plans, which can help organizations stay ahead of evolving threats.
There are some limitations to the ICOR model that may not be suitable for all types of organizations— particularly smaller or less complex ones—because, in comparison with big enterprises, most SME owners do not have access to resilience training and tools or their employees are not involved in the development of strategies to increase an entity’s resilience, as stated by the International Labour Organization. Additionally, the model may not adequately account for potential cascading or interdependent risks.
Despite its limitations, the ICOR model is widely used to measure resilience in a variety of industries, including healthcare, transportation, and manufacturing. It is important to mention that this model is not used in most cases by itself, but rather in combination with one or more frameworks or models mentioned above, depending on the needs and the industry in which the organization operates.
To thrive in today’s tumultuous business environment, organizations must develop the capabilities and competencies necessary to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to disturbances effectively.
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Today’s competitive corporate environment recognizes that employees are their most significant asset. Thus, onboarding new hires is vital to their performance and success. Employee onboarding is a strategic investment that prepares employees for long-term development and productivity. According to SHRM, 69% of workers are more likely to remain in a company for more than three years if that company has a robust onboarding procedure. The significance of effective onboarding and its impact on long-term performance will be emphasized in three important pillars throughout the article.
First pillar: communicating vision and mission
According to HBR, 90% of employees are willing to work for less money in exchange for meaningful work. Consequently, it is vital to adequately communicate the organization’s mission and vision to new employees during the onboarding process. Employees may attain a sense of purpose and tie their work to larger business goals by integrating their expertise with the company’s values. This shared sense of purpose fosters a strong work culture built on a common goal. Google, for example, ensures that new workers learn and accept the company’s ideals via its “Ten Things We Know to Be True” onboarding process, resulting in the company being widely and consistently regarded as one of the best places to work at year after year.
Second pillar: providing on-the-job training and required tools
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One critical component of the onboarding process is ensuring that new hires have the on-the-job information and tools they need to succeed, especially in the wake of global digitalization and the tendency to opt for online job training. Starting new employees with the correct tools and knowledge positions them for success and improves their performance. Unfortunately, 59% of the employees claim that they didn’t have proper on-the-job training. This should be rectified since training programs that target particular work needs and equip individuals with the appropriate skills and knowledge result in fewer errors, more accuracy, and better performance results.
Third pillar: building employee engagement
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The new hire onboarding process is also important in building strong networks within the organization. Companies may develop a sense of belonging by encouraging interactions and team building, which has a direct impact on employee performance. According to the HBR poll, just 25% of respondents believe they are highly engaged in their firms. Addressing such issues throughout the onboarding process helps new employees feel valued, integrated, and motivated to accomplish their best.
Many corporations launched a “buddy program” to implement an employee engagement strategy from the first day of hiring. A buddy assists a new employee throughout the first several months, explains processes, and gets them acquainted with the culture. This will increase corporate profitability since Gallup research reveals that highly engaged units are 23% more profitable compared to other less engaged units.
To summarize, recognizing employees as valuable assets and investing in their onboarding process is critical for long-term corporate performance and success. Organizations may improve new recruit performance and contribute to a healthy work culture that supports overall productivity and profitability by successfully communicating their vision and goals, delivering thorough on-the-job training, and cultivating employee engagement.
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In today’s data-driven world, organizations are constantly grappling with an abundance of data coming from various sources and in different formats. Data integration has emerged as a critical process that enables businesses to connect these disparate data sources by consolidating them into repositories called data silos, creating a comprehensive and unified view of their information. This single source of truth empowers organizations to make more informed decisions and derive valuable insights for better business intelligence.
These disparate data sources can vary in type, structure, and format. Successful data integration finds a way to connect these sources, either by building relationships between them where they reside or by periodically extracting, transforming, and loading data (a process known as ETL) from these sources into one big database dubbed a data warehouse.
For example, when sales data is combined with customer data, the organization can gain a deeper understanding of customer behavior and preferences, which would allow personalized marketing efforts and improved customer satisfaction.
Data integration can be challenging as there is no one technical way of implementing it. Rather, the process depends on the needs and resources of each organization. Organizations with no technical capabilities would need to seek a third-party service provider.
Despite the variance across organizations, one thing remains consistent—every data integration process should be approached systematically by taking into consideration the following key strategic steps:
- Defining integration goals: Organizations need to clearly outline the objectives and outcomes they want to achieve through data integration.
- Assessment of data sources: This includes identifying all the data sources within the organization and understanding the structure, format, and quality of the data coming from each source.
- Data mapping and transformation: This entails defining how different sources will be mapped to a common format. This may involve cleaning and preparing data silos in the first place.
- Defining technique and tools: Based on the previous steps, a technical decision should be made on how to do the integration and the degree with which manual labor and automation will be utilized.
- Building integration processes: This answers the question, “How will future data be integrated as well?” It involves defining workflows and processes that should be scalable, reliable, and capable of handling future data growth.
- Testing and monitoring: As data integration is a continuous process, organizations should always test and monitor the integrated data thoroughly to ensure accuracy, consistency, and reliability. Validating the integration results should be done against predefined criteria, along with making necessary adjustments if discrepancies are found or to adapt to changing data sources and business needs.
In conclusion, data integration plays a crucial role in enabling organizations to harness the full potential of their data. By connecting disparate data sources and creating a single source of truth, organizations can unlock valuable insights, improve decision-making, and enhance operational efficiency. Following a systematic approach and leveraging appropriate integration tools lets organizations achieve successful data integration and gain a competitive edge in today’s data-driven landscape.