I had a great last three days of client consulting with members of our team. The results of our efforts got me thinking about how does a company recreate their successes and build a high performance culture throughout their organization. In any good company, high performers shouldn’t be an exception. The challenge is to somehow get everyone to follow in those footsteps. Do certain leaders or departments in your organization excel in one specific category? Perhaps they’re very efficient, or their employees have low levels of absenteeism, or customers constantly rave about their services.
You probably wish your entire company could live up to the standards set by these strong performers—and it can. The key? Knowing how to harvest and standardize the best practices.
First, diagnose what’s being done to get and sustain the great results. Carefully research any change in processes, tools, techniques and leader behavior.
Create a manual
Outline the results you want and the methods that will take you there. Consider any resistance that might arise—fear of change and inflated egos are a couple of the roadblocks that can keep employees from making adjustments—and include answers to questions you anticipate. Spell out and sequence the steps necessary for implementing the best practice.
Do a skills assessment
Does the person who originated the best practice have a critical skill that others in the organization do not? Can that best practice or behavior be implemented in other departments
if their leaders don’t have the skill? You may need to decide whether a particular department should just keep going with “business as usual” or realize you have to train (or ultimately replace) the department’s leader.
Get the necessary training in place
Training those leaders who will be teaching others how to implement the best practice is crucial. You may have to bring in outside experts to help leaders acquire a necessary skill. You’ll have to decide if the time and cost are worth the effort.
Identify the “why” and keep it in front of the organization
When employees know why you’re implementing a best practice, they’ll be far more likely to cooperate. Help them connect the dots on precisely how it will benefit the company. Is it to lower expenses? Provide better customer service? Boost productivity? Communicate the “why”clearly and often.
Recognize departments that are doing well
This will encourage others to follow suit. On the flip side, don’t let mediocre outcomes slide—hold people accountable for results.
The idea behind harvesting and nurturing best practices is to create an organization that consistently performs at the highest possible level. It’s the key to becoming more effective and efficient and generating greater revenue—all desirable outcomes.
Place people in content development, marketing and sales positions that have clearly articulated
roles within your organization. This will really help to foster a ‘we’ or team mentality, rather than ‘us versus them,’ and it will aid in your efforts to build communication, coordination and
commitment. Don’t underestimate the power of original content.
Lastly, rely on the trans-formative power of honesty and disclosure. Let your staff know where things stand, good or bad, and paint a clear and realistic picture of where you need to go, leading the charge from the front, not the back.