Creating a Culture of Excellence Kristiina Kulman
Creating a Culture of Excellence It means something different for every company, but for all of them the key to success is the same: the person at the top. Making the changes that lead to excellence is not an overnight pursuit--it's a long process that often means rewiring a company's fundamental DNA.
Porter Keadle Moore PKM was a typical stuffy auditing firm, with a command-and-control system and overworked employees. 15 years and countless initiatives later, PKM is Atlanta's top accounting firm, with awards for being one of America's psychologically healthiest workplaces.
How did PKM do it? PKM has followed fairly conventional strategies to make it to the top: stayed focused and learned that managing people is the key. PKM also had the essential element in place with Moore: The chief motivator of change in an entrepreneur-led company is the leadership.
Make a Plan and Stick With It Create a master document. Survey your customers. Get outside help. Talk with the neighbors. Survey employees anonymously.
Motivation Employers often think money is the key to motivating employees, but research shows it only works in the short term and other things keep employees happy and productive over the long run. In this new generation, flexibility and time are more important rewards.
Acknowledging good work face-to-face, via e-mail or in a newsletter lets employees know they're on the right track. Office-wide rewards build teams and shake employees out of their ruts. Reward productivity, not long hours. Promote good health. Promote a strong work/life balance.
Productivity Explain every change. Get people on board. Give them freedom when it comes to the web.
Gear Syncable calendars. Instant messages. Meeting software. Paper management.
Environment Provide quiet spaces. Have informal gathering spots. Keep employees comfortable. Bring in an ergonomics consultant.
Three Steps to Take NOW Some people will always be suspicious of change – ignore them. Employees need the same fire in their bellies as their leader when it comes to change. Give employees room to create change.