Maximizing Workforce Contribution Whitepaper


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Research shows that high-performing cultures consistently deliver extraordinary results and outperform their peers. Culture determines how things are done, how people behave, and how value is created. As former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner states, “Culture isn't just one aspect of the game, it is the game.” Yet a high- performing culture is made up of employees that are healthy, self- governing, and high-performing themselves. Without leaders and employees that possess these qualities, there is little hope of positively transforming our organizations. This is why we believe that establishing a PLE culture is foundational to creating a long- term, sustainable, high-performing organizational culture.

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Maximizing Workforce Contribution Whitepaper

  1. 1. By Dr. Ron JensonMaximizing Workforce Contribution and Keith Aldrich 2013
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  3. 3. Table of ContentsExecutive Summary ......................................................................................................................................................... 1Introduction ....................................................................................................................................................................... 5Current Organizational Challenges ............................................................................................................................ 7The Personal Leadership Effectiveness Equation............................................................................................... 10The Power and Influence of Culture ....................................................................................................................... 16Critical Success Factors ............................................................................................................................................... 19 Talent Acquisition: Getting the Right People on the Bus............................................................................ 19 Employee Development: Maximizing Personal Performance .................................................................... 23 Engaging and Retaining your People ................................................................................................................ 29Establish, Develop and Sustain a PLE Culture ..................................................................................................... 35 Establishing a Personal Leadership Effectiveness Culture ......................................................................... 36 Developing a Personal Leadership Effectiveness Culture........................................................................... 41 Sustaining a Personal Leadership Effectiveness Culture ............................................................................ 51Conclusion ....................................................................................................................................................................... 57Appendix .......................................................................................................................................................................... 58 The Anatomy of a Winning Culture .................................................................................................................... 58 Developing Personal Leadership Effectiveness .............................................................................................. 58Bibliography .................................................................................................................................................................... 62Bios .................................................................................................................................................................................... 65
  4. 4. Every organization will face external challenges beyond theircontrol. However, some of the most frustrating and costlychallenges originate from within and have one thing incommon: people.Therefore, the principle challenge that an organization willface is how to acquire, develop, engage and retain the rightpeople.
  5. 5. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013 Executive SummaryAround the globe, every organization is attempting to mobilizetheir workforce in an effort to succeed. Whether you are a non-profit, a government agency, or a private sector company, you arecontinually striving to maximize the contribution of your people inan effort to drive extraordinary results and achieve your intendedmission.Current ChallengesWhile every organization faces external challenges beyond theircontrol, some of the most frustrating and costly challenges areoccurring under our own roof. These include issues related toturnover, disengaged employees, poor leadership, burnout,employee conflict, ethics violations, and employee theft. All ofthese issues have one thing in common….People.However, those organizations that can recruit, develop, engage,and retain people with a high degree of skill in leading andgoverning themselves well and to their full potential, will havethe greatest advantage. This advantage will be the direct result ofthese higher performing individuals having the ability to createeffective working teams, resulting in an overall high-performingorganizational culture (See Appendix: “Anatomy of a WinningCulture” for details). We refer to this skill of leading or governingoneself well and to full potential as Personal LeadershipEffectiveness, or PLE.High-Performing CulturesResearch shows that high-performing cultures consistently deliverextraordinary results and outperform their peers. Culturedetermines how things are done, how people behave, and howvalue is created. As former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner states, “Cultureisnt just one aspect of the game, it is the game.” Yet a high-performing culture is made up of employees that are healthy, self-governing, and high-performing themselves. Without leaders and© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | Executive Summary 1
  6. 6. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION employees that possess these qualities, there is little hope of positively transforming our organizations. This is why we believe that establishing a PLE culture is foundational to creating a long- term, sustainable, high-performing organizational culture. Acquire, Develop, Engage and Retain the Right People Building a high performing culture requires deliberate focus and attention. Organizations need to be as intentional about hiring for fit and alignment with their organizational culture as they are about the needs of the position. Since turnover costs can run 1.5- 2.5 times a person’s salary and the cost of a bad hire can run as high as $300,000, taking time to get the “right people on the bus” as Jim Collins would say, is crucial. The commitment to on-going employee development is just as important as hiring the right people. Investing in your employees to help them become more effective at leading themselves and working well with others will have a significant payback. The research shows that this type of investment constitutes only a mere fraction of the cost associated with turnover and replacement, or the costs related to employee disengagement. According to Stanford Research Institute findings, an investment in cultivating ‘people leaders’ has an even bigger payback due to the ‘multiplicative’ effect that managers and supervisors have on their employees. Similarly, Google found that investing in the ‘soft skills’ of their managers resulted in a statistically significant improvement for 75% of their lowest- performing managers. High levels of employee engagement are the result of effective leadership, high quality managers, and employees that are aware of their own strengths, goals, and unique contribution. Studies2 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  7. 7. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013show that as few as 25%-55% of employees are fully engaged andcontributing maximum value. Disengaged employees are costlyand can be toxic to the rest of the culture. However, research alsoshows that managers directly affect 15 of the top 20 engagementrelated variables, further substantiating the need to makeinvestments into the quality of your management team. Researchalso shows that highly engaged employees are less likely to leavethe organization, yielding significant cost savings. These costsavings are the result of eliminating the need to acquire newtalent, the loss of knowledge and experience within theorganization, and the lag time associated with new replacementemployees becoming fully productive.Establish, Develop, and Sustain a Personal LeadershipEffectiveness CultureTo effectively address the issues associated with acquiring,developing, engaging, and retaining the right people for yourorganization you will want to take a deliberate and thoughtfulapproach to achieve the greatest results and impact. Anytransformation process should be incremental in nature. Thereshould be an emphasis on short-term wins, on building uponsuccesses and learning from mistakes. This paper will explorethree phases to establishing, developing and sustaining a high-performance personal leadership effectiveness culture.Establish: This phase requires organizations to develop a visionfor their desired culture and the personal leadership qualitiesnecessary to bring that culture to fruition. Once the vision hasbeen clarified, the organization can assess where they are today inlight of that vision, and begin to create an integrated humancapital strategy.Develop: This phase outlines core components of their humancapital strategy to address talent acquisition, employeedevelopment, as well as the engagement and retention of theiremployees.© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | Executive Summary 3
  8. 8. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION Sustain: This phase addresses activities designed to protect investments that have been made during both the establish and develop phases and to sustain a PLE culture long-term. This is done by taking internal ownership, by creating a culture of “coaching”, and implementing continuous improvement processes. The benefits of investing in developing your people and overall culture are significant. Imagine a workplace where people are skilled in taking initiative, handling stress and maintaining a positive attitude while thinking critically. Imagine a work environment in which employees are living with a sense of purpose and passion, while maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Envision a culture that’s characterized by positive and strong relationships among coworkers – where productivity is maximized both personally and professionally. In his book The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni writes: So here is the question. Will you be one of those leaders who spearhead an effort to make your organization and the people who work there more effective? We hope your answer to that question will be a resounding “Yes!” Not only will your organization yield significant increases in performance and productivity by maximizing the personal leadership effectiveness of your employees, you will also be contributing to the improvement of your surrounding communities as employees return to their families, neighborhoods, and volunteer organizations as better leaders.4 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  9. 9. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013 IntroductionWe live in a time of unprecedented complexity, volatility, change,and uncertainty. Over the last decade we have seen this manifestin the dot-com crash beginning in 2000, the terrorist attacks on9/11, and the ethical and financial failures of Enron, Worldcom,and others. Our current global financial crisis has resulted insignificant bailouts of companies, as well as entire countries, in anattempt to keep everything from crashing down. Some researcherssay that we may never again see the level of stability andprosperity that coexisted in America in previous generations. Weneed to accept that some level of chaos and instability may be thenew normal.And yet, in the midst of this turmoil and current economic climatesome companies have thrived. Apple has given us innovative,beautifully designed and easy to use products like the iPhone andiPad. Google has made accessing information effortless, and carmanufacturers have developed more fuel-efficient hybrids. Inaddition, social entrepreneurship is on the rise, evidenced bygrowth in fair trade products and markets around the globe, andthe success of companies such as TOMS shoes. All of thisilluminates the creativity, resilience, and drive that is deeplywoven within the human spirit and that these companies haveharnessed in the midst of challenging times.Certainly strategy and crisp execution are key elements, alongwith a host of other organizational capabilities. However, it isyour people that are central to developing and executing thesestrategies. So are your people thriving? Are they prepared© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | Introduction 5
  10. 10. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION individually and collectively as a team to navigate the rough waters ahead? Those organizations with employees that have well- developed PLE will have the greatest advantage. It is our contention that fostering a PLE culture is a critical component to establishing a strong, vibrant, and healthy organization, one that is capable of sustaining long-term success. Based on years of experience in working with a wide variety ofFostering a Personal organizations, we have found that many of the people-relatedLeadership Effectiveness challenges are directly connected to their underdeveloped PLE.(PLE) culture is a critical Why? The ability to lead oneself has a direct impact oncomponent to establishing performance both as an individual contributor and as ana strong, vibrant, and organizational leader. It impacts our ability to establish trust andhealthy organization, one to work well in a collaborative team environment. It also directlythat that is capable ofsustaining long-term influences our level of engagement in the workplace.success. In Maximizing Workforce Contribution, we will explore the relationship of personal leadership effectiveness with some of the key challenges facing organizational leaders today. We will look at the impact these challenges have on fulfilling your mission and achieving outstanding organizational performance. In addition, we will outline strategies to consider when addressing these problems and creating a sustainable plan for the future. 6 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  11. 11. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013 Current Organizational ChallengesCompanies are trying to operate and succeed in an environment ofincreasing complexity, change, and volatility. External forces,such as a global financial crisis, increasing global competition,and increasing political and economic divides can all serve tocreate obstacles to success. Additionally, internal challenges suchas the differing values and priorities of a multigenerationalworkforce, fiscal constraints that force organizations to do morewith less, and the increasing disengagement of employees allserve as impediments to achieving organizational goals. This isthe often tumultuous environment in which companies are tryingto mobilize their people to operate and succeed.In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins wrote about getting the“right people on the bus.” Have you considered how much the“wrong” people cost your organization? Below are some of theissues that manifest themselves in organizations today, oftencosting companies billions of dollars. 
  Burnout and Stress - According to a recent report by ComPsych in 2012, nearly 2 in 3 employees report high levels of stress with extreme fatigue and a feeling of being out of control, while more than half miss one to two days of work per year due to stress. (Hirst 2012) Other studies show three out of every four employees report that their boss is the worst and most stressful part of their job. In addition, employees that have poor relationships with their managers are 30% more likely to suffer coronary heart disease. (Ouimet 2012)  Relational Conflict - Supervisors spend more than 25% of their time on conflict management, and managers spend more than 18% of their time on employee relational conflicts. These figures have doubled since the mid 1980s. It is now becoming more evident that this is something that companies and managers need to recognize, and deal with. Conflict significantly affects employee morale, turnover, and© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | Current Organizational Challenges 7
  12. 12. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION litigation, which in turn affects the prosperity of a company. (Lang 2009) Turnover can cost a company 200% of the employees annual salary. (Maccoby 2011)  Disengagement – Study results vary on employee engagement levels. They range from as low as 25% to 55% of employees being fully engaged. One recent study showed that 52% of employees are unengaged and just putting in time, while 19% are actively disengaged, unhappy and spreading discontent. Regardless of which numbers you use, this is costly and has an impact on the performance of your organization. (Blessing-White 2013)  Turnover – At a cost of 1.5 times a person’s salary for the average employee and up to 2.5 times for executives and other key staff, the cost of turnover can be substantial, and often times avoidable. Most turnovers can be traced back to lack of trust, relational conflict with a peer or boss, or lack of opportunity, growth or challenge.  Ethics Violations – 45% of U.S. employees observed a violation of the law or ethics standards at their places of employment according the recently published National Business Ethics Survey® (NBES). Employees are reporting they are less confident in their own ability to handle ethics situations. Currently 23% claim they are unprepared to handle situations that invite misconduct, up from 14% in 2009. The report claims that overall, ethics cultures are at the weakest point since 2000. (Ethics Resource Center 2012)  Theft – Employee theft, generally defined as “any stealing, use or misuse of an employer’s assets without permission to do so,” can take many forms, from stealing assets to manipulation of timesheets. It is estimated that employee theft costs US Businesses an estimated $15 billion a year and is one of the leading causes of failure for small to midsize companies. The study also found that businesses with fewer than 100 employees suffered the greatest percentage of employee theft due to fewer anti-theft controls. (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners 2012)8 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  13. 13. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013  Fraud - It is estimated that the typical organization loses 5% of its revenue to fraud each year ($3.5 trillion globally). The median loss due to occupational fraud was $140,000, while 20% of the cases had losses greater than $1 million. Small businesses suffered the largest median losses and faced the most significant threats. Perpetrators of fraud spanned the organization, while the median loss through fraud committed by executives was $573,000, managers were $180,000 and employees were $60,000. It was also reported that 87% were first time offenders, and had a clean employment and criminal history. (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners 2012)It doesn’t take long to realize that the source of a lot of ourproblems in business, government, and non-profit organizations isthe result of the behavior and actions of the people that comprisethem. If the goal is to get the ‘right people’ on the bus, who arethe ‘wrong people’ that are causing all the problems in ourcompanies? It is reported that when the English writer G.K.Chesterton was invited by The Times, along with several eminentauthors, to write an essay addressing the question: "Whats Wrongwith the World?" Mr. Chesterton responded:© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | Current Organizational Challenges 9
  14. 14. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION The same could be said of our organizations today. If we are honest with ourselves, at some level we have all contributed to the problem at some point in time. At certain times and to varying degrees, we are each capable of having a negative impact on the people around us and the organizations we serve. Whether through our words, actions or decisions, no one is exempt. From the front line staff to the CEO, everyone benefits from paying careful attention to the ongoing development of their PLE. The Personal Leadership Effectiveness Equation The solution is fairly simple. However, that doesn’t mean it is easy. It would require each of us to develop the ability to maximize our potential by becoming more self-aware, cultivating our passions and gifts, paying attention to personal discipline, and self-regulating in order to govern our own lives well. It is a delicate balance that we must maintain between controlling our impulses and emotional responses to internal drives and external events, and still passionately leveraging our ability to make the best use of our talent and giftedness for maximum contribution.10 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  15. 15. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013 Personal Leadership Effectiveness The Vertical Axis represents the increasing ability to govern one’s self well, including appropriate responses to internal drives and external events. The Horizontal Axis represents the increasing ability to understand and cultivate and leverage your unique passion and gifts for maximum contribution.  Lower Left: Represents the individual who has not developed adequate self-awareness, nor the discipline or habits to effectively self-govern. As a result, their potential is not being maximized.  Upper Left: Represents the individual who has developed good habits and self-control, but has not fully explored their passion and giftedness. As a result they will likely follow the rules and fall in line with organizational policy, but their true potential has yet to be uncovered.  Lower Right: Represents the individual who has tapped into their passion and giftedness but has not developed the ability to govern themselves well. This can represent those with ideas and creative energy, that are driven by a purpose, but lack the discipline and habits to effectively execute; or those creative geniuses with limitless energy, but who lack the ability to get along with others or the personal discipline to avoid self-destructive behaviors.  Upper Right: Represents the individual who is growing in greater self-awareness, is increasingly aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and is continually developing the personal discipline to effectively govern their life towards maximum contribution. They are proactively identifying their passions and gifts, and exploring new ways to put them to use.© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | The Personal Leadership Effectiveness Equation 11
  16. 16. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION Developing our PLE can be a significant contributor to both our personal success, and to the success of the organization. We need to understand that personal and organizational transformation go hand in hand. However, before we can transform the organization, we must begin with aiding in the positive transformation of those within the organization. Let’s begin by looking at 10 competencies that decades of research and practical application have proven to be foundational to the development of our PLE. Personal Leadership Competencies 1. Personal Discipline –the ability to be proactive, developing healthy new habits and personal discipline. 2. Accurate Self-Image –an accurate self-image based on increasing self-awareness, and an understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, passions, experiences, and gifts. 3. Positive Attitude –a positive attitude that gives us proper perspectives on the situations we face, and the ability to deal with fears, problems, and other difficulties in a healthy way. 4. Principle-Driven -- the ability to consistently live a principle- centered life at home, work, and in the community. 5. Mission and Purpose –a clear sense of personal mission and purpose in your life. 6. Integrated Life – balance in your personal priorities, attitudes, and goals that lead to a more whole, healthy, and productive life. 7. Others-Centered –a genuine concern for others and the ability to effectively listen, confront, empathize, and coach others. 8. Personal Transformation –the ability and commitment to continuously invest in your own personal and character development. 9. Adaptability –the ability to handle change and make necessary mid-course corrections. 10. Perseverance - the ability to stay focused on priorities and not give up during difficult times.12 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  17. 17. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013Imagine yourself living each day in light of each of those personalleadership competencies and being proficient at and a master ofeach. Would that make a difference in your personal orprofessional life? Now imagine a small team, each personregularly working on the development of their PLE while alsoworking together towards a common organizational goal. Wouldthat make a difference in how effectively they work together andwhat they could accomplish? Imagine a leadership team givingvision to this for the entire organization, while becoming moreeffective in how they work together.Ideally, our entire organization would be made up of employeeswith greater self-awareness, personal discipline, a positiveattitude, interpersonal skills, passion, and creativity.Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, so asorganizational leaders we have to make a decision. Do we livewith our current situation or make a decision to invest in ourpeople? We like the joke that was recently circling around theinternet. It goes something like this:The reality is that most of us have not yet learned or fullydeveloped the ability to master ourselves. Over time our societyhas devalued the importance of the cultivation of our character.© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | The Personal Leadership Effectiveness Equation 13
  18. 18. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION We try to address problems by creating more rules, more regulations, and more oversight which just adds to the cost and complexity of running our organizations. We rarely try to address the underlying source of our organizational problems, which is the ability of each and every one of us to govern ourselves well. We couldn’t possibly create enough ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ to cover the multitude of choices people face every day. Ultimately, we each must address the question of “What kind of person should I be?” The expansion of our company policy manuals with more rules and guidelines doesn’t address this and won’t produce the desired outcomes we hope to achieve. Plato said, “The first and best victory is to conquer self.” Organizations today have a reason to care, if not for the altruistic purposes of creating better people, better organizations, and a better society, then for financial and survival reasons. When we fail to maximize the talent in our organizations, to develop not just the required job skills, but also the associated life skills (“soft skills”), the personal leadership needed to excel and succeed, then we undermine the health and long-term sustainable success of our organizations. We need to become deliberate about developing personal leadership effectiveness within ourselves and our employees. As we do, we will begin to see positive outcomes in the way of greater focus, healthier communication, increased respect, and integrity. We will see a sense of purpose, passion, positive attitudes, and perseverance in the face of adversity. These are the ingredients to lasting success and to a healthy organizational culture. Establishing and sustaining a thriving PLE culture can ultimately become your single greatest competitive advantage.14 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  19. 19. Words of WisdomA mans character is his fate.— Heraclitus, Greek philosopher (c. 540-c. 475 B.C.)Character is simply habit, long continued.— Plutarch, Greek biographer (47-120 A.D.)The first and best victory is to conquer self.- PlatoThe unexamined life is not worth living.- SocratesThe reputation of a thousand years may bedetermined by the conduct of one hour.— Japanese ProverbYou can easily judge the character of a man byhow he treats those who can do nothing for him.— Johann Wolfgang von GoetheThe true test of civilization is not the census, northe size of cities, nor the crops – no, but the kindof man the country turns out.— Ralph Waldo EmersonCharacter, in the long run, is the decisive factor inthe life of an individual and of nations alike.— Theodore RooseveltThe world we have created is a product of ourthinking. It cannot be changed without changingour thinking. -Albert Einstein
  20. 20. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION The Power and Influence of Culture We experience different cultures everywhere we go. Our families, communities, schools, workplaces and nations each have their own unique culture. Culture defines the collective character and essence of the group. It is both the conscious and unconscious set “Culture isnt of forces that determine our individual and collective behavior,just one aspect and it influences our thought patterns, our perceptions, and ourof the game, it values. is the game.” Enduring companies are built upon cultures that are able to consistently attract and retain loyal employees and satisfied customers. Culture determines how things are done, how people behave, and how value is created. In 1993, IBM hired outsider Lou Gerstner as CEO in an attempt to save the company. Gerstner is credited with successfully leading the turnaround of IBM, which was ultimately a result of completely transforming the company’s culture. In his book, Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? Gerstner writes: Bain & Company research confirms this position. They found that nearly 70% of business leaders agree that culture provides the greatest source of competitive advantage, and claim that it is the hardest thing for competitors to copy. In an interview with the Harvard Business Review, past Dell CEO Kevin Rollins stated, “The key to our success is years and years of DNA development that is not replicable outside the company.” (Stewart 2005) 16 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  21. 21. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013Leadership and culture are two sides of the same coin. In The Anatomy ofevery social interaction, whether we are aware of it or not, a Winning Culturewe function as leaders. We not only reinforce and act as 10 Attributes of Highpart of the present cultural dynamics, but also influence it Performing Organizationswhen introducing new cultural elements based up on our While there is no one right culture for anyvalues, beliefs and associated actions and behaviors. Over company, there are common attributes present in companies that outperform theirtime, these new elements have the ability to strengthen and peers on a consistent basis. The 10enhance the culture, or erode and weaken it. attributes identified below represent a consolidation of research and findings conducted by Accenture, McKinsey, Bain,Does your current culture reflect a positive working Deloitte, and other thought leaders in theenvironment? Are a winning attitude, teamwork, discipline, area of culture and its impact on organizational performance. A more detailedand excellence all evident? Or is your company description can be found in the appendix.characterized by internal politics, entitlement, negativeattitudes, or burnout? While there is not one right culture 1. Unique Purpose and Personalityfor every organization, there are common attributes of high 2. Passion for Performanceperforming organizations. (See sidebar – “The Anatomy of aWinning Culture”). 3. Bias Toward ActionHow the leaders and employees at every level and function 4. Outward-Focusedof an organization behave will influence the culture and 5. Team-Orientedsubcultures that arise, as well as how the total systemfunctions as a whole. While the responsibility for creating 6. Value Individualsand preserving the organization’s culture ultimately lieswith the senior leadership, it is important to recognize that 7. Highly Adaptableevery employee plays a unique role as culture creator, 8. Lead by Exampleevolver, and manager. (Schein 2009) 9. Organizational Alignment andUltimately, the quality and health of our organization is the Congruencyresult of both the quality and the health of the people whomake it up. If a considerable proportion of your employees 10. Effective Communicationstruggle to make their own lives work, how would youexpect them to create a healthy thriving organizationalculture? If one person is entitled and lacks discipline whileanother is consistently negative, and a third is arrogant and self-centered, there will be a negative influence upon any groupculture of which they are part. This negativity will become© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich |The Power and Influence of Culture 17
  22. 22. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION particularly problematic if it is not dealt with decisively and is allowed to become part of the acceptable behavior and norms. In a recent client engagement, one of the newly hired managers was made aware of some issues that needed to be addressed on her team. During the staff meeting she commented, “I will go put the hammer down right after this meeting.” Following the meeting, her direct supervisor pulled her aside and explained that “putting the hammer down is not how we do things around here,” and gave some suggestions as to how to handle the issue with methods more aligned with their culture and values. Had this not been addressed, it is possible that “putting the hammer down” could have become a new norm for this group, particularly if the behavior had been rewarded directly or indirectly. This is why hiring and employee development become so critical to building and sustaining a high performance culture. Recognizing that each new hire brings in new cultural elements (attitudes, values, experiences, behaviors) that will have a direct influence on the work environment, it is critical to assess and hire for alignment and fit with the organization. After an individual has been hired, it is important to consistently reinforce the organization’s values and way of behaving, first by modeling the behavior and then through ongoing training and real-time on-the-job feedback. To create a healthy, high-performing organizational culture, we need to have employees that are healthy, self-governing, and high performing. Parker J. Palmer writes that, “Since culture is a human creation, whose deformations begin not ‘out there’ but in our inner lives, we can transform our culture only as we are inwardly transformed.” (Palmer 2004) This is why we focus on establishing a PLE culture as the foundation to creating a long term, sustainable, high performing organizational culture. Without leaders and employees that are inwardly transformed, we have very little hope of positively transforming our organizations.18 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  23. 23. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013 Critical Success FactorsIn this section we will explore some of the essential elementsnecessary to building a healthy culture. In order to establish,develop and sustain a culture that maximizes performance,productivity, team efficiency and bottom-line results, you will need toeffectively recruit, develop, engage, and retain the right people for theorganization.Talent Acquisition: Getting the Right People on the BusThe old adage that people are your greatest asset is notcompletely accurate. A more correct statement would be that theright people are your greatest asset. Jim Collins in his classicbook, Good to Great states that, “Those who build greatorganizations make sure they have the right people on thebus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people inthe key seats before they figure out where to drive thebus.” (Collins 2001) This does not mean hiring thesmartest or most experienced candidate. Best practicessuggest that you hire the right person to fit the cultureof the organization and the job. The right people don’tneed to be managed. As Jim Collins said in a recentinterview, “The moment you feel the need to tightly managesomeone, youve made a hiring mistake. The right people dont thinkthey have a job: They have responsibilities. The right people do whatthey say they will do.” (Reingold 2009)The Human Capital Institute claims that one of the mostimportant manager competencies for the future is the ability to“hire, develop, engage, and retain the right people for the job.”Yet, according to a 2012 study by Development DimensionsInternational, hiring managers consistently make three commonmistakes during the hiring process:© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | Critical Success Factors 19
  24. 24. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 1. They ask questions that do not provide them with useful information about how the candidate will actually perform on the job. 2. They don’t use a process to systematically evaluate the responses of candidates. 3. They rely on gut instinct to make the final decision, ignoring critical information about the candidate’s ‘fit to the job’. To address some of these issues, it is recommended that organizations more thoroughly identify job-relevant factors that predict success and then utilize a variety of diagnostic tools to assess candidates on those specific factors. This can serve to eliminate some of the subjective reliance on gut instinct. It is also key to have managers and recruiters who are skilled at interviewing and who have the ability to utilize open ended questions that target a candidate’s work ethic, personality, work-style, attitudes, workplace values, passion, and cultural fit. (Bal 2013) It’s a challenge to find the right people for the job. It requires individuals who not only have the skills required to succeed, but also the attitude, personal discipline, and people skills required for alignment and fit with the organization and its values. According to a recent Accenture study, the “Top issue on the minds of global executives is [whether or not they have the] ability to acquire and retain outstanding performers.” While this may be a pressing issue for executives, a McKinsey study found that “only 23% of executives feel confident they are able to attract the top talent they need.” That’s a significant problem. Ram Charan found20 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  25. 25. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013that 70% of organizations say that they have an insufficientpipeline of talent for leadership and strategic jobs, and that stop-gap measures such as quick hires have 40% failure rates withinthe first 12 months.Making quick decisions or poor decisions that result in hiring thewrong person can be costly. Studies show that managers spend inexcess of 20% of their time dealing with poor or problemperformers. This is because they hastily screen applicants andthen hire primarily for skill and experience to get the job filled,rather than for fit or alignment with the organization, or for thecharacter and personal leadership of the individual. This is whywe often say, “Organizationshire for skill, but fire forcharacter.” The resulting costof a bad hire is estimated to beover $300,000, when cost isquantified based on people whoare poor hires and performers(those who get to stay in theorganization’s ozone, yet addlittle value). (Sullivan 2005)These people retire in place (R.I.P) and never quite do enough tobe fired for performance reasons. This deadwood does little tocontribute to the overall success of the organization. Thefinancial impact can be much greater in public sectororganizations that have to account for lifetime retirement benefitsin addition to the loss of productivity in current jobresponsibilities. The numbers can quickly escalate into millions ofdollars if the bad hire goes beyond ‘workfare’ and results in grossnegligence, ethics violations, lawsuits, or lost customers.So what can be done? First and foremost, consider placing agreater emphasis on hiring for character, attitude, personalleadership, values and cultural fit. Then train for skills. MarkMurphy, author of Hiring for Attitude, said Southwest Airlines, aswell as companies such as Apple, Google and Ritz-Carlton, are© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | Critical Success Factors 21
  26. 26. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION great examples of this, despite the attitudes and activities at each being quite different. There is no ‘right’ attitude for success but, according to Murphy “89% of the time, if a new hire fails, they fail for attitude, not for skills.” He states that, “We can find the skills anywhere we need them. The real issue right now is finding the people who are going to actually fit in our organizations and in our cultures.” (Turner 2012)  Are you assessing candidates for cultural fit, values alignment, attitude, and other job-fit characteristics beyond functional skills?  Are your managers able to identify the qualities of the individual that are critical to the long term success of your organization?  Do you have a standard process or tools to assess for character, personality, and other distinguishing traits?  How do you avoid making rushed hiring decisions based on gut instinct?22 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  27. 27. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013Employee Development: Maximizing Personal PerformanceOrganizational leaders should be facilitating and encouraging theongoing development of their people. While personaldevelopment is certainly an individual’s responsibility,organizations can play an incredibly significant role in seeing thepersonal potential an individual may not see. They can create anenvironment that encourages ongoing growth and personaldevelopment. Many organizations will invest in job specific skills,yet don’t believe that it is their responsibility to invest in thedevelopment of an employee’s personal leadership abilities.However, as we have pointed out, organizations are suffering fromthe inability of their employees to lead and govern their lives welland to their full potential. This is evidenced by the array ofinterpersonal conflict, burnout, low engagement levels, lack ofdiscipline, and a whole host of other issues that arise within ourorganizations. Research finds that it costs roughly 1/30th theamount to develop an excellent person as opposed to hiring his orher replacement. As Geoff Colvin pointed out in Talent isOverrated, “For virtually every company, the scarce resource today ishuman ability. That’s why companies are under unprecedentedpressure to make sure that every employee is as highly developed aspossible.” (Colvin 2008)© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | Critical Success Factors 23
  28. 28. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION Organizations should be investing in the development of the PLE of all employees. It is the foundation from which all other training and development should be built upon. From the CEO to individual contributors, we each need to develop our ability to lead ourselves well. As we nurture these skills and become effective at leading and governing our own lives well, we will have increased energy, more internal peace and contentment, a greater sense of purpose and significance, and an increase in our contribution and productivity, resulting in greater success both personally and professionally. While each individual within the organization needs a strong PLE foundation to build upon, those responsible for leading other people should receive special consideration. It is hard enough to lead our own lives well, but when we add the complexity and responsibility of leading others, the stakes are higher. You have probably heard the saying, “People join companies, but leave managers.” When new hires join a company it is often because of the perceived opportunity and what they believe the company represents. Yet a significant number of exit interviews reveal that people leave an organization because of their managers. One survey found that 65% of the respondents said they would take a new boss over a pay raise (Ouimet 2012). Yet when managers were asked why their people left, the number one answer given was “for more money.” This discrepancy shows a significant disconnect between those in management and the people that they lead. The impact that those in managerial roles have upon the performance of the organization should not be underestimated.24 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  29. 29. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013According to a recent study by the Corporate Leadership Council,managers impact 15 of the top 20 drivers of employeeengagement. In October 2012, theStanford Institute for Economic PolicyResearch published a research papercalled “The Value of Bosses”. Thispublication was the result of a study thatspanned 5 years, over 23,000 employeesand 1900 supervisors. They found thatreplacing a boss who is in the lower 10%of boss quality with one who is at the 90th percentile increasesthe productivity of each subordinates output by more than 10%.This is the equivalent to adding one full time worker to a ninemember team. This implies that the average boss is about 1.75times as productive as the average worker because of themultiplicative effect of their role across the entire team, comparedwith the additive effect of bringing on an additional employee.(Lazear 2012)According to the Stanford study, one of the biggest differencesfound in “boss quality” was related to their ability to teach, coach,and transfer skills such as a good work ethic or good habits. Itwas estimated that teaching accounts for 67% of the effect thatbosses have on their employee’s productivity. The study alsofound that teaching was more important than motivating,primarily because the skills and behaviors developed as a result ofteaching endure, where as external motivation is short-lived.(Lazear 2012)Similarly, in a recent effort by Google to answer the samequestion, they undertook an initiative called “Project Oxygen.”What Google found was that the best managers had teams that© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | Critical Success Factors 25
  30. 30. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION performed better and had higher employee retention. They realized Eight Habits of Highly Effective that if they could replicate the Google Managers behaviors of their highest performing managers and make everyone as good1. Be a good coach. as their top performers, it would have2. Empower your team, and do not a significant impact on company micromanage. performance and the bottom line.3. Express interest in team members’ Thus, they began to explore what personal success and well-being. made their best managers so good,4. Be productive and results-oriented. and tried to determine whether these5. Communicate and listen to your attributes could be replicated. In their team. attempt to build better bosses,6. Help your employees with career statisticians gathered and analyzed development. more than 10,000 observations about7. Express a clear vision and strategy for managers, across more than 100 the team. variables, from years of performance8. Demonstrate key technical skills so reviews, employee surveys, and HR you can help advise the team. interview notes. They then coded all the information in an effort to identify patterns. What they discovered were several key attributes of their most effective managers. (Byrant 2011) (See Sidebar – “Eight Habits of Highly Effective Google Managers"). What is most encouraging from these findings, and the findings of hundreds of similar studies, is that those critical skills required of effective managers can all be developed. Skills such as being a good coach, expressing interest in your staff, being results oriented, teaching, communicating, listening, and helping employees, all require and draw upon the foundational personal leadership competencies that we discussed earlier.26 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  31. 31. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013Is it worth the effort and cost?Not surprisingly, companies that are outperforming their peers arealso investing much more in their people and leadershipdevelopment programs. In fact, companies with mature leadershipdevelopment programs spend an average of 30 to 60% more perparticipant. The annual investment average per person/per yearfor high performing organizations is $1,671 for first-levelsupervisors, $2,700 for mid-level managers, $6,016 for seniorleaders and $7,116 for high-potentials (HiPos). These investmentspay off in improved leadership capabilities, better business results,increased employee retention, and higher levels of employeeengagement and productivity (Bersin & Associates 2012).While the discussion of developing leadership capabilitiesreceives some level of attention in most organizations, often the‘softskills’ take a back seat to what are considered by some to bethe more important ‘hardskills’ like finance,strategy, and engineering. Even privateequity firms clearly understand the value ofgood leadership. They recognize that strong,effective leadership is critical to the successof their investments. In fact, repeatedly thedecision to invest in a company is oftenpredicated on the strength of itsmanagement team, and the assessment ofthe organization’s talent begins as soon as due diligencecommences (Couto 2012). According to Google, their investmentpaid off quickly once they started teaching their “Eight Habits” intraining programs, as well as in coaching and performance reviewsessions. As a result of their efforts, they were able to achieve astatistically significant improvement in manager quality for 75%of their lowest-performing managers.One of the things that we find in our discussions withorganizational leaders is that they seem to be looking for the next‘new thing’ in leadership development, as though human nature© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | Critical Success Factors 27
  32. 32. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION has changed during the last fiscal year. Organizations would be better served if they would stick with the ongoing development of their people in some core competencies, around self-leadership and the leading and coaching of others. As noted, this was confirmed by Google’s Project Oxygen and by the findings from the recent Stanford study on the Value of Bosses. In an interview with the New York Times, Laszlo Bock, Google’s Vice President of People Operations stated that, “Although people are always looking for the next new thing in leadership, Google’s data suggest that not much has changed in terms of what makes for an effective leader.”  The most successful companies have a mindset that talent is an asset to be unleashed, not a cost to be contained. Are you creating a culture that embodies this view?  Are your people clear about their unique gifts, talents and contributions? Are they working out of their strengths?  Are your developments activities primarily skill-based or do they focus on developing the whole person, including their personal leadership effectiveness?  Do you have strategies that address developing personal leadership at all levels of the organization, from the CEO to the most entry-level position?  Do your development strategies include traditional training and development along with coaching, mentoring, and other effective methods?28 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  33. 33. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013Engaging and Retaining your PeopleOnce you have gone to all the expense and effort needed to findtop talent that aligns with your organizational culture and values,you also need to make sure that you get them engaged. It iscritical to get employees to utilize their gifts andtalents in a way they find personally satisfying.Yielding maximum contribution for the organizationis the desired outcome. If done well, there is a higherprobability that when your human capital assets gohome at night, they will happily return the nextmorning. It is important for organizational leaders tounderstand what motivates people and to help draw out the bestin them. The role of leaders today is to create an environment inwhich people can grow, develop self-mastery, and gain a sense ofpurpose and value from their work.According to Scarlett Surveys, "Employee Engagement is themeasurable degree of an employees positive or negative emotionalattachment to their job, colleagues and organization that profoundlyinfluences their willingness to learn and perform at work.”An "engaged employee" is one who is fully involved in andenthusiastic about their work, and will thus act in a way thatfurthers their organizations interests. The bottom line is thathighly engaged employees provide higher value and are less likelyto leave the organization for which they work. They are moreeffective at producing high quality, innovative products andservices; they have a greater impact on customer satisfaction, cost,and revenue growth. Highly engaged employees are found toremain with organizations for what they feel they can contributeand for the positive difference that they feel that they can make.In contrast, disengaged employees tend to stay only for what theycan get out of the organization.Studies on employee engagement levels vary significantly. Theydemonstrate a range from 25%-55% of employees being fullyengaged and contributing maximum value. One study showed© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | Critical Success Factors 29
  34. 34. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION that 52% of employees are disengaged and just putting in time, while 19% are actively disengaged unhappy and spreading discontent throughout the organization. Regardless of which numbers you use, disengagement is costly and has an impact on the performance of your organization. (Blessing-White 2013) In general, engagement tends to increase as you move up the organizational ranks. One study showed that 59% of executive level staff are fully engaged, as compared to individual contributors who varied between 27% and 33%. There are several possible contributing factors to these results. A higher level of engagement can be attributed to greater autonomy on the job, as mastery and expertise gained brings additional confidence. Additionally, the longer one is in the workforce the more time they have to discover their own unique gifts and passions, and to find meaningful work that is in alignment with these strengths. Blessing-White has conducted research and work around the world on the topic of employee engagement. They provide a simple model and way to think about employee engagement (see figure on left). The assumption is that the organization and each of its employees is moving toward their own definition of success. Organizations move toward the definition of success that is captured within their Vision, Mission, Values, and supporting goals and strategies. At the same time, employees are moving toward their own personal definition of success. This is based on the employee’s values, goals, interests, capabilities, and work-life needs. The larger the organization, the more complex this becomes. If you have 10 employees, you will have 10 different definitions of success,30 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  35. 35. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013whereas with 20,000 employees, you now have 20,000 uniquedefinitions. The goal is to find an intersection as high up thescale on employee satisfaction as possible, while also gettingmaximum contribution to the organization’s own goals andobjectives.When we look out across our organizations, we find a spectrum ofengagement. The Blessing-White model uses five categoriesbased upon where a person falls on the ‘personal satisfaction’scale and the ‘contribution to the organization’ scale. The‘Engaged’ are those that are providing maximum contribution tothe organization, and receiving maximum satisfaction as anemployee. Those that are high on personal satisfaction and lowon contribution are called the ‘Honeymooners and Hamsters’,because they are either new to their role, happy to be there, butcontributing very little, or they are content to coast along. Thenthere are those employees that are high on organizationalcontribution, but are not receiving much personal satisfaction.These people are referred to as ‘Crash and Burners’ and are at riskof either leaving the organization or sliding into the disengagedcategory due to burnout and frustration. The ‘Disengaged’ areneither satisfied nor contributing, and are the ones most likely tospread discontent and negativity throughout the organization.Finally, there are the ‘Almost Engaged’, who typically makes up alarge part of the organization. They are an important segment toaddress because they are decent performers who are oftenoverlooked when it comes to training and coaching. This isbecause organizations often focus attention on either ‘highpotentials’, or those towards the bottom who are causing thegreatest issues. Since they are only moderately satisfied, they areat higher risk of leaving in search of an opportunity that may yieldmore satisfaction.© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | Critical Success Factors 31
  36. 36. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION So what are the causes of low employee engagement, and what can we do to address it? As we look at engagement through the lens of contribution to the organization and employee satisfaction, the reasons for being engaged, disengaged, at risk of burnout or just coasting along, can be as varied as the people who work for us. However, when you look at the research conducted on the topic, common themes emerge:  Employee Satisfaction: Employee satisfaction can be affected by a number of factors. These include: whether they feel valued by the organization; their relationship with peers and managers; the level of trust in leadership and those on their team; whether they feel challenged and have opportunity to learn and grow; and their ability to connect passions and gifts with the job and organizational purpose.  Employee Contribution: The variables that impact employee contribution can also vary widely. These include: a lack of clarity regarding job roles and responsibilities; lack of clearly defined expectations and regular feedback; lack of skill or training in a certain area; not being in the right role; internal bureaucracy; poor communication; and lack of collaboration and teamwork. Based on the most recently published 2013 Employee Engagement report by Blessing-White, they identified the top “Contribution” and “Satisfaction” drivers of engagement. The table on the next page highlights these findings.32 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  37. 37. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013 Top “Contribution” Drivers of Top “Satisfaction” Drivers of Engagement Engagement 1. Greater clarity about job 1. More Opportunities to do responsibilities and what I do best performance expectations (and why?) 2. More resources 2. Career development opportunities and training 3. A coach or mentor other than 3. More Flexible job conditions direct manager 4. Regular specific feed-back 4. More challenging work about how I am doing 5. Development opportunities 5. Improved cooperation and training among coworkers and relationship with manager 6. Better communication with 6. Greater clarity about job manager responsibilities and performance expectations (and why?) 7. Better relationship with co- 7. Greater clarity about workers personal work preferences and career goalsLow employee engagement is a significant contributor to turnoverand retention-related issues within organizations. However, as webecome aware of and address the factors that impact engagement,we will begin to solve some of our retention problems. Investingthe time and resources needed to understandengagement-related issues and solve them can yield bigdividends, since dealing with unwanted turnover is verycostly.According to a 2012 study by Birkman International, 78%of organizational leaders say that retention has becomea major priority. This is because employees are the lifeblood ofour organization. Employees are the drivers of creativity,innovation, strategy, and customer service. Losing them isextremely costly. Cisco has calculated that it costs them$250,000 for each talented engineer that leaves the company,while Bristol Meyers Squib estimates that it costs them $500,000for each senior leader that leaves. Most industry estimates use a© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | Critical Success Factors 33
  38. 38. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION multiple of 1.5 to 2.5 times an individual’s salary to calculate the cost and impact of turnover. This accounts for loss of knowledge, the cost of recruiting a replacement, and the 6-12 months it takes someone to become truly productive in their new role. Even replacing minimum-wage employees begins to add up. It is estimated that the average cost to replace a minimum wage employee is $3,500 when you account for recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and training (Ouimet 2012). To complicate matters, there are baby boomers retiring in vast numbers. For organizations, this translates to losing years of knowledge and experience. As Millennials enter the workforce, many have become disillusioned and are not satisfied with what they are finding in organizations. One source claims that “95% of young professionals are regularly watching for new potential employers because they don’t feel like they are learning, growing, or being valued in their job” (Paul 2012). So as we address the engagement equation, we can positively affect the retention equation as well.  Are you creating a healthy organizational culture where people can thrive, grow and contribute their best?  Are your employees aware of their responsibility as it relates to their own engagement? Are they growing in self-awareness, gaining clarity regarding their unique passions, experiences, and gifts? Are they clear about their unique value and contribution to the organization’s mission?  Are your managers aware of their role and that 15 of the top 20 drivers of employee engagement are within their span of control?  Are you developing leaders throughout the organization that can develop and coach others to achieve their full potential and raise their engagement level?  Do you know the rate and cost of turnover in your organization? If so, do you and your managers know the causes?34 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  39. 39. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013 Establish, Develop and Sustain a PLE CultureTo bring about change and long-term sustainable transformation,you have to start somewhere. The question we are often asked is,‘Where should we start?’ While the answer to that question willvary within each organization, based on goals, objectives, desiredoutcomes, current issues, and constraints, there are some keyelements that any organization should consider as they embark onthe journey of establishing, developing and sustaining a personalleadership effectiveness culture.As part of establishing a personal leadership effectiveness culture,it is important to know where you are and where you are trying togo. The goal is to begin with a plan that is integrated and that isdesigned to achieve the desired results. This becomes yourblueprint and foundation for lasting success.Once you have a plan for where you are heading, you can beginthe process of developing your personal leadership effectivenessculture by implementing strategies which will have the greatestimpact and return on the time, money, and other resourcescommitted to the effort.© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | Establish, Develop and Sustain a PLE Culture 35
  40. 40. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION As the organization begins to see positive results, it is important to have plans in place for sustaining a personal leadership effectiveness culture. This requires leaders to consider how they will preserve and continue to enrich the culture from the inside out. Establishing a Personal Leadership Effectiveness Culture In a perfect world, this type of initiative would be sponsored and driven out of the C-Suite of the organization, and permeate the culture of the entire organization. However, we don’t live in a perfect world, and sometimes positive initiatives are spawned by a project team, a department, a region or a division led by courageous leaders who can’t sit idle and live with the status quo. Once they have realized that one of the greatest impacts they can make in their professional life is the alignment and development of the people for whom they are responsible, they spread that passion to others, greatly benefitting the organization. Create a Vision for the Future It is important to begin with the end in mind. What is the desired end-state for the culture of your organization? How would developing a PLE culture positively impact your ability to execute on your organization’s vision, mission, and goals? It is important to be clear about your business goals and objectives so that you can align your people strategies with your business strategies. When you think in the context of your “Service-Value Chain”, what are the personal leadership qualities and behaviors that are directly linked to your organization’s value creation, employee and customer satisfaction, and your long-term success? Take time to review your organization’s values or guiding principles. Are these really your values? If you answered “Yes”, are all of your36 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  41. 41. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013employees aware of these values, and do they know how to livethem out on a daily basis? Are they aware of how they directlyrelate to the achievement of the organization’s mission? Are thereconsequences for not living by them? When we work with clientsas part of the visioning process, we often use the following simplebut highly effective exercise. 1. Confirm organizational values: Take time to review the current values statements. Confirm that they are core values and essential to the success of your organization. 2. Define each value: Make sure each value is clearly defined. Don’t leave it open to individual interpretation. If one of your values is ‘excellence’, how does your organization actually define excellence? 3. Describe the expected actions and behaviors: The next step is to describe the expected actions or observable behaviors of employees that are living out this value consistently on the job. What does ‘excellence’ look like at your organization? List 3-5 short sentences that describe ‘excellence’ in action. 4. Link related personal leadership competencies: The final step is to then identify and link the personal leadership competencies (see page 12) that would be required to live out this value on a consistent basis. For example, ‘excellence’ may require employees to have the personal leadership competencies of Personal Discipline, Positive Attitude, and Perseverance.This exercise will help provide clarity around the organization’score values and the associated personal leadership competenciesrequired to succeed at your organization. This information canthen be used to communicate clear expectations to employees,and will become a valuable component of your recruiting andemployee development process.© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | Establish, Develop and Sustain a PLE Culture 37
  42. 42. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION Assess Your Current State Where are you today? How would you describe your current culture? Once you have established a clear picture of the type of culture you want to develop, it is important to pause and consider where you currently find yourself and your organization? 1. Describe your current culture: How would you describe your current culture? How would management and employees describe the current culture? Are these assessments in sync? Look for areas of improvement and identify what is going well and contributing to your success, so you don’t break something that is working. 2. Review the Anatomy of a Winning Culture: Review the 10 attributes described in the “Anatomy of a Winning Culture” (See Appendix) and identify areas in which your organization is doing well and areas in which it would be beneficial to improve. 3. Review metrics and data: If you have metrics on turnover, engagement levels, leadership pipeline, employee and customer satisfaction, utilize this information to identify improvement opportunities. 4. Review qualitative feedback: Don’t ignore this vital resource. In conducting few brief conversations with management and employees, we can often uncover some of the most important cultural elements, as well as what people consider the biggest inhibitors to success. The key here is to stop long enough to think about where you are today, and to have the courage to be honest in identifying the areas in which your organization is not currently living out the vision you have for it. Once you have identified the gaps between where you are and where you want to go, you can begin the process of developing an integrated plan that aligns your human-capital strategy with your business strategy.38 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  43. 43. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013Develop an Integrated Human Capital StrategyAfter you have determined where you are heading and havegained an understanding of your gaps, you can begin to develop aplan that is integrated. It is important that your plan address thekey areas of talent acquisition, employee development, and howto engage and retain your best people. While limited time andresources will force you to be selective about the initiatives youcan undertake, it is important to understand theinterdependencies of your human capital initiatives and theirimpact on the performance of the organization. For example, ifyou begin making investments in the development of your peopleto positively shape your culture, and ignore your talent acquisitionefforts, you risk flooding your organization with people who don’talign with the culture. Conversely, if you focus on hiring the rightpeople but don’t engage in the ongoing development andpreservation of your desired culture, you risk going adrift. In thiscase, the culture will take on a life of its own over time and maynot align with your desired outcomes.The Human Capital Institute provides a Talent ManagementModel which is a beneficial point of reference when developingyour strategy. The graphic on the following page illustrates thelink between an organizations business strategy and their humancapital strategy. Within the human capital strategy are corecomponents to planning, acquiring, engaging, developing,deploying, leading, and retaining your human capital assets. Whenthis strategy is done well your organization’s talent assets willdeliver on your expected business results.© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | Establish, Develop and Sustain a PLE Culture 39
  44. 44. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION40 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  45. 45. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013As this graphic demonstrates, the important thing to rememberduring the planning process is that everything should flow out ofyour business strategy. As you develop your supporting humancapital strategy, you will want to consider how each element ofyour strategy aligns with your intended talent results andultimately the desired business results.Crawl, Walk, Run ImplementationsDeveloping an integrated human capital strategy that takes intoconsideration the interdependencies of activities, and prioritizesdecisions and investments based on business impact, is a valuableand necessary exercise. While it should be comprehensive,cohesive, and integrated, a human capital strategy should also beiterative. Creating an implementation based on a roadmap forthe future should be pragmatic. It should be rolled outincrementally while generating short-term wins, creatingemployee buy-in, learning from mistakes, and finding activitiesthat generate the most value for your team or organization. Thisis what we like to refer to as a “crawl, walk, run” strategy. Thisstrategy allows you to pilot your initiatives. It helps you to discernwhat works best for your organization, and to continuouslyimprove and refine your approach over time. This progressiveimplementation method allows you to expand a PLE culturethroughout the organization as you generate wins anddemonstrate its value.Developing a Personal Leadership Effectiveness CultureAfter you have created yourfuture vision and devised a planbased on your organizationalpriorities, it is time to beginimplementation. We will look atthree key areas for growing anddeveloping the maturity of your© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | Establish, Develop and Sustain a PLE Culture 41
  46. 46. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION organization, including: developing your leaders, recruiting the right people, and engaging and retaining your employees. Developing Your Leaders A plan to develop the personal leadership effectiveness of your leaders, from the CEO to the first line supervisors, is the cornerstone to your success for several reasons. Why?  Organizational leaders set the tone for other employees and need to lead by example.  Organizational leaders are responsible for hiring new employees.  Organizational leaders impact 15 of the top 20 variables that affect employee engagement.  Organizational leaders have a multiplicative affect (positively and negatively) because of the nature of their role and the relationship they have with those reporting to them.  Organizational leaders become the internal champions for a PLE culture and are vital to your sustainability efforts. We have found three core learning objectives that are essential to maximizing the effectiveness of your organization’s leadership. 1. Developing in Personal Leadership Effectiveness is an important first step. (See “Developing in Personal Leadership Effectiveness” in the Appendix). This is imperative because everyone in a leadership position42 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  47. 47. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013 needs to develop the ability to lead and govern their own life well. This is essential if they are going to be able to lead by example, and be able to effectively lead and coach others. 2. Developing the ability to effectively lead others. Once a leader is growing in their own PLE, it is important that they extend those concepts and apply them to their team environment. Learning how to identify PLE-related issues within a team, constructively address problems, reinforce and acknowledge the desired behaviors, and incorporate effective practices into the ongoing management of the team are essential capabilities. 3. Developing the ability to coach others. As highlighted in the Stanford research and Google’s Project Oxygen, one of the critical capabilities of the most effective leaders is the ability to mentor others on the job. This is not only an important skill for leaders to develop, but it will become a key component to your organizational sustainment strategy.Recruiting the Right PeopleIn order to get “the right people on the bus,” it is important thatyou have a comprehensive approach to talent selection and hiring.The five practices below are key to a successful talent acquisitionapproach. 1. Create an interview process that incorporates multiple interviewers and minimizes rushed decisions and personal bias. 2. Incorporate the organization’s values and the supporting personal leadership competencies into the candidate selection process. 3. Develop the interview skills of your management team so that in addition to discerning technical qualifications, they are also able to assess for fit and alignment with the team and organization.© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | Establish, Develop and Sustain a PLE Culture 43
  48. 48. 2013 MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 4. Utilize assessments to eliminate personal bias and subjectivity, and to gain greater insights into the behavioral traits and personal leadership competencies of the candidates. 5. Clearly establish that, as part of preserving the culture, talent selection and talent management is everyone’s responsibility. Utilizing this process will better insure the likelihood of hiring individuals that will be successful in the position and environment in which they will work. Interviewing for both personal leadership competencies and job- related skills is important. As we saw in the previous section, bringing in the wrong people can have a devastating impact on your organization. You want to determine whether the individual has the attributes you are looking for, both in their character and in technical, job-related skills. You must assess whether there would be good chemistry and whether the person will align with the culture of the team and organization as a whole. Most organizations are very effective at screening for job experience, education, and technical skills, but struggle to assess for character qualities such as level of self-awareness or a teachable attitude. This is also where things such as personality traits and behavioral “hardwiring” come into play. Are you interviewing someone who has a natural propensity to be engaged with people, who likes to talk and socialize? What if the job requires them to work alone in a cubicle in the basement? Or are you interviewing someone who prefers to work alone and at their own pace in a calm and methodical manner, but the position requires joining a fast-paced, dynamic and creative team? Do you have the ability to identify these traits and potential issues during the interview process? If not, do you think the individual who is looking for work will admit that they might not be a good fit, even if deep down they have concerns once you described the job during the interview?44 | © 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich
  49. 49. MAXIMIZING WORKFORCE CONTRIBUTION 2013It is essential to establish a process not only for evaluating skillsbut also for assessing character, behavior traits, andorganizational and team fit. To do this effectively, everyone inleadership whether in marketing, finance or engineering will needto become skilled talent managers and learn how to assesscandidates for key personal leadership qualities. This can nolonger be relegated to HR. Everyone will need to play a role andtake ownership for developing a personal leadership effectivenessculture.Engaging and Retaining Your EmployeesAs pointed out previously, employee engagement is a tremendouscontributor to the performance and success of the organization.In solving the employee engagement issue, we can also improveemployee retention, as highly engaged employees are much lesslikely to leave the organization.First, we need to develop an engaged leadership team through theefforts described above in “Developing Your Leaders.” Engagedleaders not only model the way, but also positively affect many ofthe things that impact employee engagement.Once you have a great foundation established with yourleadership team, you can begin to permeate the entireorganization. Helping individual contributors grow in theirpersonal leadership can increase their level of engagement forseveral reasons. First, as they become more self-aware, they gaina greater understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, passions,and gifts. They begin the process of honing their skills andaligning with opportunities that energize them. They identifywhere they can make a positive contribution. Second, asindividuals learn to be accountable for their own direction,growth, ongoing development, and attitude, they will take morepersonal responsibility for their level of engagement. Finally,when organizations invest in their people and make them moreeffective at work and in their personal life, they feel valued.© 2013 – Dr. Ron Jenson and Keith Aldrich | Establish, Develop and Sustain a PLE Culture 45