iStock_000012604968XSmallAbout one month ago I released my new Performance-Values Assessment and invited readers (from my blog, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) to respond.

The initial responses are in; this post looks at trends from this early data. In addition, I’ll provide recommendations for boosting the health and effectiveness of your organization’s culture.

There are 57 global responses to the assessment so far, all drawn from people like you – social media-savvy folks who are interested in corporate culture. Therefore, the population we’re drawing upon is a small, un-scientific sample. And, I believe strongly that the insights drawn are worth your consideration, despite the small sample.

Each of the items (or questions) in the assessment describe desirable practices and behaviors. The rating scale includes scores from 1-6, ranging from “strongly disagree” (rating 1) to “slightly agree” (rating 4) to “strongly agree” (rating 6). Since each item states a desirable practice, the healthiest cultures will be rated at the 5-6 level (“agree” and “strongly agree”). Let’s take a look at a few of these items . . .

“I understand what is expected of me at work.” 39% of respondents “strongly agree” while 28% “agree.” That means over 2/3 of respondents understand what their performance expectations are. That’s terrific – high performing players and teams are explicit about goal expectations. Stated goals alone, though, do not guarantee delivery on performance expectations. Leaders must hold staff accountable.

“I am held accountable to meet or exceed performance expectations.” 25% of respondents “strongly agree” while 35% “agree.” So, of this population, 60% are held accountable – that’s good! And, that means 40% of respondents said they are not held accountable. Accountability falls on the shoulders of leaders. If performance expectations are not consistently met, it costs your company profits, customers, and employee morale. Leaders, consistently hold staff accountable for performance expectations.

“Fair consequences are applied if I miss performance expectations.” 11% of respondents “strongly agree” – 35% “agree.” A total of 46% of respondents experience fair consequences – from the boss or from the organization (peers, internal customers, etc.) – when they don’t deliver on agreed-to performance standards. That’s good! These totals also reveal that 54% of respondents do not experience fair consequences. This item doesn’t delineate if the 54% experience unfair consequences or no consequences; neither of those inspire the application of employee discretionary energy towards goal accomplishment.

“Our team has defined what a ‘good team citizen’ acts like.” This item takes us into values clarity. 9% of respondents “strongly agree” and 33% “agree,” totaling 42% in the desired rankings. Not bad – yet 58% of respondents said their team has not defined values for their team. In the absence of values standards, people do whatever they have to do in order to get ahead. Some of those behaviors are not fun to see or experience. Values clarity is a vital foundation for great team performance and cooperation.

“I demonstrate our company values in all interactions with bosses, peers, and customers.” This item had the highest desirable rating on the 20-item survey. 49% of respondents “strongly agree” and 40% “agree.” 89% of respondents model desired values; awesome. And, we’re rating self-perception in this survey. It would be interesting to gather input from respondents’ internal and external customers and gauge their observation of values demonstration. Hopefully it would be as strong as these self-perceptions.

Next week we’ll examine a few more of the items from the initial results from the Performance-Values Assessment.

Join in the conversation about this post/podcast in the comments section below. How clear are performance and values expectations on your team? How well are staff held accountable to deliver on both?

There is still time to complete my #CoolCulture survey! Contribute your experiences in my FREE Performance-Values Assessment. Further results and analysis will be shared in an upcoming post and podcast. Note that results will change as more respondents contribute to this database.

What is your company’s #CoolCulture score? Contact me for information on conducting the Performance-Values Assessment in your organization!

Photo © iStockphoto.com/yuri_arcurs

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S. Chris Edmonds

S. Chris Edmonds

Chris helps leaders create purposeful, positive, productive work cultures. He's a speaker, author, and executive consultant. He blogs, podcasts, and video casts. He is the author of The Culture Engine and six other books.
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