Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see” – and that goes for every member of your organisation, most obviously the senior leaders and the key protagonists.
One issue that is often brought up, when a company culture is not at its best, is that “expected behaviours” in line with the company values don’t seem to apply to everybody. For instance, high performers might be given a free pass, even if they clearly cross the line.
To make a simple comparison, it’s like letting high school athletes fail in all their grades, or not getting suspended when they breach rules, as long as they win the championship. Most will agree that it doesn’t support a culture of equality or respect for the values in place.
Once you have defined clear organisational values and the behaviours that align to them, no one should be exempt from being expected to demonstrate them no matter how great they are at delivering results. There might be a cost to these results too depending on how much impact the “non-compliant” behaviour has on the rest of the team.
It is important to keep everyone accountable. We are not talking a “one strike and you’re out!” policy, this doesn’t really reflect a belief in people’s capacity and willingness to change and improve. It's more about having a common language everyone understands, a clear and unambiguous process outlining expectations and actively managing all members of the company to that system.
Allowing ‘high performers’, or anyone else for that matter, to continue unchecked or unchanged can impede your company’s efforts in culture work and, far worse, damage its credibility too. While people don’t expect perfection, having everyone acting in congruency with company values matters.
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