How to create a high-performing company culture

I attended Shane Green's webinar  "Human after all “ How to really connect with your staff.  I was impressed by his passionate sharing about the relationship between company culture and staff retention. Shane is a world-renowned speaker and author on customer experience and organizational culture. He has written an outstanding book called Culture Hacker: Reprogramming Your Employee Experience to Improve Customer Service, Retention, and Performance.

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Shane Green

When Shane worked in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and was promoted to Guest Services Manager from Front Desk staff, his General Manager told him that his number one priority was no longer taking care of guests but taking care of his employees. He had a team of 22 employees to look after 150 customers. If he prioritised to focus on his employees, making his employees happy, then they would look after the 150 customers well. It was much more efficient than for him to look after 150 customers. Therefore, to create a healthy company, culture is important. A lot of leaders think company culture is a Human Resources™ responsibility. Please note what Shane said in his book Culture Hacker:
  • People and culture are no longer HR things nor optional. They are business things. They are everything, including your bottom line.
  • Company culture is defined by an employee's experience at work. How your employees feel during critical moments when interacting with their direct manager or various culture mechanisms determines their work experience.
  • Culture is the collective hearts and minds of a group of people.
  • If you don't define precisely what is supposed to happen at critical moments in the employee journey, then the experience will at best be mediocre. An organisation is responsible for creating mechanisms that elevate employees out of mediocrity. Shane summarized 9 key moments in an employee's day, week, month or career. If as an employer, you can catch those critical moments or snapshots, you can achieve great employee engagement. Therefore, you will have a better performing workforce.

9 key moments in an employees day
  1. Do I feel welcomed when I start my day?
  2. Do I have the technology, tools, information, staffing and support to do my job well today?
  3. Does my manager listen to me when I share a concern, idea, or make a comment?
  4. Did my manager give me constructive feedback when I could have done better?
  5. Did my manager recognize me today for something I did well?
  6. Did I get a chance to have a break today?
  7. Did my manager help us out when we got busy?
  8. Did my efforts make a difference today?
  9. Am I accepted, included, and respected for who I am?

Shane also summarized 8 things employees value and want:

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1.Meaningful work
People needs to know the purpose of their work: how do they make a difference?
Does my work have meaning?
2. A focus on performance
People crave feedback. You can give your employee informal feedback every day.
People leave because of a lack of recognition.
3. A positive workplace
People like to socialise. People working remotely miss social interaction at work.
You can arrange virtual socializing where they don't talk about work. Nowadays,
people are not keen on social activities after work. Bringing people together for
lunch or breakfast might be better.
4. Flexibility
Provide the right technology for working from home.
According to Seek, the most popular recruitment website in New Zealand and
Australia, the flexibility of working from home is becoming a major attraction in job
5. Health & wellbeing
Provide employees with the necessary equipment for their safety. For example,
during a pandemic make PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) readily available, for
If managers work after hours and send emails late at night, let your employees know
that you don' expect them to reply immediately.
6. Development & Career
According to HBR (Harvard Business Review) 2020, the most obvious solution to
upping employee retention is offering more effective training and development
7. Trust in the organisation
Employee Survey helps. Employees want company to be successful. They need to
feel part of the company. Share companys plan and goal with employees.
8. Leadership
Leaders need to inspire people and walk alongside them.
Leadership is a managers ability to inspire their employees hearts and minds to
want to do what they want them to do and perform their best. - Shane Green's
book, Culture Hacker.

An employees first 90 days are critical. Here is best practice:
  • Employee Orientation: Tell the employee on their first day at work that
    • In 30 days, you are going to ask him/her about one thing the company can do to improve the employees experience
    • In 60 days, you are going to ask him/her one thing to improve customers experience
    • In 90 days, he/she needs to tell the employer one thing to save the company money and improve revenue.

Therefore, the employees will feel they are involved in improving the company's business.

The golden rule in the Bible also summarises the best practice for retaining employees:
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.

Many thanks to Shane Green for permission to summarise the main points from his webinar in this article.