International Keynote Speaker Duncan Stevens

Creating A Positive Culture

How As A Leader Can We Change, Drive Or Establish A Certain Culture Within Our Organization?

There are many different definitions of culture, but essentially, at it’s core culture is people. Culture is passion, inspiration, creativity, diversity, innovation, collaboration, Culture is empathy, team work, patience, enthusiasm, positivity, balance, openness and everything in between. If you get your culture right, it drives engagement, drives performance, drives personal and organisational pride, drives output, drives innovation, and the correct culture can be a big determinant on how your team work together collectively, and collaboratively, how safe they feel to share ideas, how happy they are at work, how high their levels of morale is and many other positive and equally negative effects on the business.

What Culture Is Not.

Culture is not a process and it’s not something that can be ticked off of a HR spreadsheet Instead it’s something that evolves over time. culture is a forever evolving part of the organization and needs nurturing and effort to sustain it. It’s much like a relationship you don’t tick it off and say I’ve done relationship now. 

It’s something which has to be worked on. But you can’t force a culture onto an organization. It has to be co-created co imagine co-authored by the employees. it shouldn’t be a top down approach to creating a culture but a bottom up approach cultivated by your the employees.

So How Can We Help Build the Correct Culture as Leaders?

So how can we help build the correct culture as leaders.  Well, we start by understanding that evolutionarily we all crave the same thing. People want to feel safe, valued and good. And if you can help create a culture like that, where trust and safety is at its very core, you will have a happy workforce where people will want to come. So what are the strategies can we use to open up culture in our organizations? Well, it doesn’t have to be anything clever or elaborate.

The first thing to recognise is that people perform to higher levels and embrace a certain culture if they feel appreciated, recognised and encouraged.

There are many studies that show the productivity, engagement and morale implications through simply recognising your team and one study is my favourite involving lego men:

The premise for this test is relatively simple, where the participants involved in the study were asked to build Lego figures.

For the first Lego figure that they built, they received $3 and then every figure after that they got paid successively less. In doing so, they mimic the reality that they were often happy with the salary on day one of a brand new job, but become less happy.

The further we go through the process, our participants wanted to see how many Lego figures each participant will build it, so they divided them into two groups. When the first group built their Lego figures, a piece was held for a while and then dismantled at the end of the experiment.

For group two on the other hand, their piece was deconstructed straight away right in front of their very eyes.

They were both getting the same financial reward and they both knew that at some point, their Lego figure would be dismantled.

However, the Lego figure there was held for a short period of time before it was dismantled, produced nearly 60% more output from the results and got more work done. They were getting exactly the same financial reward. But ultimately we’re working harder and longer, yet the objective and then the end goal was the same.

Ultimately, they were appreciating that their piece of work was valued even for just a short period of time before it was broken down and as a result, they demonstrated significantly more effort based on that both of these examples highlight a massive principle lesson in culture.

So if you want to improve the culture that you and your employees work in, it’s important to start with something simple but often overlooked – that of appreciate recognizing and valuing the work that your employees do, instead of catching them out when they’re doing things wrong.

If you do that, you could see nearly a 50 to 60% increase in performance.

Give Me One More Real World Example:

In fact, Stewart Gilliland, CEO of Müller wanted to increase engagement rates when he returned, he took on Alex Ferguson’s well done or appreciation recognition mantra. Within the first six months, engagement rates were at 19.6%. The following six months had gone up to 36%. The following year, it was up to 47%. When Stewart Gilliland left, engagement rates were up to 69%. In that same year, Müller sold more yogurt produce more yogurt and had significantly less wastage.

I get it – appreciating, recognising and encouraging your team will only lay certain foundations to a positive culture. There are many other aspects. Whilst as I mentioned, culture should always come from the bottom up instead of the top down, all leaders should understand that it is down to them to act as the catalyst and to lead by example in cultivating, creating or simply maintaining a certain workplace culture.

More About Duncan Stevens

Duncan Stevens is one of the worlds leading high-performance coaches and keynote speakers. He helps teams and leaders cultivate a mindset for success using his background on behavioural psychology and over a decade in helping teams and leaders positively impact their bottom line. He is a best-selling author, successful entrepreneur and has spoken around the world in over 40 different countries. 

To learn more about Duncan, check his availability or to explore his speaking topics and how he can add value to your event with his inspiring, educational and entertaining approach to his keynotes then get in touch with Duncan or a member of his team below.