5 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Culture – Week 4


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Your culture will be your catalyst to outperform the competition and provide the type of service that creates loyalty. It’s what takes you from success to significance in the eyes of your customers.  This week we are continuing to break down the 5 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Culture. They are:

  1. Hire For the Wrong Reasons
  2. Focus on Tasks and Not Purpose
  3. Preach Values That You Don’t Live
  4. Incentivize the Wrong Activities
  5. Not Investing in Your Culture

Last week we took a deeper look at the mistake of preaching values that you don’t live – click to see last weeks post – this week we will look at another culture killer – Incentivizing the wrong activities.

It’s not only what leaders preach and what they live, but we also need to think about what we incentivize. What type of behaviors and what type of focus do our promotions, our bonuses, and our incentive trips create? Are they productive or are they counter-productive? For example, if your company preaches that customer service is the most important thing that you do, then incentivizing your customer services reps for the number of calls that they take in a day kills your culture.

At a financial adviser group that is a client of mine, their sales force is comprised of all independent reps. Since there are no restrictions on territory and all prospective clients are fair game to all, competition can become pretty cutthroat. To counteract that and foster the one-for-all-and-all-for-one culture the organization espouses, leadership instituted a program where a percentage of salaries come from the collective whole. If everyone is doing well, there’s a reward tied to it that comes from collaborating and doing well together.

A wise partner leader knows that incentives need to motivate the whole rather than a select few.




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