Culture (still) Eats Vision

close up shot of a person interviewing a man lying down on a couch

What does your employee evaluation process look like and what does it say about your culture? Culture eats vision (thanks John Maxwell)! You can have the best strategic plan and evaluation process, but it does not determine culture. Culture also can be exceedingly difficult to measure but you know it when you have it.

The most effective evaluation process I have used is every other week meetings with all staff and the other week are one-on-one meetings. How you do this is determined by the size of your team, department and/or organization. The goal of doing this is to manage challenges and opportunities during the year and not in one big messy meeting at the end of the year. Then it is often too late.

If you use these meetings during the year to make corrections, failing and learning is much more prevalent and more opportunities will arise throughout the year. These meetings are also not numerically based. No random ratings. They are subjective conversations focused on the vision and dreams of the organization.

In fact, the culture I focus on is: Dream Big, Know How To Have Fun and Get $h!t Done. The dress code has been “Dress Appropriately.” This all may seem too casual for some, but it has been remarkably effective for us. This does not go without its trial and tribulations as no system is perfect. People are looking over their shoulders much less and instead focusing on what is most important, i.e., surprising and delighting customers.

At year end it is a good time to sit down and have a conversation around three questions:

  1. Do you still love what you do here?
  2. What do you want to be doing in five years?
  3. How can I help?

They are intentionally open ended and do leave room for more questions and a deeper dive. These are not scored either, but I do share them back with each staff member and keep them on file to see how we progress from year to year. I also do written follow-up on our individual meetings. Those serve as a record of an evaluation and to remind both of us of what we agreed to do.

Your culture can make or break your workplace (and home for that matter). Make decisions for the best of your employees as they are on the front line with your customers.

Culture retains employees who then attract more and then productivity increases.

Simple, but not easy!

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