It is SO hard to get it right all the time. I am talking about the M-word. Management.

Inspiring

Motivating

Engaging

Developing

Retaining

And the rest of it of course.

I found this article particularly resonated with me. On the periphery (and through surveys) your employees can seem really engaged, but if we rely on engagement scores alone to understand the health of the organization, then, as the article rightly states, we could be trading the productivity aspect. I fully agree.

Aspire has a great culture, one that myself and my leadership team in the regional offices have worked hard to replicate from the UK offices and keep consistent throughout the years (despite battling cultural challenges). However, this article has given me food for thought that perhaps we have focused too much on the word ‘culture’ and all the niceties around it, without us having objectives of what that culture actually means, what we stand for and / or what we expect in return. 

E.g.  Having a beer fridge in the office seems cool but what it comes down to is that it’s not about the beer, it’s about the message it sends: that employees are trusted to act like adults and empowered to make their own decisions.  I would hope we are all on the same page here but if not could that be a reason why our productivity on some occasions has suffered? 

Culture = Engagement + Productivity? 

I don’t think anyone has a magic formula for this however I do think we need to be looking at creating a culture of both engagement and productivity and as we approach the end of another year, I think we need to not be complacent, reflect, learn and refresh our ideas to tackle the year ahead. Something I will be thinking about.