Our client CEOs who are most successful at leading culture change recognize that it is their job to set the example for other leaders and managers by making a habit of some simple, but not always easy, actions. Here are some of the beliefs and habits of those CEOs who are actively working to create the environment where employees can be more motivated to deliver the company experience.
1. Model The Company Experience Behaviors: Live It Yourself, Every Day
Get better at doing the behaviors yourself, one behavior at a time. Realize that everyone watches what you do. When the CEO truly “lives it,” employees see that—and they talk about it.
2. Recognize and share success (at least once a month)
Recognition submitted by the CEO is a highly visible and very powerful way to send a message to your workforce about what matters to you. Use recognition as a leadership tool to help you drive the business results you want to achieve.
3. Do the One-Minute Reminder (at least once a week)
Start every regular meeting with a Company Experience Reminder, i.e., share a company experience success story, remind team members of a survey focus area, or tell about something you are personally working to improve in your own delivery of the company experience (admit an opportunity for improvement of your own).
4. Make “It” Social: comment at least once a week
Comment on, share, and like recognition posts to magnify the impact of success stories and spread them across the organization. When the CEO comments, shares, or likes a recognition, people notice!
5. Share and collaborate on survey results (once or twice a year)
Make sure the organization is doing the company experience survey at least once a year—preferably every six to nine months. Use the survey data to stimulate important conversations with your team and to create consensus around actions that the team will do to improve the focus areas.
6. Hold people accountable: Have Necessary Conversations
When someone’s behavior does not exemplify the company experience, bring it up to him or her in a respectful way. Let employees know you are paying attention. Use survey results, recognition participation, and performance metrics to assess and develop leaders. Check on your direct reports’ recognition activity. If they are not participating, ask why, and tell them why it’s important to you.
7. Make “It” part of the conversation
Use the words and phrases from the company experience mindset, values, and behaviors in your conversations and written communications. For example, “In the spirit of open and honest communication, I need to let you know about a change that is coming in our business.”
Write a monthly letter or email to your employees, letting them in on your thoughts about the company experience, what you are focused on, or what you are excited about. In written announcements, make clear connections between the latest company news and the company experience. For example, “Our company picnic was a huge success, with many people rolling up their sleeves to help. Thank you for setting a good example for others to follow—truly living the company experience.”