Monthly Archives: October 2011

Building a Responsibility-Based Culture Part Two

Continuing from my last posting, here are some additional ways leaders and managers can build a responsibility-based culture within their organizations.  


Celebrate Successes


Reward and recognize employees (on an individual, team and company level). People need reminders that they are doing a good job and are on the right track with their development. Frequent feedback is best.


Small tokens of appreciation are very effective. For example, if you know someone loves Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts, or their children like to go to McDonald’s, gift certificates of minimal value can have a huge impact. With employees constantly trying to balance their business and personal lives, time off and compensation time are considered premier rewards.


While rewards and recognition can take many forms, the most powerful are words: “Thank you,” “Great job” and “I really appreciate your efforts.”  Make employees feel appreciated for their hard work.  There are few words that mean more than “thank you.”


Leadership and Management Training


Managers, supervisors and leaders are the most important people to all employees. They are lifelines to information, recognition and challenges. Ideally, employees’ managers are their most trusted people within their companies.


Train your managers to know how to best work with people in their 20s as well as those in their 50s and 60s. They need to be prepared to handle various situations. Train them on how to inspire, coach and manage challenging situations.


Remember, employees leave managers more readily than they leave jobs. To maintain productivity and loyalty, invest in your managers and supervisors.


Align and Communicate


Without good, consistent communication at the top, across and all the way down an organization, people become concerned about their own future and the company’s future. They become anxious, update their resumes, leave and create a void of upward mobility.


When managers keep communication open, employees are aligned and all work is transparent. The message to employees is that they are an integral part of the organization and their efforts are valued. When information is not shared, the message is the opposite. Employees who feel they do not matter are poor producers and quick to exit.


If you want to ensure that your employees grow and take on more responsibility and accountability, you must assure employees they are respected for their contributions and ideas.


Share your purpose, vision and values to create an environment in which employees know they make a difference, take responsibility, keep their commitments, work effectively with one another and strive for excellence. If you create a culture of respect, you will reduce turnover, increase customer satisfaction, maximize productivity and improve profits.


The choice is yours!!!



Dianne Durkin is president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a specialized consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty for some of the nation’s most prominent corporations and many smaller businesses. Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people.

Info Exchange – Building a Collaborative Enterprise

Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics. 

Loyalty Factor has been instrumental in helping companies:

  • Increase Customer Satisfaction by 20 – 33%
  • Increase Revenues by 50% in 18 months
  • Increase Manufacturing Production by 200% in 18 months

Our information exchange this week highlights the Harvard Business Review Article, “Building a Collaborative Enterprise,” by Paul Alder, Charles Heckscher and Laurence Prusak.    


Four keys to creating a culture of trust and teamwork.


How can you build a collaborative enterprise? The authors Paul Alder, Charles Heckscher and Laurence Prusak highlight there are four keys to creating a culture of trust and teamwork.  


Trust is the foundation and framework of all relationships. The level of trust and respect one creates determines their success with everyone they are dealing with. In creating mechanisms to make trust scalable across the organization, is what this article highlights. Specifically the authors state that organizations must do four things:    

  1. Define a shared purpose that guides what people at all levels of the organization are trying to achieve together.
  2. Cultivate an ethic of contribution in which the highest value is provided to people who look beyond their specific roles and advance the common purpose of the organization.
  3. Develop scalable procedures for coordinating people’s efforts so that management activities become interdependent.
  4. Create an infrastructure in which an individual’s sphere of influence is overlapped and the person is rewarded and valued for the collaboration between the various functions within the organization.


The authors feel these four goals are imperative in building a culture of trust and innovation.

Building a Responsibility-Based Culture Part One

Even before you nail your business sign to the door, you must establish the purpose and values of your business and then clearly share them with all your employees.


If your business makes flooring, for example, your employees want to know that your company’s purpose is to make the best flooring for the price. Employees want to know they are making a difference in people’s lives. If they do not think their product/service is making an honorable, true and valued difference, they will leave.


Every company needs to say what it does and why it does it so employees will know what they are working toward each day.


People want to make a difference. Explain to them the difference their daily efforts make. Once you’ve explained the value you offer, let your employees support and help you inspire people with creativity and innovation. 


Listen to Employees Suggestions


A person on the manufacturing floor, an analyst in marketing or a customer service representative might see and hear things that could improve productivity or competitiveness. Many times, even before senior management is aware of a situation.


Provide a culture and forum that is open and allows people at all levels to speak out without repercussions and make suggestions that can be acted upon.


There are thousands of great ideas tucked away in employees’ mind. Ask for opinions and LISTEN to their suggestions.


Engage Employees in Developing Solutions


Once you hear your employees’ suggestions and ideas engage those same individuals in determining the feasibility of implementation. Teams work very effectively to determine pros and cons of new ideas. The process of working in a group provides individuals the opportunity to think outside their present responsibilities and to expand their thinking.


People want to grow. Give them the opportunity or watch them walk out the door.


Training is the New 401(k)


Most companies train their people on the elements of doing their job, how to run a particular manufacturing machine, or financial processes and procedures. While this is important, your employees need to be trained on better interaction techniques across the company, what each functional department does and how to quickly step in and help.


Training is a huge benefit to the employees and to the company. Well-trained employees appreciate the investment in growth. They do not leave. Rather, they stay, grow and increase productivity and profitability. If you give employees the opportunity to continuously learn, they will be loyal and provide the company with the leaders and managers of the future.


Dianne Durkin is president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a specialized consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty for some of the nation’s most prominent corporations and many smaller businesses. Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people.