The data don’t lie. Too many of us are bad managers. And yet a single positive interaction with an employee can permanently boost engagement, combat “quiet quitting”, and forge genuine long-term trust, all of which make for better performance. None of this is rocket science. So why are employee engagement scores in the dumps? More importantly, what should we do about it?
Few things have a greater impact on performance than company culture. And yet, too often companies resort to superficial (albeit fun and well-intended) activities like themed lunches as their sole efforts to build culture or express a commitment to diversity. This short, light-hearted look at the topic belies two important themes. One of them is that culture has a huge impact on performance. The other is that culture comes from the top. Both mean that it is essential for leaders to do more than fill their employees’ bellies with empty calories.
We all seem to understand that bad execution taxes the business, literally and figuratively. But do you know by how much? A twenty-year-old article in the Harvard Business Review estimates that poor execution leads to underperformance of between 60-100%, and this is just the direct impact! In the long term, it creates a permanent and devastating culture of poor performance. Though this article focuses on large companies, growth-stage founders can learn from these findings to improve their own company’s performance.
Imagine going out for a nice dinner only to be served cold food by a surly waiter. Sound unsatisfying? This is the dilemma many organizations face today. Despite brilliant strategies and innovative products, what’s missing is top-notch execution—and it’s time to (re)acknowledge its critical role.