If you are a leader you have a lot on your plate and you may wonder, how much time should I be focusing on my corporate culture? Unfortunately, there really isn’t just one correct answer. Time devotion will be, in part, a reflection of the maturity of your company and the personnel infrastructure in place. However, it is safe to say that if you are intending to grow your company, well over 50% of your time should be devoted to culture and cultural brand building priorities. The ROI benefits of making your cultural brand a priority are well proven and can improve engagement, retention, customer satisfaction, recruitment and even shareholder value.
Chances are, you aren’t spending 50% of your time on culture priorities. Why? Without a doubt, the number one reason CEOs don’t spend enough time on their culture issues is because they are too involved in “working in the business” rather than “working on the business”. This means that the CEO is spending too much time in the “doing” of operational activities (i.g. sales, operations, admin) rather than having the right people in the right positions to handle many of these activities so that they can free themselves to steer and lead the culture.
Accordingly, the key to creating more time is for the CEO to take the time to review his/her job description and determine which activities should be delegated to others. Sometimes it is easy because those other people exist within the company and they are capable of handling the additional responsibility. Where this is the case, the CEO should begin delegating as soon as possible. This not only frees time for the CEO to focus on mission critical cultural priorities but also provides job enrichment, a key component of job satisfaction, for the chosen employee.
When delegating new responsibilities, do not assume that the person is totally self-sufficient from the start. Take the time to coach and work with them to ease the transition as they assume their new duties.
In my work with CEO’s, most recognize coaching as something that they should do and will do eventually but find themselves stuck in a trap. If you find yourself putting out fires and fixing other peoples immediate problems you may be failing to build the capacity and sustainability that comes through patiently coaching others to put out their own fires.
The steps to take when you do not have the people you need to delegate to are more involved and will be covered in future posts devoted to “employment branding, recruitment and talent acquisition”. In the short run:
By Jason Kipps and Terry Thompson
About the author
Jason is Head of Universum Canada