The time has come to invert organisation charts
Organisations must always remember that employees are their foremost priority. The front-liners must be most empowered as they are closest to customers and other stakeholders
As a business grows, its challenges grow too. To make a business successful, one must always focus on and value the people who work in it. Only if employees are respected and trusted, will they truly feel empowered and be engaged to deliver. So, no longer can any firm or business survive without valuing their Employees by putting them FIRST!
Fostering such an employee-centric values promotes a culture where employees operate with a strong sense of purpose, and intuitively take personal ownership for their roles and responsibilities. Such a philosophy exponentially increases the likelihood of success through the individual and collective endeavours of employees, leading to teamwork and creativity that creates true value for all stakeholders – be it customers, partners, suppliers, regulators, communities, and shareholders.
For success, employees must feel empowered
Organisations must always remember that employees are their foremost priority. The front-liners must be most empowered as they are closest to customers and other stakeholders. Therefore, front-liners must be treated as KINGS and QUEENS of the business. With such recognition of empowerment, the entire organizational talent across-levels in various functional automatically starts supporting the Frontline Kings and Queens, enabling them to enrich customer experience.
Employees are inevitably successful, when they are well-supported through a strong back-end, efficient operations, fast decision making, constant training, ongoing development and support in challenging situations. In such evolved organisations, the frontline KINGS and QUEENS come out on top in enabling organisation success by uniquely delivering a winning value proposition to all stakeholders.
Only empowered employees are motivated to serve with the highest standards.
Such a uniquely delivered value proposition empowers a business to get higher value-based pricing. While customers expect competent, error-free, and timely service…only when service is uniquely personalised, customer-focused, predictive and consistent in delighting customers does a business experience growth in the value of its brand. Such a delightful value proposition positively influences customer attitudes towards the brand and reinforces a consistently positive perception towards it. Such brands inevitably show healthier business growth, deliver predictable and sustainable earnings, and are able to continuously innovate by investing in newer capabilities helping keep the customer ahead… while.
It takes TWO to TANGO….both the organisation and its employees!
Such empowered organisations recognise that growth and rewards lie in the hands of employees…and are also able to reward employees well, while delivering top-tier shareholder value. What goes around, comes around….so to encourage organisations to foster such a culture, it is also incumbent on the employees to grab the baton, exhibit loyalty and ownership, while behaving like TRUE LEADERS.
The three pillars of Stature, Vision and Culture are essential:
1. STATURE leads to acceptability. It is built through knowledge, responsiveness, speed of execution, ability to nurture, ability to give straight feedback, ability to help others succeed. This does not come through title or position. So, employees should seek to build such stature. Stature is earned, So, despite being the newest or youngest in a team, an employee with such an attitude can command the highest stature.
2. VISION is what drives one towards a larger objective. Remember….a vision is not a target. A truly good and strong vision should be big and purposeful enough for it to be unachievable, as a vision should continuously evolve and enhance with external changes. It should also be shaped by the collective attitudes and perceptions of employees, as they deliver ongoing successes and even failures. This leads to employee’s gaining incremental confidence in daring to set their personal vision as leaders in their respective functional areas, while simultaneously dovetailing it with the overall vision of the whole organization. Such personal employee drive and conviction enhances communicate amongst employees, and enables peer motivation through infectious strengthening of collective beliefs in the organisation’s overall vision.
3. Culture is the collective behaviour that employees shape for themselves, their teams and the overall organisation. It determines how an organisation and its people are perceived to behave and respond. Customers and stakeholders easily sense an organization’s true culture by its behaviour and responses, and these are driven by the combined reflection of the value system that each employee in the organisation has. To foster such a positive employee value system, organisations must hire and nurture people with a positive mindset who have a sense of hope, optimism and a strong belief and faith in their personal abilities. Such employees possess a strong desire to serve others well, have a keenness to win, believe in treating others fairly, and yet have the passion and grit to achieve the impossible. Only such a powerful mix of employee values and mindset can reflect the potent culture that an organisation desires to create so that customers subliminally start loving and admiring the organisation and its brand.
An organisation’s culture must be in synch with the aim to achieve the set vision!
For an organisation to be successful, its culture must be collectively shaped and articulated such that it can be clearly, yet creatively, interpreted by all. This naturally helps make good things happen for the customer and facilitates value creation for all stakeholders.
Therefore, to achieve success, organisations need to attract employees who are focused, energetic, passionate, creative, innovative, those who execute with excellence, and demonstrate very high standards of personal and professional integrity. Such desired employee attributes are best reflected ONLY when fostered by an organisation’s vision that TRULY rests on the three vital foundations of Stature, Vision, and Culture.
It is, therefore, no surprise that successful organizations focus relentlessly in fostering such a positive value and belief system. THE REST THEN JUST FALLS EASILY INTO PLACE.
Rajeev Kakar is a banker, board member, founder of Dunia Finance, global co-founder of Fullerton Financial Holdings and former Citibank CEO of the Turkey-MEA region. Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.
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