TAG Consulting

The One Thing Every Winning Organization Must Have


January 30, 2017

Our online employee survey, The Engagement Dashboard (TED) has collected data from hundreds of companies and thousands of employees to reveal what it takes to unlock a healthy organizational culture, with productivity, engaged employees, and the hidden talents and capabilities of its people.

TED reveals a host of dimensions that go into making a great organization, but one stands out as the only dimension in the entire survey that requires only one sentence to sum it up – Dependability.

 

Here’s the sentence:

Management can be counted upon to come through when needed.

It is nearly impossible to overstate the importance of this metric.

People will put up with almost any “what” if they get the “why”  – the knowledge that we are engaged in something great and life-altering and useful and good and we can count on our leaders.

The single question – ‘Can I count on my leaders?’ – was the only other question to correlate to every other question in TED. Dependability is nearly everything.

Dependability is all about the leader. The leader must provide the support needed and then get out of the way. The leader matter less than the cause.

Can you as a leader be counted upon to come through for people no matter what? Will you get your hands dirty, will you walk out the talk of your shared values, will you incarnate the organizational code, will you risk losing yourself to disrupt the status quo?

Can YOU be depended upon to come through when needed? And, if you are just beginning your career of leadership, are you putting into place the conditions and habits which will develop the kind of character where you will be depended upon at the end of the day?

Are you dependable? And is your organization?

To find out more about TED, click here.

Are The Right People On Your Team?


January 9, 2017

In our years of research and experience we have discovered that organizations with a healthy culture fulfill three basic human desires: the desire to belong, to contribute, and to make a difference.

People who work in organizations like this are engaged. When they reflect on their jobs they think things like this: “I matter around here. My strengths are being recognized and used around here. I am making a difference in and through my work”. These are the people you want on your team.

In our employee survey, The Engagement Dashboard (TED), those organizations with a healthy culture consistently saw that their employees answered ‘yes’ to questions such as “I get to use my talents and strengths every day at work”.

Some organizations do this as a matter of course, putting employees through widely available strengths-identifying instruments. We recommend such tools and use a few ourselves.

However, the very best organizations end up identifying and developing managers and leaders who themselves are talent scouts, whether or not they use the formal tools.

These leaders use two questions as indispensable tools to identify talent:

What does it take to win in our business?

How will we know a winner when we see him or her?

Learn to spot these people, to recruit them, develop, and deploy them, and you are going a long way towards building your organizational dream team.

To find out more about TED and how it can help you spot the best talent for your team, click here.

Looking For Talent? Ask These Two Questions


August 3, 2016
Woman Playing the Violoncello

Woman Playing the Violoncello

In an organization with a healthy culture, the end result is that employees fulfill their desire to be engaged. When they reflect on their jobs they think things like this: “I matter around here. My strengths are being recognized and used around here. I am making a difference in and through my work”.

In our employee survey, The Engagement Dashboard (TED) those organizations with a healthy culture consistently saw that their employees answered ‘yes’ to questions such as “I get to use my talents and strengths every day at work”.

Some organizations do this as a matter of course, putting employees through widely available strengths-identifying instruments. We recommend such tools and use a few ourselves.

However, the very best organizations end up identifying and developing managers and leaders who themselves are talent scouts, whether or not they use the formal tools.

These leaders use two questions as indispensable tools to identify talent:

What does it take to win in our business?

How will we know a winner when we see him or her?

If you can identify these people – fueled by your leaders’ experience in the industry and the available tools – and then deploy and encourage them, you will have made an important first step toward engaging your people.

To find out more about TED and how it can help you spot the best talent for your team, click here.

The Four Signs of Employee Engagement


August 1, 2016

Print

In our multiyear study of organizations we found that those with the strongest and most healthy cultures could be relied upon for operational stability and integrity. They were extraordinarily well-managed enterprises.

And they had highly engaged employees, who demonstrated an innate desire to contribute, to belong, and to make a difference.

We have found that organizations with high levels of employee engagement typically have these four characteristics:

  1. Team members consider themselves to be empowered.
  2. There is a culture of collegiality.
  3. Management attracts top talent and rewards them accordingly.
  4. Team member are fully engaged in their work and in the mission or their organization.

If your organization is characterized by these four traits you can be assured either that your employees are engaged – which makes a profound difference for your bottom line – or that they are well on their way. If you are falling short in any of the four areas, there is a great opportunity for game-changing intervention on your part.

It’s important to assess whether or not your organization is characterized by these four things. But it can also be a challenge to assess yourself objectively!

That’s where The Engagement Dashboard (TED) comes in.

We have gathered data from hundreds of companies and thousands of employees from all three sectors in American organizational life – public, private and social.

An easy to use online employee survey, TED reveals the current culture of an organization, its hidden capacities and potential, and enables leaders to craft cultures that fully engage the talents and hearts of their people.

To find out more and to insure that you are on your way to a fully engaged workforce, click here!

The Single Most Important Thing Leaders Can Do


March 11, 2016

Recent research tells us two things:
1. Eighty-five (85%) of CEOs believe that employee engagement is one of their most important priorities.
2. Only three out of ten American workers are engaged with their work.

What’s the disconnect?

Our study of organizational culture revealed that leadership effectiveness is a crucial component of both employee engagement and organizational performance.

And there is one word that encapsulates leadership effectiveness:

TRUST.

The single most important thing a leader can do is to be personally trustworthy and to commit to building a trustworthy organization.

The word TRUST carved into a stone wall. 3D render with HDRI lighting and raytraced textures.

You can read more about our research and the employee survey we have developed from it called The Engagement Dashboard (TED) here.

From all of the data we collected we learned that a positive answer to one question more than any other predicted the long-term success or failure of an organization:
Management can be counted upon to come through when needed.

That’s dependability in a nutshell. It all boils down to this: can leadership be trusted?

There’s everyday trust – providing clear direction and adequate resources, communicating clearly, telling the truth. But organizations with a truly great culture go above and beyond.

They come through even when they might not be expected to. They allow for failure, risk, and experimentation. They distribute power and decision-making authority instead of concentrating it in the hands of a few. They share more information than is strictly necessary, even when hoarding information would provide increased power and influence to a select few. They demonstrate that they value their employees as human beings, not just as ‘resources’ filling roles and providing profit.

If there is a gap between where your organization is and where you would like for it to be, your best place to start asking questions is around this topic of trust. Are your leaders trustworthy? Are YOU trustworthy? Can people count on your leaders to come through when needed?

And if you are ready to take your organization to the next level, trust is also the place to start. What can your leaders do to push even further through trust barriers? Where can you share more, care more, risk more, communicate more?

TED would be a great place to start by taking a look behind the scenes of your organization. We’d love to serve as a trusted advisor to you on your journey to becoming a truly trustworthy organization that excels in both the bottom line and in the hearts and minds of your people.

You can find us here. We’d love to talk with you!

The 1 Most Important Quality of a Winning Organization


February 15, 2016

Our online employee survey, The Engagement Dashboard (TED) has collected data from hundreds of companies and thousands of employees to reveal what it takes to unlock a healthy organizational culture, with productivity, engaged employees, and the hidden talents and capabilities of its people.

TED reveals a host of dimensions that go into making a great organization, but one stands out as the only dimension in the entire survey that requires only one sentence to sum it up – Dependability.

guy with chains

Here’s the sentence:

Management can be counted upon to come through when needed.

It is nearly impossible to overstate the importance of this metric.

People will put up with almost any “what” if they get the “why”  – the knowledge that we are engaged in something great and life-altering and useful and good and we can count on our leaders.

The single question – ‘Can I count on my leaders?’ – was the only other question to correlate to every other question in TED. Dependability is nearly everything.

Dependability is all about the leader. The leader must provide the support needed and then get out of the way. The leader matter less than the cause.

Can you as a leader be counted upon to come through for people no matter what? Will you get your hands dirty, will you walk out the talk of your shared values, will you incarnate the organizational code, will you risk losing yourself to disrupt the status quo?

Can YOU be depended upon to come through when needed? And, if you are just beginning your career of leadership, are you putting into place the conditions and habits which will develop the kind of character where you will be depended upon at the end of the day?

Are you dependable? And is your organization?

To find out more about TED, click here.

Focus on Strengths To Have A Winning Organization


December 8, 2015

When an organization has a healthy climate, the end result is that employees or volunteers are engaged. When they think about their jobs, their thoughts run to sentiments such as these: “I matter around here. They pay attention to my strengths and talents here. I am making a difference”.

winning2

In our employee survey, The Engagement Dashboard, which you can read about here, organizations with a healthy culture see that their employees answer yes to questions such as “I get to use my talents and strengths every day at work”.

There are lots of tools to identify employee strengths but the very best organizations, whether or not they choose to use formal tools, somehow seem to consistently identify and develop skilled managers and leaders.

Two questions are critical in identifying and developing talented leaders who are sold out to the mission:

  1. What does it take to win in our business?
  2. How will we know a winner when we see him or her?

Once you’ve found them, you’ve got to nurture them!

Here are three critical ingredients for developing employees around their strengths and creating employee engagement:

  1. Create a common language around strengths and skills. Whether you use a ready made tool or create your own vocabulary, make sure that you are fostering conversations about strengths more than shortcomings. In our work with clients, this is one of our preoccupations – how can we turn the internal and external conversations to focus on strengths and promise. It’s key to ‘catch’ team members praising the strengths of others and build on such comments. it makes a huge difference both in productivity and climate!
  2. Make sure managers are talking to team members about strengths. Sure, you have to have a daily task-focus – stuff has to get done! But make sure that you circle every conversation you can around to the employee or volunteer’s strengths and talents – you’ll see improved morale and productivity as a result. And cultivate and place managers who are willing to run a personal risk by shifting responsibilities around to make sure people are in places where they can shine.
  3. Align your performance systems around strengths. The promise should be simple: “We will put you in a place where you can use your strengths and talents. If you do so in alignment with our corporate mission you will be promoted and rewarded and in so doing you will fulfill your desire to contribute, belong, and to make a difference.”

Simply put, it’s more fun to work in a place where employees are engaged around their strengths and thus committed and loyal to the organizational mission.

To read much more check out our new book The Secret Sauce here or be in touch with us – we’d love to help you create a winning, strengths-based organizational climate in the place you serve!

How We Define Culture


November 5, 2015

Most of our work at TAG revolves around helping organizations identify and shape their organizational culture – this is what is means to reframe, refocus, and reimagine.

And, to be sure, culture is a hot topic in the world of organizational life. Most agree with the legendary Peter Drucker that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Our recent book The Secret Sauce: Creating a Winning Culture by Kevin Graham Ford and James Osterhaus shows you how committed we are to the idea that culture matters.

But what gets lost sometimes is a clear, beginning definition of culture. What exactly is this “culture” that is both so important and so elusive?

Using our online employee engagement survey tool called The Engagement Dashboard (TED), we have collected data from thousands of American workers across all three sectors of organizational life – public, private, and social.

After more than fifteen years of data-gathering we believe that we have discovered both the definition and the ingredients for a thriving organizational culture.

Culture is the realization of our desire to belong, to contribute, and to make a difference.

Further, culture is composed of three elements:

  1. High levels of employee engagement (Contribute)
  2. A compelling organizational climate (Belong)
  3. Consistently effective leadership (Make a Difference)

All three elements are necessary and in our work with leaders and client organizations we dig deep to put the building blocks in place necessary to create a strong, robust, enduring cultural architecture.