How to Create a Work Culture that Embraces Responsiveness
It’s 7:53am and you send an important Slack message to the entire project team. No response. It’s now 11:07am and all is still quiet. Crickets. Zero. Nothing.
Unfortunately, the above scenario is completely relatable. We have all experienced it and that is the sad reality of our communication style today. Very few people practice Responsiveness. No one seems to care or they may care but they don’t demonstrate it to their colleagues.
Something has to shift. Change must be sparked. Otherwise, employees are going to continue to feel neglected, unheard, and most importantly…disrespected. To avoid these dangers, I have put together 5C’s to help you create a work culture that embraces Responsiveness.
For starters, a culture and attitude of Responsiveness needs to be created. Once established, it needs to emerge from the top and and trickle down throughout the rest of the organization. It can start with creation of email templates, voicemail guidelines, customer complaint policies, purpose statements, and the like. The objective in this phase is to paint a clear picture of what Responsiveness looks like and the expectations surrounding it when communicating with internal and external constituents.
Once you have created the mission and vision around the idea of Responsiveness, now you must commit to an action plan. Execution and a full commitment is necessary. You’ll need to require all department heads to develop their own action plans and KPI’s surrounding this new value set. The keywords here are measurability and accountability to make sure the appropriate items are implemented to create a culture that respects and values Responsiveness.
Just like any new organizational policy, you must make sure you communicate about it up, down, and across the entire organization. Eliminate the grey and make sure all expectations surrounding new Responsiveness policies are absolutely black and white. Develop online resources, provide additional reading materials, and showcase and share examples. Most importantly, make sure these materials are easy to find and navigate.
This next stage is critically important since it is centered around making Responsiveness a key a part of your team culture. The end goal here is to make it a significant component of your organizational DNA. The best way to do this is to simply be a good example or role model. If you are the creator of the policies surrounding Responsiveness or a manager of others, it is key to demonstrate the behaviors and habits of someone who truly practices Responsiveness. If you do this enough, people will take notice and the message will be broadcasted across the organization.
And finally, you must measure your success. If you set up the right KPI’s in Stage 2 (Commit) you can determine what is working from what is not working. Ultimately, you’ll be able to see how Responsiveness has improved the bottom line whether it be less customer churn, less employee turnover, more sales, and so forth. We suggest to meet quarterly and adjust where needed.
Creating a culture around Responsiveness will not be easy or overnight but the rewards are absolutely incredible. You’ll soon be seeing amazing benefits realized but the journey to get there will take a commitment from you and your team, and it may get a bit bumpy at times but stick with it.
Scott Schwertly is the Founder and CEO of Ethos3 and the creator of Badge, a proprietary presentation assessment tool which helps presenters discover and maximize their presentation style. He is also the author of two books, What’s Your Presentation Persona? (McGraw-Hill, 2017) and How to be a Presentation God (Wiley, 2011). If Scott is not working with his team building presentations, you will find him in the pool, on the bike, or on a long run since he is a 2x Ironman, 7x marathoner, and competitive triathlete.