What Leaders Do- Defining Culture

By Rob Allen

As part of this series of articles, we are looking at the role of culture definition.  Leaders need to be intentional about establishing a culture, or a culture might form that is not best for the success of the team. There are several important parts of culture development:  the first was values. The second is setting expectations. 

It starts with values. If the values are in place, it’s a lot easier to discuss expectations.  Expectations are simply the values applied to execution. Values are the spirit behind what we do. Execution is what we do. Expectations establish the way we do what we do.   

Of course, you have heard this before, but it’s not so easy to do for some.  We tend to think it means confrontation and unhappiness. It doesn’t have to. It is just about clarifying and understanding what execution actually looks like. 

For example, if timeliness in customer response is a value, then one expectation might be that every customer’s inquiry is addressed within a prescribed about of time.  For Easy Time Clock, phone calls are answered about 90% of the time before going to voice mail. There is a 100% call back rate for valid calls. That’s because excellence in customer service is a value.  It differentiates the way customers are treated. That may look different for your team, but the Easy Time Clock team has defined customer service expectations in this specific way.  

Setting expectations provides a great benefit for team members:  relief! When people are following, they want to know what the score needs to be.  Its anxiety-producing to not know! Once that is clear, team members can settle down and comfortably go about doing their work.  Focus is better, a sense of fulfillment rises and motivation is possible. 

The next several blogs will continue the theme of what leaders actually do. Head over to easytimeclock.com/media/blog and see what other goodies might be there to inspire you to be better at what you do.