In a previous article, we talked about corporate culture as it relates to environment. Corporate culture is the atmosphere you sense in an organization, and it is different for each company. It is a blend of values, mission, attitudes, and actions within the organization.
Frances Frei and Anne Morriss, in a Harvard Business Review article describe it well:
In short, culture guides discretionary behavior and it picks up where the employee handbook leaves off. Culture tells us how to respond to an unprecedented service request. It tells us whether to risk telling our bosses about our new ideas, and whether to surface or hide problems. Employees make hundreds of decisions on their own every day, and culture is our guide. Culture tells us what to do when the CEO isn’t in the room, which is of course most of the time.
In the right culture – or environment, which we likened to a petri dish – growth happens.
But environment is not enough for growth.
You may have the right environment, but without the right energy applied, no growth will happen.
A farmer will tell you that you can have the best soil; but until you cultivate it, plant the seed, and apply adequate water and light, nothing of value will grow there.
It is only when you apply energy to environment that real growth happens. (Click to Tweet)
Why does energy matter to your organization?
When you consider the impact of the hurricanes in September 2017, it became clear very quickly that energy (in this case, fuel) was at the center of functionality. And water (the fuel for human beings) was critical. The road to recovery and future growth starts with restoration of energy.
And so it is with organizations. They must have energy in order to grow. At their very core, companies are all about people – leaders, employees, and vendors working together to serve the customer. Service requires energy.
What is the source of the energy?
Interestingly enough, the energy comes from those who also expend it – from the people. Done well, the leader-employee-vendor-customer cycle creates a generator effect. The first three work together to serve the customer. A positive customer experience feeds the first three, both in income and satisfaction; which then carries on to the customer base in a cyclical fashion.
How is the energy of your team?
Many will write about the physical energy of individuals and teams and how to ensure those energy levels are maintained. Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing, is a prime example of one who has learned (and now teaches) the value of protecting physical energy.
But there is another energy field. That is the natural energy that each type of person brings to the table. In our work with strengths profiles and reports, we have noticed this energy differential among the four types of personalities. There are extroverts (higher energy) and introverts (lower energy).
If you ask most leaders which energy level they would like to have on their team, it is likely that most would respond with “higher energy.”
The reality is, you need both in order to create a good balance within your company.
You need extroverts to drive the process and introverts to drive the details; you need extroverts to connect with people and introverts to carry out the tasks. All are essential.
One key way to gauge energy levels in your organization is to check the customer experience. If your customers are experiencing lackluster service and support, the energy level is too low. If they are overwhelmed with the “in-your-face-yelling” of a sales pitch, the energy is too high.
Too low energy is like no sunlight – you won’t see growth. You will have a tired, low-results business. Too high energy will create customer burnout.
Here are three ways to generate the energy on your team that will fuel company growth.
Check the gauge.
Is your organization low on energy or running too high? Do you need to throttle up or scale back?
Add the right fuel mix.
The answer to getting more done may not be to add more high octane. That may actually slow the progress. The answer may be to add a thinning agent to keep the process moving.
Give them room for growth.
When you bring in the right energy – both in the people you hire and the training you provide – there is an important step that many leaders miss. That step is to give them room to grow. Empower your people who are duly qualified to do their work in a way that allows them to fully expand their potential. The results will likely far exceed your expectations.
Do you have a company culture that is conducive to growth, both in terms of environment and energy?
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.