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The focus of employees on their individual needs over collaborative achievement has the most significant impact on organisational performance, according to a survey.
A research report conducted by international consulting firm Pulse indicated that the widespread focus of employees on their own individual needs at the expense of collaboration and collective needs is the biggest single malaise affecting organisational performance in both the private and public sector.
“Importantly, we found more than 50 per cent of comments by employees researched were driven by a sense of individual entitlement,” said Pulse director Sue Jauncey.
“At the executive level entitlement is represented in ego-based behaviours that satisfy self-interest over collective achievement.”
The report also revealed an epidemic of blame shifting with over 85 per cent of staff surveyed in the report witnessed blame shifting to others by their colleagues to justify why targets have not been achieved.
The report found that a staggering 80 per cent of staff did not know what was expected of them in their business nor did they understand their organisation’s financial or business performance measures.
“If staff do not have a focus on the goals of the organisation and don’t even understand their role in the bigger picture of the entity one can hardly expect the organization to operate at full potential,” she said,” said Ms Jauncey.
Ms Jauncey said businesses need to focus on developing intentional culture through a deliberate design process and then measure it against conventional business KPIs.
“In Australia, ASIC has recently identified corporate culture as a key issue requiring attention at CEO and board level following their auditing of many businesses and reviewing some of the many scandals involving Australian banks,” she said.
Ms Jauncey said there is empirical evidence that company culture can significantly affect real business outputs.
“Research by J.J Kotter in the US conducted over an 11-year period during which 207 organisations were monitored found ‘that companies that develop their culture returned 516 per cent higher revenue and 755 per cent higher income’ over those that did not,” she said.
“Another study by Australian design firm Hassell in 2014 found that combination of organisational culture and workplace facilities outweighs salary and benefits as the influential factors in choosing an employer.”