Your business is likely losing hundreds of thousands of $ every year because your people are coming to work with a 'go-to-work' mindset. We solve that problem!


Inspiring employee behaviour 

that enables high-performance

Behaving is the third of the 4Bs of high-performance. 

The two biggest insights I learned while leading in my first high-performance organisation were:

  1. 1
    Your culture (employee behaviours) drives the performance and results your business achieves
  2. 2
    It becomes a cinch to get employee behaviours in alignment when you use the first two Bs of high-performance: Believing and Belonging

You'll be doing yourself and your company a dis-service if you don't ensure that you have a really great handle on

1. Believing and

2. Belonging.

They absolutely underpin what you are about to discover in this training.

You beat your competition because of your people

Being in business is about competition. If you want to thrive you need to be better than the business down the road. Often the differentiator is your people: 

  • How well they choose to use your technology
  • How inspired they are to deliver exceptional experiences to your customers
  • How much capability they have for improving the bottom-line

In this article, we are going to look at the 5 crucial elements of employee behaviour that will set you apart from your competitors.

The elements in the audit that assess Employee Behaviour

Our team members receive training in all of the following: Operational/technical, Business and Social Skills

Technical Business Social Capability

If you want to be in the elite 2% of high-performers you have to do things differently.

If you want to be in the elite 2% of high-performers, the world we live in demands that people (at all levels, including you) must master many competencies, capabilities, behaviours, and feelings.

Gone are the days when training and development which is focused on technical/operational capability and complying to governance regulations kept you in the game of business. 

Most organisations are pretty good at ensuring people have the core skills to 'pump' the product or service out the door. Being good at that, simply keeps them in the middle of the pack amongst their competitors. You have to go to another level.

Unfortunately, many of them miss the mark when it comes to training in 21st-century skills:  

  • ability to give and receive feedback
  • resilience
  • flexibility
  • vulnerability
  • emotional intelligence
  • ability to apply and share learning
  • business literacy
  • and so forth

These are the types skills that deliver high-performance.

21st-century skills are needed

"Most organisations are good at ensuring people have the core skills to 'pump' the product or service out the door.

Where they fall down is in ensuring people have the 21st-century skills and mindsets that enable them to deliver high-performance results"

Not investing in so-called 'soft-skills' training is likely costing you thousands


Here's the first thing I want you to do. Go and check out your training and development budget and calculate the percentages of where you are spending your training $. 

The five classifications are:

  1. 1
    Technical/Operational Skills - ability to get the job done
  2. 2
    Mindset Skills - ability to think and act as a high-performer
  3. 3
    Social Skills - ability to influence others and work together collectively
  4. 4
    Business Skills - ability to improve the performance of the business
  5. 5
    Compliance Skills - ability to meet the needs of external influencers (e.g. government regulations)

How much have you spent on enabling your people's so-called 'soft-skills'?  (Their Mindset/Social/Business/ skills)?

If it's the smallest part of your budget ... and has been this way for many years, I wonder how you are stacking up against your competitors. 

Are your profits at the level you need?

If the results aren't where you want/need them, then you need to take a good, hard, long, look at where you are allocating your training funds/time.

Let me be very clear, the 'soft-skills' are the difference between you and your competitors. You can have the best technology, innovation, business models in the world, however, if your people aren't able to: 

  • work cohesively together
  • get the best from each other
  • be more focused on servicing your customer and delivering your product than fighting with each other
  • have a mindset that every day is about improving their capability
  • think like business partners
  • be able to understand the impact of every decision they make on the bottom-line
  • have the business acumen to make informed decisions ...

... if they aren't resilient, solution-focused and believe in their capability to make remarkable things happen ... then you're going to (at best) be second to your competitors and, (at worst) go out of business.

If your people aren't able to ...

  • work cohesively together and get the best from each other, 
  • be more focused on servicing your customer and delivering your product than fighting with each other,
  • be resilient, solution-focused and 
  • believe in their capability to make remarkable things happen

then you're going to - at best  be second to your competitors 

and - at worst  go out of business.

Whether your team member is the cleaner, a production-line worker, or a General Manager s/he will have to get work done with and through others. Unfortunately, many people come into the workplace:

  • sorely lacking in relational skills
  • unable to negotiate conflict
  • unable to flex their style to suit the needs of others
  • with low emotional intelligence

If you want breakthrough results, you must ensure they are continually developing these skills.

If I had limited budget, and my people were already fairly competent at their work, then I would spent a significant proportion of my budget on mindset, social and business acumen skills. It is these softer skills that will enable them to turn from being fairly competent at their work to being able to deliver exceptional results. 

You can't build a high-performance organisation from an average training program

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Technical skills alone won't give you a competitive advantage

You must ensure that your team members are thinking like business partners, have the desire to be consistently at their best and are capable of building strong relationships with a variety of people

Recommended Resources for Improving People Skills Recommendations 

(Investment) Thought Patterns for High Performance is the program is the core program I use to help people become more engaged, resilient and growth focused. Discover more about the Thought Patterns for High-Performance program and how it could transform your team. (Make sure you do the introductory activity!)

(Investment) Success Insights Profiling is what I recommend to help people more fully understand what makes them and others tick! Each individual receives a personalised report that allows them to understand:  

  • behaviours that could be helping them to succeed or holding them back
  • their motivating drivers - and whether their work experience is setting them up for success or failure
  • how well they are using their emotional intelligence to influence others and situations

Discover more about Success Insights Profiling and get the skills that enable people to improve their relationships.

(Investment) Zodiak is a one-day fast-paced game which teaches business acumen. In one day your team will probably discover hundreds of thousands of potential cost savings in your business. Discover more about Zodiak here

(Low Cost) Book: Leadership and Self-Deception don't let this title fool you - this is one of the most transforming books you'll read. It provides a blueprint to help people understand how they sabotage their own success and causes conflicts they could well have avoided. Access  Leadership and Self-Deception on Amazon

Our team members are comfortable holding each other accountable and provide quick, fair and effective feedback when there are problems/issues

High-performing individuals love feedback. They love receiving it, and they love sharing it! In fact, in a high-performance organisation coaching up, regardless if it is a skill or attitude problem, is just a normal part of life. 

In lower-performing teams feedback is often only provided by leaders at performance appraisal time or when performance is so bad that everyone is upset! 

Never would  an elite sporting coach, turn up to the team at the start of the season and say something like. "You guys know what we are here for. To win the tournament at the end of the year. Off you go. I'll check in occasionally with you." Yet, that's what regular performing business teams do all the time.

In higher-performing teams, the leadership has set up the culture and the norms for people to relish feedback as a way of continuously improving. When feedback is regular and 'just-the-way-we-do-things-around-here' there is little to no angst around it.

Make it everyone's job to provide regular feedback/coaching -
whether that's up, down or sideways!

Holding each other to account is a hallmark of high-performance teams. It is also one of the hardest things for most teams/team members to do. 

What we've discovered is that getting team members - both leadership and front-line to provide feedback is something you'll need to train and reinforce on multiple occasions. 

When people don't address hiccups, they generally fester and become problems of volcanic proportions.

And, if you're on the path to self-managing teams (which if you want high-performance you generally should be), then having team members waiting around for leadership to fix issues is self-defeating and the antithesis of self-management. 

can i give you some feedback

The sooner you grow this capability in your teams the better for everyone. Sure, they'll be uncomfortable to start with, but with good leadership and ongoing development, you'll quickly find that this capability will transform the quality of conversations and performance in your business. 

You'll know you've got it right when team members are giving each other feedback, and they appreciate it! 

You'll know that you're genuinely an empowering high-performing leader when your people are readily and regularly giving you feedback, and you are taking it seriously!

Recommended Resources for Growing Feedback Capability  

(Free) Make sure you provide plenty of ongoing training and coaching in this area, and you are role-modelling providing feedback.

(Free) Make sure your team's norms and values support peers providing feedback to each other. Otherwise, someone might try to give feedback, and they'll get hit with the, "And, who died and left you in charge" challenge! Learn more about developing team norms and the benefits you'll get when you use them. 

(Low CostUse the Managing Individual Performance Anchor to assess where your team is and what you need to focus upon to improve their capability in this arena (Whatever you do, do not just download this document and hand it to your team ... it will come back to haunt you! Feel free to contact me to discuss further how to use this powerful process). Access the anchor here

(Low CostAccess the Successful Feedback workbook This program is best-trained face-to-face, for skill practice reasons. However, if you're on a very tight budget then accessing this workbook will help set you in the right direction. However, what you won't get is the nuances that come from a live workshop.  

(Investment) Have Shelley run a Successful Feedback and/or Make A Dent Coaching workshop with your team. Use the yellow button below to set up a time to chat and see whether running a workshop for your team would be the right choice for you right now.

Our team members have the decision-making authority to do whatever it takes to serve our customer

Once you've trained your team members to have competency beyond just their technical/operational skillset, then the next key behaviour you want to focus upon is empowering people to make great decisions.

Framework for capturing your decision-making system

A distinctive characteristic of employee empowerment is access to information. Beyond just access though, people must understand how to use the information, and they have the freedom to make decisions. 

The focus is on the front-line team member being empowered to deliver the product to the customer, better, cheaper and faster.

Empowerment is about getting decisions made at the appropriate level. It's certainly not about positional power.

Many famous high-performance organisations, such as Southwest Airlines, Marriott Hotels, Zappos, Netflix, Youi Insurance and Nordstroms delegate real authority and responsibility to their front-line team members. They do this so their team members can do what it takes to satisfy the customer. These highly successful organisations run with few rules. Instead, they encourage people to use their own best judgment.

When I was a leader at Colgate-Palmolive, we delegated hundreds of decisions to the Production Team Members. Decisions that were typically made at leadership levels. Just a few examples:

  • what products to run and when
  • signing off on quality control and releasing product
  • purchasing decisions
  • running of budgets
  • hiring their own team members and leaders 

By delegating responsibility (of these typically leadership decisions) to team members, it made us extremely agile and able to achieve world-class results.

Use A Responsibility Chart

One of the tools, that helped us to devolve decision-making and lead to higher levels of employee empowerment, was the Responsibility Chart (R-Chart). You too can use the R-Chart process.

R-Charts can help you pinpoint where decisions are made in your organisation. Once you've figured that out, then you can rapidly find the bottlenecks. With that clarity, you then decide where you could shift the decision-making lower down in your team to allow for more agility and performance.

You also use this tool to map out the training and development you'll need to put in place, the systems you'll need to change in order to make this delegation of authority occur seamlessly. Making sure all your systems are capable of supporting the delegations is critical. To do this well, you should use an organisation design framework.

Use a deliberate process to delegate decision-making

Organisation design is a systematic framework to help you examine all aspects of your business. Before you start delegating authority -- make sure all your systems are capable

Use An Organisation Design Framework

Organisation design helps minimise the, "Oh, I didn't expect that to happen!" head-slap that often comes after change.

The beauty of organisation re-design is it pushes you to ensure all your other systems are aligning with your decision-making systems to deliver exceptional results. For example, if you delegate authority, but don't train people to develop the skills they need to make those decisions, you'll end up in trouble.

Use an organisation design framework, so you can be deliberate in your choices

Contact us for your free 30-minute strategy session, ask about organisation design and how it can improve your business and align your systems.

Recommended Resources for getting Decision-making to the appropriate level in the organisation

(Free) Organisation Design - Read this article to Discover more about organisation design and how a framework like this can transform your business

(Low Cost) Discover more about how to use Responsibility Charts and download a sample Responsibility Chart that you can use to get started in the process

(Investment) Organisation Re-Design - Contact me (using the yellow chat button below) to discuss whether we should partner together to do a complete redesign of your business so that you and your team member can achieve world-class business results. 

Individual Learning Plans are favoured ahead of Performance Appraisals 

If you're using the dreaded Performance Appraisal process, then you are in trouble.

Both leaders and team members dread performance appraisals!

What's more, the research conclusively tells us that they have no net benefit to either individual or team performance. To say nothing of the cost in terms of time lost, stress, and $. Into the bargain, the research suggests that performance appraisals have a negative impact on performance. 

Performance appraisals are the most dreaded and ineffective tool in any organisation

Certainly, people want to know how they are going and what they can do to improve their capability. That's a given, and it's essential to high-performance.

On the positive side, regular, timely feedback from an individual's direct leader and his/her peers is something that can be implemented rather simply. I say simply because the process of providing feedback is simple.

The actual delivery of it and getting people to be brave enough, vulnerable enough to give and receive feedback ... well that's never easy. Not easy, but a differentiator between regular performers and high-performers.

Putting aside your performance appraisal process and replacing it with Individual Learning Plans is far superior. You'll get far better results when people are self-directed in their performance improvement plans. 

"Putting aside your performance appraisal process and replacing it with Individual Learning Plans is far superior"

Notwithstanding self-direction, your leaders still need to be heavily involved in supporting team members to identify their gaps and the best ways of bridging them.

The focus is on improving performance moving forward - particularly around the individual's strengths and driving forces (workplace motivational factors). 

Recommended Resources for No Rating Performance Appraisals

I would say probably the biggest category of mistakes (that Zappos has made) is in hiring. If you add up the cost of our bad hires and the bad decisions they made, and they in turn also hired bad hires, so you have this whole domino effect, over the past 11 years it has probably cost our company well over $100 million

Tony Hsieh

CEO of Zappos

We frequently see people helping each other out and going above and beyond

How much people help each other out and go above and beyond what is required of them is a sure-fired way to assess how much engagement, commitment and ownership toward the organisation you have going on. 

You can't buy people's discretionary effort. To be sure, high pay and benefits will get people in the door. In addition, high wages will also keep them there. Unfortunately, high pay and benefits don't buy much effort. 

It comes down to the 4Bs of high-performance:

  • Does the individual BELIEVE in the organisation's vision and their role's impact on that vision?
  • Does the individual feel that they BELONG and their contribution matters?
  • Are they clear on the BEHAVIOURS that will see them succeed in this company?
  • Do they have clarity around the goals, strategies and imperatives of the business (BOTTOM-LINE)?

You, their direct leader, have a massive impact on each of these four elements

As you can see below, 34 of the top 50 drivers of discretionary effort are directly influenced by an individual's direct leader. This, along with research conducted by McKinsey, Gallup and many others continually affirm just how vital YOUR leadership is to the success of the team you are leading.

Make sure you (and any leaders you lead)  are empowering and have the skills to create work environments where people feel inspired to WANT to give their best. 

Your leaders must have the skills to 

inspire people to WANT to give their best

Inspiring people to go above and beyond

(Investment) Have one-on-one leadership and business development coaching with Shelley. I only have limited spaces available and if I don't have space available, or you have limited budget you can maybe join one of our 

group coaching programs, or 

Become a member of the Make A Dent Club

Where to next?