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The Link Between Strategy Execution and Culture

October 24, 2022 | By Donna Fitzgerald

“Company culture” has become such a buzz phrase over the last decade that it sometimes feels like it’s lost all meaning. Let me assure you: what I want to talk about today has nothing to do with ping pong tables or in-office baristas. Instead, I want to look at the concrete link between strategy execution and culture.

Human effort doesn’t scale as easily as software. In today’s climate of disengagement, let’s look at how the right company culture can lead to greater productivity and give companies the greatest chance to execute their strategic portfolio.

The give and take of high-performing cultures

The goal of resource management is to get the right people to the right work. The “right work” is the work that measurably moves a company closer to the goals agreed to in their portfolio, and the “right people” are the resources that will bring the most value to the project.

But how do you ensure that your people actually want to do the work they are assigned to? I realize that for many, the automatic response is, “because that’s what they are getting paid to do.” But in a world where the hot topic on social media is quiet quitting and Gallup estimates that 50% of all employees feel at best blasé about the work they are assigned to do,[i] it’s borderline foolish to believe your people will automatically always perform at the top of their game. If you’re going to have high expectations of your resources, at the bare minimum, you have to ensure that your employees are getting the right support in return.

The current state of engagement

According to Gallup, 32% of employees are actively engaged. Let’s assume that these people are your top performers. They’re the first people you assign to the work that needs to be done because they are the ones who have the skills to pull rabbits out of hats when things are going wrong. At the other end of the spectrum, we have the completely and vocally disengaged individuals that make up the bottom 18% of your workforce. They should also be assigned to any projects that should’ve been killed long ago but are still on the list.

So what about that 50% that fall somewhere between actively engaged and vocally disengaged? Standard best practices of resource management tell you that you should review these people’s current skills and competencies so you can most closely match them to the work that needs to be done. However, I believe we can go one step further. And in doing so, we might start to nudge some of them into that actively engaged, more productive group.

Culture must focus on people

To reach the 50% who aren’t sure if they are in the right place, we have to do more than assign them to the right work — we have to make sure they feel engaged in the work. Countless studies show that employees who feel like they are making an impact and progressing in their careers are more productive and better problem solvers. Getting employees to that point starts with a conversation.

It’s the Resource Managers’ job to understand what their people want. The best option is to use a platform like Tempus Resource that will allow you to track this data within your resource management system. Managers can review the information directly with the employee for accuracy, which in turns makes the employee feel supported by their manager. 

Having a manager involved in their career growth is a key way to shift that middle 50% into the actively engaged category, which leads to higher productivity, greater output, and a stronger culture. Then, when Resource Managers sit down with Project Managers to talk about who should be assigned to a new team, they can suggest the individuals whose wants match up to the skills and talents the project needs. That’s a tremendous win-win-win. 

Strategy execution is fueled by a strong culture. Basically, if you want your people to perform at the top of their game, you need to meet them where they are. To do this, you need the right technology that gives managers the tools they need to truly support their employees’ growth and match them to the projects where they will deliver the most value. To learn more about how Tempus Resource’s centrally managed enterprise skill management can improve engagement and data collection, contact us today or schedule a demo

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