Everyone is seeking an edge in the digital revolution. Every industry is facing turbulence. Many people believe that technology will be the secret sauce that helps them to outperform their peers. I don’t.
I believe the solution is human. It is how well we work together that will ultimately determine true competitive advantage.
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve presented to four groups that are arguably experiencing more volatility and uncertainty than most. These four groups were:
- Leaders from a large financial planning group
- The science faculty from a big 8 university
- Leaders from a large aged care provider
- The risk division in a bank
Three of the four have gone through – or are about to go through – a Royal Commission. The implications from the Commissioner’s findings are substantial for those in the sector.
So how do we go about proving that caring tribes are more productive?
Steve Simpson, a friend of mine, is an authority on workplace culture and customer service. He found a clever way to help leaders understand the value of something as intangible as workplace culture. He did this by asking this question:
“If the culture of your workplace was to become as good as it realistically could, how much improvement would there be on people’s performance.” This was the result revealed in a recent Australian article.
This really got me thinking about how much care, support, and a positive mood could affect tribal performance. With Steve’s permission, I decided to ask this adapted question:
“If we each strive, as much as realistically possible, to be a more caring & optimistic tribe, how much improvement would there be to our productivity?”
We gave people the following options:
- 10% or more
- 20% or more
- 50% or more
- 80% or more
- 100% or more
Using a tool called Mentimeter (which Steve also introduced me to), which allows live attendee polling during conferences via their phones, I asked them to vote. This was the result.
Leaders from a large financial planning group – Mode “50% or more”
The financial planning sector has had enormous stresses over the last 6 months and there is a lot of uncertainty about their future. Even in this environment they predict a “50% or more” improvement.
The science faculty from a big 8 university – Mode ‘80% or more’
I was really intrigued by this high estimate because scientists are not flagrant with their opinions. They estimated there would be an “80% or more” productivity improvement if they were more caring and optimistic.
Leaders from a large aged care provider – Mode ‘80% or more’
Even though it could be argued that the hospital and aged care sectors are already care oriented, it was amazing that this cohort could envision an ‘80% or more’ increase in their productivity.
The risk division from a bank – Mode ‘50% or more’
By the very nature of their work, risk professionals have to be pragmatic and realistic. Despite this, they estimated an extra 50% or more in productivity.
Is there other evidence to support the benefits of tribal care?
- The more employees that strongly agree with this Gallup Engagement Survey question: “My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.” – the higher the profit, productivity, customer services levels, and the longer an employee stays with the company. This question has been asked over 15 million times in 130+ countries.
(SOURCE: Conchie, B., & Rath, T. (2008). Strengths based leadership: Great leaders, teams, and why people follow. Gallup Press.)
- Psychological safety was found to be the #1 predictor of high performance teams by innovation powerhouses like Google and IDEO. Psychologically safe teams have high interpersonal trust and mutual respect, and people are comfortable being themselves. They also consciously look out for, and support each other.
(SOURCE: What Google learned from its quest to build the perfect team, NYT, February 25, 2016)
How can we scale tribal care?
Leaders have to model the caring and optimistic tribal culture they aspire to. Every team member can play their part modelling self-care and tribal care. In the coming weeks I will share the top strategies leaders can adopt to create a thriving tribe (a group that places equal emphasis on performance AND wellbeing). I also believe that technology could add scale and momentum to increasing tribal care.
Could the FactorC leadership app and learning portal play a role?
It’s possible. We are delighted to have commenced 2 pilots with large organisations.
The Factorc program revolves around our web app and learning portal, which has been designed to deliver mental health and wellbeing training for managers, increasing their capacity to care and increase productivity.
The Factorc program enables managers and leaders at all levels to develop their team’s psychological safety via:
- training, job aides and our just in time digital performance support tools
- delivering measurable data analytics on teams, tribes and your whole organisation’s mood (the ‘Moodometer’ app can be used organisation-wide to support and inform all staff)
- our curated well being library
- your own custom content
- identifying the triggers of mood change (the good and bad) and connecting people with just in time help.
The bottom line: Better places to work. We call this, ‘Factorc, The Care Equation’.
This 1:55 minute video provides an overview of FactorC.
This 1:34 minute video summarises the feedback from a group of managers who have evaluated FactorC
I would like to thank Steve Simpson for his generosity in sharing his approach to improving workplace culture at a recent Professional Speakers Association forum. I would also like to thank him for allowing me to adapt his work and explore the role that care and optimism could play in tribal productivity.