“You can’t manage what you don’t measure, and if you’re not measuring your culture, your team engagement, and the vitality of your people, then you’re really flying blind as a leader.” Mike Sharrow, President/CEO, C12.
See how this powerful principle is transforming the culture of C12, the world’s largest network of Christian CEOs, business owners, and executives. Can your business, organization, or church benefit as well?
Mike Sharrow is the President/CEO of the C12. Its 2,000 Christian business leaders are regularly involved in peer advisor groups, united by C12’s mission to change the world by advancing the kingdom of God in the market place.
“This will only happen, “says Mike,” by cultivating a flourishing organizational culture. The challenge is two-fold:
- First, mastering high-performance teams with love and excellence is imperative for any leader who says I want to honor God and be effective in the marketplace.
- Second, as Christian believers, the health of our company culture is really one of our greatest witnesses in the market place. The greatest mission field for C12 is our employees, our customers and our vendors.”
Fact: In 2 years, C12’s staff culture improved from healthy to nearly flourishing. How did they do it?
C12’s culture improved measurably, as its leadership wisely took to heart the BCWI survey data and continuously revisited these four action steps with their people:
“Creating a healthy culture, starts with admitting what’s really going on. Two years ago, when I looked at our first survey results, I said to myself, ‘I wish certain problems weren’t going on.’ Facing up to our issues was the first step in our culture turnaround.
“You’ve got to be willing to share the good, the bad and the ugly, period! And we did.
You can’t manage what you don’t measure, and if you’re not measuring your culture, then you’re flying blind.”
“You have to own your culture’s distinctive issues, embrace the disappointment about the negative aspects with your leadership team, and be willing to change them.
“At the time we completed our first BCWI survey, we were very top-down in our decision-making. Most new ideas came from a select few at the top, and our focus was how to get people to adopt change.
“The survey data came back loud and clear that a lot of people didn’t like that, so we developed new communication channels that involved more employees, more customers to test new ideas that actually drove greater engagement in the process.
“Whatever people think or feel about your culture, you have to listen and respond to them with genuine curiosity. One day, I was wrapping up a phone call with a C12 peer advisor who told me, ‘Twice, during our call, you said your idea was not as good as the idea those of us in the field offered. By using our idea you’ve really empowered us to bring you more ideas.”
Today, the C12’s staff is tasting the sweet fruit of its heathy culture. Mike says, “Recently, an employee told me, ‘This past year has been the most catalytic of my spiritual life. As a result of working here, my marriage and my understanding of who God has made me to be is growing.’”
But can an improving, thriving culture speak to increased ministry impact? The answer, I believe, is tucked right inside one of Mike’s favorite success stories:
“A company president, devout Christian gentleman involved with C12 wanted to honor God through his business. Yet, a 330% annual employee turnover meant he was constantly hiring, training and re-hiring just to contain rampant overtime labor costs. Being in survival mode, he had little time for ministry he so valued and loved.
“We helped him re-vision his company so that he began to shift the vision to being all about the customer and helping every team member thrive by investing in people, their futures, their needs. Like BCWI, he began doing surveys to get the insights he needed to better serve his people.
“As a result, multiple things happened:
- Turnover plummeted to just a slightly over 100%, which, for his industry, was a miracle.
- Recruitment costs fell, which allowed him to offer his employees higher wages and increased benefits.
- Higher performance levels came as a result of increased people care.
- Soon, not only did the business grow, but the profitability dramatically improved.
“And to think, it all began when this leader began to start zeroing in on stewarding the culture.”
Talk about sowing the seeds of loving your people and reaping a harvest of plenty both inside your culture and beyond!
Just think how a small piece of C12’s success, can help cultivate new ideas, hope and transformation for your culture.
It’s Your Turn!
What would you do if you had reliable, measurable data that said, “Here’s a big problem in our culture we need to solve.”
The Employee Engagement Survey
Click here to learn more!