The biggest mistake when it comes to planning for our people and culture

I’ve spent the past 7 weeks sharing the mistakes I’ve seen (and made) when it comes to creating initiatives to make our workplaces better.

This was inspired from hundreds of conversations with people and culture legends.

The mistakes I refer to are not focusing on the content we roll out. It’s about the environment we set up for the programs before they have even started.

When we do this well, we have 2 clear outcomes:

  1. Maximum impact. Things like engagement across the business, performance being managed, less meetings more implementation, clearer on priorities (or whatever reason we are driving the initiatives for) and; 
  2. High performance attendance. This is where people don’t just turn up, they want to be there.

The biggest mistake (on top of the 7 already shared) is that – We don’t spend enough time embedding the learning.

In ‘Why (Most) Training is Useless’, David Maister says, ‘Training is a wonderful step in bringing about changed organizational and personal behaviour, but a pathetically only step.’ We need to spend more time in the before and after for the change to last.

Otherwise it results in band aids everywhere with little permanent change. An ‘admin workout’ that never stops. Because all we are doing is teaching people what to do and then hoping for the best. Without a focus on how people will create the habits to implement what they have learned, you will see the same problems you saw before the training. The return on investment is less in the training (yep I said that) and more about how your people will embed what they have learned.

The tipping point is after we build our people’s capability. If our people have systems, processes and are able to measure their success then we will increase our return and have the breakthroughs we are looking for. If they do not have anything to fall back on to create the new habits, we have breakdowns.

Let’s focus our attention where it matters and create lasting change. Not something we have to go back and deliver again because we didn’t set it up well in the first place. That’s my wish for all of us. 

Have you found that feedback has become harder in a hybrid/remote world? Want to know why and how to fix it? Then come along to my next online event on Embedding a feedback culture in 2023. Get the dates and register here.