There has been a considerable increase in the awareness of workplace culture as an important foundation stone for organisational success.
But very few managers really understand culture in simple and practical terms. And, because we cannot manage what we do not understand, we often fall victim to a culture that has taken on a life of its own.
In short, workplace culture is the invisible but undeniable force that shapes people's behaviour in any organisation. Culture drives performance. Nothing is more important, nothing can be more potent than an organisation's culture... it is the key determinant of the performance of any work team or business. When the culture is 'right', an organisation has a significant competitive advantage that is impossible to replicate. While systems and products can be copied, culture cannot.
What's missing is the knowledge, skills and tools with which managers can facilitate culture-change... but these components are typically in short supply.
WHAT EXACTLY ARE UGRs?
Created by Stef's Australian-based business partner, Steve Simpson, UGRs (short for 'Unwritten Ground Rules') is a breakthrough concept that enables people to understand and improve their workplace culture. UGRs are best defined as people's perceptions of "this is the way we do things around here".
UGRs are everywhere. They are the very fabric that make up workplace culture because they influence what we think, they form the decisions we make, and they determine the actions that we take (or fail to take). UGRs is the culture that determines performance, and ultimately drives results.
Yet, alarmingly, they are seldom, if ever, talked about openly. Now, the 5-Step UGRs process changes this for good.
To help you make sense of the power of UGRs, here is an example of a UGR:
"At our meetings it isn't worth complaining because we know nothing will get done."
Another might be:
"The only time anyone gets spoken to by the boss is when something is wrong."
UGRs can also be positive, but negative ones such as those above work against productivity, efficiency, safety and ultimately, against bottom-line performance. The best of vision and mission statements, strategic plans, safety training and business plans (even when backed up by policies and by procedure documents) count for naught if the UGRs are not aligned.
Stef (and of course Steve) can show you how to use the UGRs concept to eliminate negative UGRs in the workplace whilst entrenching those that will improve your performance.
Research into UGRs has revealed that a remarkable 70% of non-managers believe that company productivity could double if the negative UGRs in their company were addressed. Hence, when measured on a ratio of effort & cost compared to bottom line improvement, it's clear that any improvement to your UGRs will render an exceptional return on your investment.