Culture Shock: The Most Important Habit of a Great Manager

Peter Drucker said, “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”

Organizational culture is the way we treat each other while we do the work. Should you build a culture that puts employees or customers first? The better question is how can you enable team members to create and keep a customer?

The chief scientist at Gallup has a surprising answer.

Leadership quote: Who is the culture champion in your organization? Image of a floating hat.

Build a culture that energizes employees:

Jim Harter, chief scientist at Gallup, says the most important habit of a great manager is, “One meaningful conversation per week with each team member.” (In Gallup’s new book, “Culture Shock.”)

Lousy conversations are holes in your boat. Meaningful conversations propel you forward.

What is a meaningful conversation? Jim says a meaningful conversation, “Focuses on employee goals.”

“Discussing goals leads to customer retention, team collaboration, recognition, and wellbeing.”

The ultimate measure of a great manager:

Gauge manager effectiveness by asking employees on a scale of 1-5 if they have received meaningful feedback in the past week. Only 5s matter. (Jim explains meaningful conversations and the necessity of 5s in the video below.)

Meaningful feedback energizes performance. You’re doing it wrong when feedback sucks the life out of people. When giving feedback:

  1. Clarify positive intention.
  2. Confirm aspirations.
  3. Determine the win.

Coaching conversations:

A coaching culture meets two primary demands of high performance and wellbeing.

  1. Fit strengths to role. Are people using their strengths every day?
  2. Have the right conversations. Do people know you’re personally interested in their success?

Jim Harter in his own words.

  • 19:45 only 5s matter.
  • 37:35 the power of one meaningful conversation a week.

What makes conversations meaningful?

Culture Shock,” is released today, 5/30/2023.

This post is based on my conversation with Jim Harter.