How a Results-Driven Culture Supports the Latest Workforce Trends

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If it feels like a scramble keeping up with workforce changes, buckle up. Trends indicate companies will continue focusing on working more efficiently and innovating faster. Yet the workforce will continue demanding greater flexibility and life balance.

You can see signs of it now with most of the U.S. workforce trending to become freelancers by 2027. And as more companies build hybrid teams to take ideas from concept through functional prototype within weeks, if not days.

Getting more work done while supporting greater work flexibility may seem like antithetical goals. But companies that embrace a results-driven culture show it’s possible to achieve both goals—and use the model to continue growing as workforce trends change.

IT DOESN’T MATTER WHERE THE WORK GETS DONE

Although more companies are utilizing remote workers, some still don’t feel comfortable with the arrangement. When working with freelancers, some companies have reservations the work will get done on time, and done right. And some managers still question whether their telecommuting employees are as productive as their cubicle-enclosed counterparts.

A results-driven culture calms these worries. In this system, everyone—from employees to independent contractors—receives a clear understanding of their work goals. Each person knows what their objectives are, and what they’re held accountable to execute. Then they’re given autonomy over how they complete their tasks.

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Garry Ridge, president and CEO of WD-40 Company, says, “All good performance starts with clear goals. If employees don’t have clear expectations, they sit and quit, meaning they show up for work but do not give their best because they are unsure of what to do.”

When expectations are made clear, the work gets done. Whether the person is down the hall or across the globe becomes irrelevant.

Think in tasks, not roles

A results-driven culture allows you to leverage both internal and flexible workforces to innovate faster and gain efficiencies. One way the system does this is by assigning the right skills to the right tasks, instead of assigning tasks by roles. This enables individuals to focus on doing what they enjoy and where their skills are strongest.

When people are passionate about what they’re working on, morale and productivity spike upwards. And when people care about their work, they willingly collaborate to create the best solutions possible.

“There are a lot of very positive metrics which come out of staying the course with a program like this. We have a retention rate that is three times the U.S. average. Apart from that, we just had the best year in the company’s 57-year history,” says Ridge.

Performance doesn’t rely on a 9-to-5 workday

Outdoor retailer Patagonia practiced a results-based culture decades before it was considered a system. Owner and founder, Yvon Chouinard, understood that a 9-to-5 workday doesn’t determine productivity. “I don’t care when you work as long as the job gets done,” says Chouinard.

Since the company’s founding in Ventura, Calif., Patagonia held steadfast to a policy that when the surf comes up, you drop work and grab a board. Depending on where you’re located, you could go rock climbing, hiking, whatever you want.

The idea is to take a break and head outside when you need it. Chouinard trusts that when people know what’s expected of them, and they’re capable of doing the work, it’ll get done. The proof is in the numbers: Patagonia achieved a compound annual growth rate of 14%. Plus their profits have tripled since 2008, when other retailers struggled to keep their doors open.

Patagonia’s example may provide some encouragement to companies hesitant about offering flexible work arrangements. Such arrangements may help companies retain valuable talent as 84% of millennials report some degree of flexible working in their organizations. The group says flexible work arrangements can positively impact their performance, satisfaction, and retention.

Maintain growth during constant change

Many companies and industries must rapidly innovate to remain competitive. To do so, they need quick access to vital skills. And they must complete projects in a fraction of the time. This need for speed fuels another workforce trend: assembling agile, flexible teams on demand.

Agility and flexibility are the new competitive advantages. Susan Peters, General Electric’s (GE) head of human resources, says businesses no longer have clear annual cycles. Projects are short-term and tend to change along the way. This means future needs are constantly changing, and employee roles will likely change too.

Many are quick to admit that traditional performance models were designed for an antiquated system based on Industrial-Age needs. Today, who does the work, where’s it’s done, and when it’s done are all transforming. A results-driven culture can help you maintain steady growth in an environment where the dominant constant is change.

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Brenda Do

by - Copywriter

Brenda is a direct-response copywriter who loves sales. She is the president of BL Copywriting, LLC and enjoys helping companies increase revenue by communicating with… more