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I recently met an enterprise company (60,000 employees globally and a Fortune 500) who are in the midst of a huge cultural transformation. They are a huge, global, household name, but in an ever increasingly competitive world – they, like most companies, need to keep evolving. I won’t go into the details of the strategic journey they are undertaking – but the high level details are relevant. Like most global giants, they are struggling to maintain fantastic customer experience in a world becoming more digital, and a consumer mindset which craves personalised and on-demand information.

How do you get 60,000 people to start acting more “customer-centric” and help deliver a customer experience which matches the consumer expectations? 

Whilst I certainly don’t definitely have a tried and tested formula (I’d be a very successful man if I had the secret formula!) – I do have some experience with helping large enterprises engage a large group of employees and get them to focus on a cultural or strategic shift.

The key to driving strategy alignment and adoption is simple: micro-behaviours. 

The funny thing about culture and strategy alignment is that it’s the little-things that actually matter the most. What people DO is the culture, and what people DO will tell you whether employees are adopting a strategy or not.

As leaders, we often get caught up in the complex and big-things. We run workshops, we try run internal education programs and we have meeting after meeting to try get our teams to focus on the the things we’re telling them are important.

But, time and time again – big companies struggle to drive real change. Why?

Companies rarely measure or even acknowledge what people DO at work all day. We look at outcomes, results and KPIs. Yet, we sit back and wonder why our staff aren’t being more customer-centric, and we wonder why our customer satisfaction numbers aren’t going up? “We held a workshop and everything?”

To drive strategy adoption and real business change – you need to measure and reward people for performing the micro-actions that align with your goals. 

Let’s go back to my original case/story.

Let’s say you need to increase customer satisfaction within a call centre. Instead of telling your team that they must work to improve their Customer Satisfaction scores, reward them for doing customer-centric behaviours such as asking for feedback from a customer after a call, wishing the customer a great day after a call, asking the customer if “there is anything more I can help you with today?”.

You get the idea – take outcomes, take KPIs and take goals – and break them down into the micro-behaviours that your staff can actually do every day. This makes it EASIER for your team to focus on the right things, it rewards the MAJORITY of your team because everyone can perform those actions, and amazingly – it will actually help you achieve your outcomes because ACTIONS lead to OUTCOMES in the end anyway. 

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James Pember
CEO Sparta, gamification & performance management technology for the world's biggest and most-loved enterprise brands.Passionate about performance. Passionate about helping companies drive change. Love the intersection of behaviour, business, psychology and technology. One-time marathon finisher (probably won't try again).