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Typically companies jump into a new year with plans and initiatives that they are ready to commit to and implement. We are often asked what it takes to get to the next level. Outlined below are 4 of the top 13 characteristics that winning corporate cultures should have in order to achieve excellence.

1. Establish a process for hiring

If you're like most owners, or leaders, we rely on our intuition, on our experience, but the fact of the matter is that people that you bring into the organization are a direct result of your hiring process. If you're unhappy with the people that are coming in, that's a symptom. The problem is that you probably don't have a hiring process. Replacing an employee is five times the salary of a person in the first 18 months, that's what you're investing. So think about how many people turn over in your organization, it may be costing you millions of dollars. If you're like any other owner or leader, you're going to be interviewing Tom Cruise. When they show up on your payroll, they look like Rodney Dangerfield. How did that happen? They looked great in the interview, yet when they show up, it's not the same person.

2. Establish an effective onboarding process

When you hire somebody, that's just the beginning. Most people spend all their time and energy in the hiring process and then spend no time onboarding. I think onboarding is the most critical point in time. Why? The employee comes in, they want to succeed, but they're anxious. They're anxious because they don't really know what they're supposed to be doing day by day. They also don't know what it means to succeed. They don't know what it takes to succeed at this job. They were successful at their other job because you hired them. So, if you don't have an onboarding process, we have four steps that when followed ensures that you can shrink the amount of time it takes from hire to productivity.

3. Successfully tying corporate goals to personal goals

Company goals are typically not tied into the personal goals of the individual contributors in your organization. Sometimes, leaders fall into the trap of believing that people are going to work harder for their employer than they will for their families or their own futures. This is simply not true. Human beings always have been and always will be driven to improve their own personal situation. You must tap into that motivation. Your job as a leader isn't to repeat the corporate performance goal to me. It's to help me connect the dots - to link that corporate performance goal to my personal goal.

4. Build a culture of accountability

Many business leaders talk about operating within a culture of accountability - but then turn around and unknowingly sabotage that culture in their interactions with their own direct reports. All too often, this leads to a dysfunctional team culture rooted in finger pointing and missed deadlines. Organizations that thrive want their people to be accountable. Accountability is mostly about living up to your own commitments and creating an environment where others do that too.

Explore these 4 areas of your organization.  Contact us at if you have questions about implementing any of these in your business.  We will tackle 4 more of the winning characteristics next month.  Sign up for our Leadership tips emails to receive the notification when it is published.  

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