WWC Research Articles

Why You Should Consider Adding a Mentorship Program to Your Organizational Design
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WWC CEO Diane Dye Hansen with her mentor, Top 100 High-Performance Trainer Brendon Burchard

The pathway to executive leadership may seem like a solo adventure, but even the most accomplished leaders didn’t get there on their own. They had mentors – guides who offered wisdom, support, and a sense of camaraderie in the trenches of business.

Did you know employees who feel they’re progressing in their careers are 20% more likely to still be working at their companies in one year’s time?

Frighteningly, more than 70% of high-retention-risk employees say they’ll be forced to leave their organization to advance their careers.

This is something you can control – and it doesn’t have to be costly for your organization.

Here’s why implementing a mentorship program within an organization brings a multitude of benefits to both individuals and the company as a whole.

  1. Talent Development: A mentorship program is a strategic way to groom future leaders and cultivate high-potential employees. This ensures a steady pipeline of talented, company-trained individuals ready to step into leadership roles when required.
  2. Knowledge Transfer: Successful mentorship programs foster an environment where knowledge and expertise are shared across generational and hierarchical boundaries. It allows for the transfer of tacit knowledge from seasoned employees to newer ones, enhancing productivity and innovation.
  3. Enhances Company Culture: Mentorship programs often lead to a more inclusive and learning-oriented organizational culture. They provide a platform for individuals to connect and feel valued, improving overall morale and fostering a sense of belonging.
  4. Retention Rates: Companies with mentorship programs often have lower turnover rates. Employees engaged in mentorship programs feel more satisfied, and supported in their roles, and can envision a long-term path within the company, reducing the likelihood of seeking opportunities elsewhere.
  5. Encourages Diversity: Mentorship programs can be utilized as an avenue to encourage diversity within leadership. Pairing individuals from different backgrounds, departments, or demographics can cultivate understanding, dismantle stereotypes, and create diverse, robust leadership.
  6. Fostering Interdepartmental Understanding: By pairing employees from different departments, mentorship programs offer insights into various parts of the company. This understanding can break down silos, improve collaboration, and lead to holistic business strategies.
  7. Improved Performance: Regular interaction with a mentor can increase an employee’s work performance. Since mentors often provide guidance, support, and feedback, mentees can learn and implement better work strategies.
  8. Boosts Employee Engagement: Mentorship programs can significantly boost employee engagement by providing a clear path of growth and development. Employees who are engaged are known to be more productive and motivated.

By embracing mentorship, organizations can build a more resilient, adaptable, and effective workforce, ultimately influencing the company’s bottom line positively.

A mentor is an invaluable asset.

They provide wisdom, guidance, and support, which elevates personal growth and professional success to unparalleled heights.

  1. Valuable Experience: Mentors have traversed the challenging path to success and rebounded from setbacks. They can share these experiences with you, providing valuable lessons in leadership and resilience. With their guidance, you can avoid potential pitfalls on your journey to the top.
  2. Enriching Network: A mentor often comes with a vast network of connections. They can introduce you to influential individuals in your industry, helping to widen your professional circle. This can open doors to opportunities you may not have found on your own.
  3. Constructive Feedback: A good mentor provides honest, constructive feedback. They won’t sugarcoat the truth but will deliver it in a supportive manner. They are there to help you learn and grow, not to tear you down. Their objective criticisms can help you become a better leader.
  4. Informed Decision-Making: Executives often face tough decisions that impact their companies and teams. A mentor can provide insight and advice on these matters, helping you to make wise, informed decisions.
  5. Learning from Mistakes: Mentors have made their share of mistakes and learned from them. They can share these experiences and the wisdom gained from them, helping you to avoid similar missteps.
  6. Personal Growth: A mentor cares about your personal growth. They can help you develop important leadership traits such as empathy, resilience, and strategic thinking. With a mentor’s guidance, you can grow into a leader who inspires and motivates their team, rather than ruling through fear.

Enrolling your leaders in mentorship programs doesn’t mean they are failing. Mentorship is a proactive strategy that helps underscore your organization’s value of continuous learning and personal growth. A mentor is not only a guide but also a friend within (or outside of) the organization who walks with your team on the path to executive leadership, reinforcing your current learning and development strategy.

Curious about how a mentorship program can enable performance in your organization? Contact WWC for a complimentary consultation.

Read these books to learn more about building internal mentorship programs.

Designing Workplace Mentoring Programs – An Evidence-Based Approach: (1st edition)

Improving Performance Through Learning

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success: Adam Grant

Why Organizational Design is Vital for Businesses with Under 100 Employees
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As the owner of a business employing less than 100 people, you are likely well aware that an effective organizational design is a significant factor for success. This article delves into how a thoughtfully designed organizational structure can enhance your company’s efficiency, productivity, and profitability.

Boosting Efficiency

Are you struggling to get the most out of your team or finding it hard to keep up with competitors due to inefficiencies? 

Efficiency ranks among the highest benefits of a well-planned organizational design, particularly for businesses with fewer than 100 employees. A carefully structured organization can maximize the use of resources and achieve more in less time. This level of efficiency can bolster productivity – a critical element for any small business intending to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.

Clarifying Roles and Responsibilities

Are you tired of witnessing miscommunication, redundancy, and frustration in your team due to unclear roles and responsibilities? 

A well-defined organizational structure ensures each team member knows their role and responsibilities, fostering a smoother, more collaborative working environment. This clarity eliminates the confusion that can arise when roles are ambiguous or overlap, leading to duplication of efforts or important tasks falling through the cracks. Moreover, when employees understand their individual responsibilities and how they fit into the larger picture, they are more likely to take ownership of their tasks, leading to higher levels of job satisfaction. Finally, clear roles and responsibilities can also make it easier to identify skill gaps, training needs, and opportunities for employee growth and development, which can further enhance productivity and team morale.

Enhancing Communication

Are you feeling frustrated with the constant communication breakdowns in your company, affecting productivity and customer satisfaction? 

An effective organizational design can also significantly improve communication within your company. A well-structured system encourages easy collaboration and idea-sharing among team members. Clear lines of communication mean everyone can easily understand progress and contribute effectively to decision-making. A defined chain of command reduces misunderstandings across departments, speeding up response times and improving overall customer service.

Fostering Focus and Organization

Are you overwhelmed with managing tasks in your small business, struggling to determine who should take on what, leading to confusion and lethargy among your employees? 

For businesses with fewer than 100 employees, organizational design can bring much-needed focus and structure. A well-designed plan spells out who is responsible for each task, removing guesswork and allowing for more efficient allocation of tasks. This clear delineation of duties reduces confusion in the workplace, keeping employees motivated by letting them know their contributions are seen and valued.

Promoting Agile Change Management and Competitive Edge

Are you feeling stifled by your current organizational structure, finding it difficult to adapt to market shifts or customer demands rapidly? 

Having an effective organizational structure can provide smaller businesses with the agility needed for efficient change management and competitive positioning. A systematic approach to reorganizing operations allows for quick adjustments to strategies or processes to meet customer needs or gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. It ensures stability within your organization amid any external changes or market fluctuations.

In conclusion, a well-designed organizational structure is vital for businesses with fewer than 100 employees seeking an edge in efficiency, team collaboration, customer service quality, and agile change management. When executed correctly, it can catalyze your business to reach its full potential and create an environment where every team member feels their contributions are making a difference. Take the time to invest in effective organizational design – you’ll find that the rewards are well worth the effort. Connect with us for a complimentary discovery call.

Some Books to Read on Organizational Design

  1. Organization Design: Simplifying Complex Systems” by Nicolay WorrenA comprehensive guide to understanding the complexity of organizational design in the modern business environment.
  2. Designing Your Organization: Using the Star Model to Solve Five Critical Design Challenges” by Amy Kates and Jay R. Galbraith: This book provides a practical approach to organization design with a focus on the ‘Star Model’ framework.
  3. “Organizational Design: A Step-by-Step Approach” by Richard M. Burton, Børge Obel, and Gerardine DeSanctis: This book offers a step-by-step approach to organizational design with a focus on designing and managing organizations as dynamic systems.
  4. “Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness” by Frederic Laloux: Laloux presents new models for organizations that align with more evolved stages of human consciousness.

Helpful Articles to Read:

  1. “The 5 Classic Mistakes in Organizational Structure: Or, How to Design Your Organization the Right Way” Organizational Physics
  2. “10 Principles of Organization Design” from Strategy+Business
  3. “The Importance of Organizational Design” Harvard Business Review
  4. “Organizational Design: The Rise of Teams”, Deloitte Insights (2016): This article discusses the shift towards team-centric organizational designs, highlighting the benefits of this structure.
Play Big with Organizational Design
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Next month, WWC is taking on an office at Formation – the workspace at The Star: The Dallas Cowboys practice field. This is a dream office for us. But it is also so perfect for what we do. We create winning teams through expert organizational design.

What is Organizational Design?

Think of your organization like a winning football team with players, co-captains, and you as the head coach.


Your employees are the players, each one playing a specific position like quarterback or linebacker. These positions equate to specific roles and responsibilities within the organization. Each player has their own skill set and tasks to perform – just like employees have specific tasks based on their job description.

Middle Managers

Your middle managers are your co-captains. They’re responsible for coordinating the players on the field, ensuring that plays are executed correctly, and reporting back to the coach. They translate your strategies into actionable plays.


As the CEO, you are the head coach. You map out the strategy and the plays you want to run on the field. You decide who gets to be in the starting lineup and how to use your resources. Your staff of defensive and offensive coordinators, they’re your upper management, helping you develop strategies and make decisions.

Think of your Business Plan as your Playbook.

Your playbook is your business plan. It outlines your strategies, tactics, and plays. Each player needs to understand it, know their part in the plays, and how they contribute to the overall game strategy.

Internal communication is like the signals and calls made on the field. It needs to be clear and precise, so every player knows their role in the next play. Miscommunication can result in mistakes, lost yardage, or even turnovers. Think about your business. How many times has miscommunication led to delays, lost revenue, or missed opportunities?

Culture = Team Spirit

The culture of your football team is akin to the culture in your organization. It’s the “team spirit,” the unwritten rules and attitudes that define how your team – your employees – acts and responds. Whether it’s a winning mentality or a never-give-up attitude, this culture drives how your team performs on the field and in the market.

Rewards and Consequences

And finally, the disciplinary actions, bonuses, contracts, and the trades – these are your systems of rewards and consequences. They’re what you use to ensure players stay motivated, perform their best, and maintain discipline.

Get the right team design, and you’ll have a Super Bowl-winning team. Get it wrong, and you’re languishing in the basement of your division. (No jokes about the Cowboys here – we are on the Quest for Six)! Organizational design is no different.

The Nuts and Bolts

Organizational design is a thoughtful and strategic framework that relies on several key elements:

  1. Organizational Structure: This is the backbone of your organization defining the hierarchy and layers of management. It establishes clear lines of reporting and communication, ensuring everyone knows their role and responsibilities.
  2. Work Specialization: Each individual in an organization brings their unique skills and expertise. This element of organizational design allows for each person to utilize these skills in a specific role, which empowers them to do what they do best and contribute meaningfully to the organization.
  3. Departmentalization: This is the process of grouping individuals and roles into functional units or departments. This enables better coordination, fosters teamwork, and promotes a sense of belonging amongst individuals who share common tasks and objectives.
  4. Centralization and Decentralization: This aspect pertains to decision-making authority. Centralization puts decision-making power at the top, while decentralization disperses it throughout the organization. Both have their merits and the choice depends on the nature and needs of the organization.
  5. Span of Control: This refers to the number of employees that a manager can effectively supervise. It’s about balancing the workload and ensuring that each team member receives the right amount of guidance and support.
  6. Coordination and Integration: This involves orchestrating all the moving parts in your organization to work in harmony. This ensures smooth cooperation between departments and individuals, enabling them to work towards a common goal.
  7. Rewards and Penalties: In order to motivate and engage your workforce, institute a fair system of recognition and accountability. It’s all about rewarding good performance and addressing any issues in a constructive manner.
  8. Organizational Culture: This is the spirit of your organization. It’s the shared beliefs, values, and norms that shape how your team members interact and behave. A healthy, positive culture inspires loyalty, drives engagement, and promotes productivity.

At its core, organizational design is about creating an environment where each member of the team can thrive and contribute to the overall success of the organization. Want to talk through your game plan? Connect with us for a complimentary discovery call.

Some Books to Read on Organizational Design

  1. Organization Design: Simplifying Complex Systems” by Nicolay Worren: A comprehensive guide to understanding the complexity of organizational design in the modern business environment.
  2. Designing Your Organization: Using the Star Model to Solve Five Critical Design Challengesby Amy Kates and Jay R. Galbraith: This book provides a practical approach to organization design with a focus on the ‘Star Model’ framework.
  3. “Organizational Design: A Step-by-Step Approach” by Richard M. Burton, Børge Obel, and Gerardine DeSanctis: This book offers a step-by-step approach to organizational design with a focus on designing and managing organizations as dynamic systems.
  4. “Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness” by Frederic Laloux: Laloux presents new models for organizations that align with more evolved stages of human consciousness.

Helpful Articles to Read:

  1. “The 5 Classic Mistakes in Organizational Structure: Or, How to Design Your Organization the Right Way” Organizational Physics
  2. “10 Principles of Organization Design” from Strategy+Business
  3. “The Importance of Organizational Design” Harvard Business Review
  4. “Organizational Design: The Rise of Teams”, Deloitte Insights (2016): This article discusses the shift towards team-centric organizational designs, highlighting the benefits of this structure.
How Employee Success Drives Profitability: A COO’s Guide to Organizational Design and Performance Enablement
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COOs must enable continuous innovation to uphold their organization’s competitive edge and profitability via strategic operations. Central to this endeavor is maximizing human resource effectiveness.

So, how do you empower your employees to perform at their peak?

The answer lies in embracing the significance of employee success, and realizing that organizational design and performance enablement are instrumental to your organization’s ability to win.

In this article, we’ll delve into the reasons why COOs should prioritize employee success, how an effective organizational design can bolster performance, and ways to harness performance enablement for maximizing profitability.

Introducing Employee Success

Employee success refers to an employee’s capacity to realize their personal and professional aspirations within the workplace. It comprises various elements like job satisfaction, career progression, productivity, and the aptitude to contribute positively to the company’s vision.

It’s essential to understand that employee success isn’t confined to hitting targets or goals. It also encapsulates the feeling of fulfillment, motivation, and engagement in their tasks, massively amplifying their overall performance.

The pillars of employee success incorporate:

Accomplishment: Employees should be able to successfully finish their tasks and meet their specific job objectives. Recognition and rewards for achievements can boost their motivation and drive.

Growth: Career development and advancement opportunities are essential for employee success. Employees should continually learn and evolve without feeling stuck in their roles.

Satisfaction: Employees should find contentment in their job, which covers the work climate, relationships with peers, and the kind of work they execute.

Well-being: Success is synonymous with happy and healthy employees. Employers must emphasize the well-being of their staff, assuring a harmonious work-life balance, stress management, and a safe, pleasant work environment.

Contribution: The capability to contribute significantly to the organization’s objectives is a crucial indicator of its success. Their work should substantially influence the organization’s mission, values, and objectives.

Engagement: Employee engagement translates to an employee’s emotional commitment to their organization. Highly engaged employees are likely to go above and beyond, driving success in their roles and for the company.

The Importance of Employee Success for COOs

COOs should prioritize employee success for several reasons:

Performance and Productivity: Effective employees are high performers and more productive. They function efficiently and significantly contribute to the organization’s goals and objectives.

Employee Retention: When employees experience success and fulfillment in their roles, they are less likely to leave the company. This lowers turnover expenses and ensures a steady, seasoned workforce.

Business Growth: Successful employees fuel business growth. Their achievements directly enhance the organization’s success. They could bring innovative ideas, raise sales, ensure customer satisfaction, and help the company sustain competitiveness.

Culture and Morale: Success breeds success. When employees feel successful, they tend to be more engaged and content, positively affecting the overall workplace culture and morale and attracting top talent.

Leadership Development: Nurturing employee success helps COOs spot potential leaders in the organization, aiding in succession planning and leadership continuity.

Agility and Adaptability: Successful employees are usually more agile and adaptable, vital skills in today’s high-speed business environment. They effectively manage change and help the organization navigate through opportunities and challenges.

Risk Management: Investing in employee success aids in identifying and mitigating risks. Engaged, committed employees are less likely to cause compliance issues or tarnish the company’s reputation. In essence, advocating for employee success is about safeguarding the organization’s future.

A COO that encourages and cultivates their employees’ success is investing in the company’s long-term stability, growth, and overall success.

The Role of Organizational Design in Employee Success

Organizational design plays a key role in driving employee success. An efficient organizational design can:

  • Ensure employees have clear job expectations and responsibilities, and access to resources they need to succeed.
  • Provide clarity around decision-making processes and help identify superfluous areas or overlaps that can be eradicated for improved efficiency.
  • Promote collaboration and enable employees to work independently and effectively.
  • Strategically position their company for long-term success.

The Role of Performance Enablement

Performance enablement is another crucial aspect of ensuring employee success. It involves equipping employees with the necessary tools, skills, feedback, training, resources, and development opportunities they need to excel in their roles.

This could entail steps such as:

  • Implementing an effective performance management system.
  • Creating mentorship programs.
  • Developing career progression plans.
  • Offering targeted learning opportunities.
  • Utilizing technology.
  • Using analytics to gauge results

When executed properly, performance enablement not only guarantees that employees are successful but also drives higher profitability for the organization as a whole.

As a COO or CHRO, it’s your duty to ensure that your organization values employee success and introduces systems that encourage it. By investing in organizational design initiatives and performance enablement measures, you’ll improve employee satisfaction and lay the groundwork for increased profitability in the future.

Begin your journey of investing in your people and enhancing profitability today! Get in touch with What Works Consultants for a complimentary discovery call.

Read More:

  1. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel H. Pink: This book provides insights into what truly motivates employees to succeed and perform at their best.
  2. Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead” by Laszlo Bock: In this book, Google’s former Head of People Operations reveals the secrets of the company’s success in terms of employee satisfaction and engagement.
  3. “The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business” by Patrick Lencioni: This book gives insights into how organizational structure and culture can impact business success.
  4. “The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization” by Peter M. Senge: This book focuses on how companies can develop learning organizations, which is key to employee success and business growth.
  5. Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work: Build a Culture of Employee Engagement with the Principles of RESPECT” by Paul L. Marciano: This book offers practical strategies for increasing employee engagement and success.
  6. First, Break All The Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently” – By Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman: This book provides insights into management styles that encourage employee success.


  1. “The impact of employee engagement on performance” by Harvard Business Review: This article provides a detailed analysis of how employee engagement affects organizational performance.
  2. Why Happy Employees Are 12% More Productive” published in Fast Company: This article explores the correlation between employee happiness (a factor of employee success) and productivity.
  3. “Building a Game-Changing Talent Strategy” published in Harvard Business Review: This article provides insights into creating an effective talent strategy, focusing heavily on performance enablement.
  4. “Organizational design: The rise of teams” by Deloitte Insights: Insightful article on how organizational design impacts success.
Driving Organizational Performance with Psychological Safety
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It’s no secret that organizational performance hinges on how well employees can do their jobs, yet creating the right environment to enable them is a challenge for many senior leaders. Establishing psychological safety in the workplace – an atmosphere in which individuals feel comfortable expressing themselves and providing feedback without fear of judgment or retribution – is essential to unlocking and sustaining performance growth. In this article, we’ll explore why psychological safety matters, how to create it, and the benefits it brings to organizations[^1^].

Why Psychological Safety is Critical in the Workplace

First, it’s important to understand why psychological safety is so critical in the workplace. To maintain high performance and quality standards, employees must be able to receive feedback and learn from mistakes without fear of reprimand or alienation. Without psychological safety, employees may feel too intimidated to speak up with ideas or concerns, leaving their potential contributions to organizational success untapped[^2^].

Additionally, a psychologically safe work environment encourages creativity and collaboration – both necessary ingredients for innovation and long-term sustainability[^3^].

Creating Psychological Safety

So how can leaders create psychological safety within their teams?

Model the Behavior You Expect

One way is to model the behavior you expect from your staff. Lead by example when it comes to giving constructive feedback without judgment and showing appreciation for employee input. Also, emphasize that mistakes are part of the learning process – rather than punishing someone for making an error, use it as an opportunity for growth by helping them develop a plan for improvement[^4^].

Create an Open Dialogue

Another key component is communication – create an open dialogue between team members and managers so that everyone feels comfortable voicing their opinions without fear of negative repercussions. This could include weekly check-ins or monthly team meetings where everyone can provide honest feedback on their experiences and ask questions on any topics that may be causing confusion or anxiety. By creating these dedicated spaces for two-way conversations, leaders can demonstrate their commitment to psychological safety while also strengthening relationships between colleagues[^5^].

Welcome All Perspectives

Finally, recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion – having a variety of voices involved ensures that all perspectives are heard which can lead to better decisions being made. Showing respect towards every team member regardless of differences in backgrounds or beliefs will foster greater trust among team members which in turn will enhance psychological safety within the workplace overall[^6^].

The Benefits of Fostering Psychological Safety

The benefits of fostering psychological safety go beyond individual performance gains – studies have shown that it leads to greater job satisfaction overall and improved morale within organizations as well as increased productivity on projects due to enhanced collaboration among team members[^7^]. Leaders who prioritize creating an environment that fosters open dialogue and encourages problem-solving are more likely to attract top talent who value being part of a psychologically safe workplace where they can contribute meaningfully while developing personally at the same time[^8^].


  • Creating psychological safety within an organization is essential if leaders want to unlock performance growth among their workforce.
  • Model the behaviors you wish to see from others
  • Have open communication between managers and staff
  • Embrace diversity in all forms
  • Reward learning from mistakes rather than punishing them.

Doing this not only yields stronger individual performances but better collaboration between colleagues leading ultimately to higher levels of job satisfaction across the board – something every leader should strive for[^9^]!

[^1^]: Edmondson, A. (2016). Building a psychologically safe workplace. TEDx Talks. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhoLuui9gX8

[^2^]: Kahn, W. A. (1990). Psychological conditions of personal engagement and disengagement at work. Academy of Management Journal, 33(4), 692-724.

[^3^]: Nemeth, C. J., & Nemeth-Brown, B. (2003). Better than individuals? The potential benefits of dissent and diversity for group creativity. In P.B. Paulus, & B.A. Nijstad (Eds.), Group Creativity (pp. 63-84). Oxford University Press.

[^4^]: Duhigg, C. (2016). What Google learned from its quest to build the perfect team. New York Times Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/28/magazine/what-google-learned-from-its-quest-to-build-the-perfect-team.html

[^5^]: Edmondson, A. C. (2003). Speaking up in the operating room: How team leaders promote learning in interdisciplinary action teams. Journal of Management Studies, 40(6), 1419-1452.

[^6^]: Shore, L. M., Randel, A. E., Chung, B. G., Dean, M. A., Ehrhart, K. H., & Singh, G. (2011). Inclusion and diversity in work groups: A review and model for future research. Journal of Management, 37(4), 1262-1289.

[^7^]: Delizonna, L. (2017). High-performing teams need psychological safety. Here’s how to create it. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2017/08/high-performing-teams-need-psychological-safety-heres-how-to-create-it

[^8^]: Edmondson, A. C., & Lei, Z. (2014). Psychological safety: The history, renaissance, and future of an interpersonal construct. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 1, 23-43.

[^9^]: Porath, C. (2016). How incivility kills collaboration. Strategy+Business Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.strategy-business.com/blog/How-Incivility-Kills-Collaboration?gko=1f7a9

Top Ways Departmental Leaders Can Enable Performance
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Introduction The success of any organization largely depends on the productivity of its employees. Departmental leaders play a crucial role in enabling performance and maximizing employee potential. This blog post examines the top ways in which departmental leaders can optimize performance within their teams. We’ll discuss the following strategies:

  1. Setting clear expectations and goals
  2. Providing continuous feedback and support
  3. Offering opportunities for professional development
  4. Recognizing and rewarding achievements
  5. Encouraging teamwork and collaboration
  6. Promoting work-life balance

1. Setting clear expectations and goals A crucial aspect of enabling performance is ensuring that each employee understands their role, responsibilities, and objectives within the organization. Departmental leaders should:

  • Clearly communicate the department’s goals and expectations (1)
  • Set realistic, measurable, and attainable performance targets
  • Ensure employees understand how their individual performance contributes to the organization’s overall success (2)

2. Providing continuous feedback and support Research shows that constant feedback is vital for employee development and performance improvement. Leaders should:

  • Conduct regular performance reviews and offer constructive feedback
  • Address performance issues promptly and work with employees to develop improvement plans (4)
  • Provide mentorship and coaching to help employees grow professionally (5)

3. Offering opportunities for professional development Employees who believe their company offers opportunities for growth and development are more likely to feel engaged and stay with the organization. Departmental leaders can support employee development by:

  • Identifying skill gaps and providing appropriate training and development programs
  • Creating growth opportunities through cross-functional projects or job rotations
  • Encouraging employees to attend industry conferences and workshops (6)

4. Recognizing and rewarding achievements Acknowledging and rewarding hard work and accomplishments can significantly improve employee morale and performance. Departmental leaders can:

  • Implement a formal recognition program that rewards outstanding performance
  • Offer various types of rewards, such as bonuses, promotions, or flexible work schedules
  • Celebrate team successes and milestones with team-building events or activities (7)

5. Encouraging teamwork and collaboration Effective teamwork and collaboration lead to better problem-solving, innovation, and overall performance. To foster a collaborative environment, department leaders should:

  • Ensure employees understand the importance of teamwork and establish clear team goals and objectives
  • Encourage open communication and information sharing among team members
  • Organize team-building activities that instill trust and camaraderie (8)

6. Promoting work-life balance Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential for employee satisfaction and performance (20). Departmental leaders should:

  • Encourage employees to take breaks and avoid excessive overtime (9)
  • Offer flexible work arrangements, such as remote work or flexible hours
  • Support employees in managing work-related stress and addressing personal issues (10)

Conclusion Departmental leaders can significantly impact employee performance by adopting these strategies. By setting clear expectations, providing feedback and support, offering professional development opportunities, recognizing achievements, encouraging teamwork, and promoting work-life balance, leaders can create an environment conducive to high performance and employee satisfaction.


  1. Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2002). Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation: A 35-year odyssey. American Psychologist, 57(9), 705-717.
  2. Rogg, K. L., Schmidt, D. B., Shull, C., & Schmitt, N. (2001). Human resource practices, organizational climate, and customer satisfaction. Journal of Management, 27(4), 431-449.
  3. London, M. (2003). Job feedback: Giving, seeking, and using feedback for performance improvement. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
  4. Noe, R. A. (2010). Employee training and development. Irwin/McGraw-Hill.
  5. Allen, D. G., Bryant, P. C., & Vardaman, J. M. (2010). Retaining talent: Replacing misconceptions with evidence-based strategies. Academy of Management Perspectives, 24(2), 48-64.
  6. Nelson, B. (1994). 1001 ways to reward employees. Workman Publishing.
  7. West, M. A. (2002). Sparkling fountains or stagnant ponds: An integrative model of creativity and innovation implementation in work groups. Applied Psychology, 51(3), 355-387.
  8. Greenhaus, J. H., Collins, K. M., & Shaw, J. D. (2003). The relation between work-family balance and quality of life. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 63(3), 510-531.
  9. Kossek, E. E., & Ozeki, C. (1998). Work-family conflict, policies, and the job-life satisfaction relationship: A review and directions for organizational behavior-human resources research. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83(2), 139-149.
  10. Allen, T. D., Herst, D. E. L., Bruck, C. S., & Sutton, M. (2000). Consequences associated with work-to-family conflict: A review and agenda for future research. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 5(2), 278-308.

Note: If utilizing references, please check your university library as DOI numbers were not provided.

Unlock Organizational Identity: How CEOs Can Create Purpose, Pride and Belonging to Enhance Performance
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Creating an organizational identity is a powerful tool for CEOs and leaders, enabling them to shape the collective sense of purpose, pride, and belonging that employees have toward the organization. It can help enhance employee performance through improved attitudes and behaviors, while also enhancing the overall reputation of the organization. In this article, we discuss the importance of developing organizational identity and offer strategies for how CEOs can create an environment where employees feel connected to their organization and motivated to perform.

Organizational identity is a complex concept, but it can be boiled down to the collective sense of purpose, pride, and belonging that employees have toward the organization. It’s a powerful force that shapes attitudes and behaviors – both positive and negative. A strong organizational identity connects employees to their core values and mission, motivating them to achieve success as a team. It also helps create an environment of trust and loyalty; when employees are proud of their organization and feel a sense of belonging, they will be more likely to contribute positively to its success.

The role of CEOs in shaping this identity is critical. Their decisions directly influence how employees perceive the organization, so it’s essential for leaders to take an active role in creating an environment where employees feel connected to the business and are inspired to reach their full potential.

Here are some strategies for how CEOs can create organizational identity:

1. Establish clear values and goals: The first step is to define the organization’s core values and set clear goals for achieving success and growth. These should be communicated clearly throughout the organization so that everyone understands what they’re working towards. This will help drive motivation and commitment among employees as they strive to reach these objectives.

2. Foster collaboration and communication: It’s important for CEOs to foster open communication between departments and teams so that everyone feels connected to one another. This could include implementing regular meetings or online forums for sharing updates on progress towards goals, brainstorming ideas, or discussing challenges faced by different groups within the organization. By fostering collaboration across teams, organizations can strengthen bonds between individuals while also improving problem-solving skills and performance overall.

3. Celebrate successes: Celebrating achievements – both big and small – is key for building employee morale and pride in the business as a whole. Showing appreciation for hard work demonstrates that leadership recognizes each individual’s contributions, which can further strengthen organizational identity by creating a feeling of inclusion within the company culture.

4. Involvement in community initiatives: Corporate social responsibility has become increasingly important in today’s world; thus, it’s essential for CEOs to take advantage of this opportunity by getting involved in community initiatives such as volunteer projects or charitable donations that align with the company’s core values.

These activities will help deepen engagement among employees while also promoting positivity around the brand externally – all contributing toward building an impactful organizational identity over time.

Creating an organizational identity isn’t always easy – but when done right, it can result in significant rewards, from improved employee engagement levels through higher performance enablement via greater loyalty amongst staff members. As such, it should be considered essential for any CEO looking to build a successful team-oriented culture within their organization – one that encourages collective purpose pride, and belonging whilst enabling the achievement of targets set forth by leadership. By taking an active role in developing an organizational identity within their businesses – utilizing strategies such as setting clear values and goals while also celebrating successes achieved – leaders can create a lasting impact on employee attitude and behavior whilst enhancing overall performance too!


  1. Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational culture and leadership (4th ed.). Jossey-Bass.
  2. Denison, D. R. (1990). Corporate culture and organizational effectiveness. John Wiley & Sons.
  3. Kotter, J. P., & Heskett, J. L. (1992). Corporate culture and performance. Free Press.

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How Leaders Can Recognize and Prevent Quiet Quitting with Empathy and Understanding
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Quiet quitting is a phenomenon that can manifest in the workplace when leaders fail to take the time to understand their team members. It’s a type of resignation, but one that often goes unrecognized and unchecked, leading to an unhappy work environment and decreased productivity. In this article, we’ll explore what quiet quitting is, how it started, and how leaders can recognize and prevent it from happening. We’ll also share some golden nuggets of advice for leaders who are looking for ways to create a more positive work culture.

What is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet quitting is a type of resignation that occurs when an employee intentionally underproduces due to a lack of enthusiasm for their job. This may happen for a number of reasons, including feeling undervalued or unappreciated, lack of job satisfaction, or lack of communication from leadership. Quiet quitting can be hard to recognize at first because the employee slowly fades away from their job responsibilities, eventually leaving the organization or slipping by day to day in a state of underperformance.

How the Phenomenon of Quiet Quitting Started

The concept of quiet quitting was first introduced by organizational psychologist Emma Seppälä in her book The Happiness Track. According to Seppälä, quiet quitting occurs when employees choose not to communicate their feelings about the workplace with their superiors or colleagues. Instead, they simply start doing less work until they eventually leave completely without making a fuss. Sometimes they do not provide notice. This differs from regular quitting where an employee maintains performance and typically informs their employer and other team members within a reasonable amount of time before officially leaving the company. Quiet quitters are often fired due to non-performance.

Why is it Important for Leaders to Recognize and Prevent Quiet Quitting?

It’s important for leaders to recognize and prevent quiet quitting because it can have a negative impact on the team’s productivity, morale, and ultimately the company’s bottom line. If left unchecked, quiet quitting can spread across the team or department and create a toxic work environment. It can also lead to high turnover rates if employees feel undervalued or unappreciated.

When quiet quitting occurs, it can have negative effects on the entire organization. Not only are resources wasted, but morale also suffers since current staff might become aware that someone is not pulling their own weight – leading them to feel stressed and undervalued. Thus, it’s important for leaders to recognize these behaviors so preventative measures can be taken and future occurrences minimized as much as possible.

Recognizing Quiet Quitting Behaviors

There are certain signs that leaders can look out for when trying to identify quiet quitters on their teams.

1) Decreased motivation levels

2) Difficulty focusing in meetings and conversations with coworkers

3) Lower quality output than usual in terms of work produced or fewer hours invested into projects than usual

4) Decrease in engagement with tasks assigned.

Taking Preventative Measures and Retaining Employees Who are About to Quiet Quit

Quiet quitting can be eradicated through active connection with your employees. This includes:

  • Regular check-ins
  • Confidential/Anonymous job satisfaction surveys
  • Action plans based on employee data collection
  • Career growth initiatives

The net net of this is, if you invest in your employees, they will invest in you.

Empathy as a Retention Tool

As a leader, it’s essential that you cultivate empathy among your team members so they feel valued and appreciated no matter what role they play within your organization.

1) Ensure everyone has access to clear goals/objectives and open pathways for communication

2) Assure performance metrics and expectations are clear

3) Give everyone enough room needed express concerns openly while still respecting each other’s respective roles within the organization

4) Develop effective feedback loops to help foster empathetic relationships between coworkers

5) Show appreciation whenever possible (even small gestures like saying “thank you” go a long way here)

Positive work cultures minimize the risk of having key team members quietly exit without warning. If you need help executing measures that help with quiet quitting, reach out to us for a complimentary consultation.

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Here are some backlinks that will support this article:

  1. “The Happiness Track” by Emma Seppälä: https://www.amazon.com/Happiness-Track-Science-Accelerate-Success/dp/0062344006
  2. “Recognizing and Preventing Quiet Quitting” by Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2021/06/14/recognizing-and-preventing-quiet-quitting/?sh=3d4a4b0c7f19
  3. “How to Recognize and Prevent Quiet Quitting in the Workplace” by The Balance Careers: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-recognize-and-prevent-quiet-quitting-in-the-workplace-4161819
  4. “Why Leaders Need Empathy More Than Ever” by Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2020/04/why-leaders-need-empathy-more-than-ever
5 Leadership Skills to Drive Empathetic Organizational Change
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To create organizational change while still maintaining trust and empathy, leaders must have a deep understanding of their organization and its people. This article highlights five essential leadership skills that will help you drive empathetic organizational change: self-awareness, problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and emotional intelligence to drive lasting organizational transformation.

#1: Self-Awareness

The first essential skill for driving empathetic organizational change is self-awareness. Self-awareness involves understanding your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as having an understanding of the people around you. Being self-aware will help you become a more effective leader and foster better relationships with employees, stakeholders, and customers. Additionally, it will help create an environment of trust within the organization by allowing you to understand different perspectives and empathize with those affected by changes.

#2: Empathy Mapping

The second key leadership skill that helps drive empathetic change is empathy mapping. This involves collecting and analyzing data to gain insights into employees’ needs, wants, attitudes, and behaviors. Doing so allows leaders to understand how employees interact with each other and the organization’s products or services. This will aid you in making informed change management decisions. Additionally, empathy mapping can help identify areas where further research may be needed in order to understand employee needs more deeply.

#3 Communication

Communication is another vital leadership skill when it comes to driving empathetic organizational change. Leaders need to use active listening and storytelling techniques in order to build trust with stakeholders throughout the entire process of organizational transformation. Whether communicating through email, meetings or other means of communication, leaders must ensure that they are communicating their message clearly while also showing empathy toward everyone involved in the process.

#4: Systems Thinking

Systems thinking is another important skill for leaders who are driving organizational change initiatives. Systems thinking allows leaders to consider how different parts of an organization work together in order to achieve success in any given project or initiative. With systems thinking, leaders can take a holistic approach when making decisions about changes that need to be implemented within the organization.

#5: Collaboration/Co-Creation

Finally, collaboration and co-creation are essential leadership skills for driving successful organizational change initiatives. Leaders should strive to empower employees at all levels by encouraging collaboration among teams working on specific projects or initiatives related to the overall goal of organizational transformation. Co-creation also gives employees a sense of ownership over the changes taking place within their organization – leading them to feel more connected with their role in the transformation process.

Quick Summary

Empathetic leadership is essential for driving successful organizational change initiatives as it encourages trust among stakeholders while also creating an environment conducive to collaboration across teams within the company. By leveraging these five key skills – self-awareness, empathy mapping, communication, systems thinking, collaboration & co-creation – CEOs and COOs can lead their organizations toward transformative change without sacrificing empathy or transparency along the way.

WWC can help you increase your awareness as a leader. We conduct research and empathy mapping to help you understand the current state of your organization and how to communicate with your employees. We act as a trusted advisor to guide you into systems thinking so you can collaborate, co-create, and innovate to increase your revenue. Contact us now for a complimentary consultation.


  1. The importance of self-awareness in leadership – https://hbr.org/2018/01/to-be-a-great-leader-you-have-to-learn-how-to-delegate-well
  2. Empathy mapping as a tool for understanding employee needs – https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2015/10/lean-user-research-solving-the-wrong-problem/
  3. Effective communication techniques for leaders – https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnhall/2017/06/18/building-a-trust-based-culture-is-easier-than-you-think/?sh=6b4d0a9c6b1e
  4. Systems thinking and its role in organizational change – https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/the-role-of-leadership-in-organizational-change
  5. The importance of collaboration and co-creation in driving organizational change – https://hbr.org/2018/03/how-to-create-an-innovation-culture
How Becoming a Learning Organization Can Help Your Business Succeed: Reduce Resistance, Improve Innovation & Increase Adoption of New Initiatives
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In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, organizations must become learning organizations to remain competitive. Learning organizations are characterized by a culture of continuous learning and improvement, and a reliance on employees’ collective knowledge as an organizational asset.

Learning organizations reduce resistance to change through increased collaboration and communication, improve innovation through continual learning and development, and increase the adoption of new initiatives through shared decision-making. Through outlining the benefits of becoming a learning organization and the steps needed to achieve this goal. This article will provide COOs and operational leaders with the skills necessary to lead their organizations into the future.

Reduce Resistance to Change

The most obvious benefit of becoming a learning organization is the reduction in resistance to change. Becoming a learning organization encourages employees to take an active role in their learning, which increases their sense of control and responsibility for outcomes. This builds trust and engagement between employees and management, allowing for open dialogue about proposed changes.

Learning organizations also foster collaboration and communication amongst employees, which reduces barriers to change due to a shared understanding of why changes are necessary. These shared values create an environment where everyone is on the same page when it comes to adapting to new processes or initiatives, making them more likely to be adopted.

Improve Innovation

Beyond reducing resistance to change, becoming a learning organization can improve innovation as well. By providing employees with access to continuous learning opportunities such as online courses or mentorships, companies can create an environment that encourages creativity and innovation.

In addition, by emphasizing a growth mindset over fixed mindsets within teams, companies can ensure that everyone can contribute their ideas without fear of judgment or failure. The collective knowledge gained from these ongoing opportunities allows for new ideas and solutions that may not have been available before.

Increase Adoption of New Initiatives

Finally, by implementing collaborative decision-making processes within the organization’s structure, companies can increase the adoption of new initiatives much faster than traditional top-down approaches. When team members are involved in the decision-making process from the beginning they feel ownership over any new process or initiative being implemented and thus are more likely to stick with it long-term rather than try short-term fixes that may not provide lasting results.

Additionally, having multiple stakeholders involved in the decision-making process ensures that any potential issues are identified early on so they can be addressed before implementation begins.

How to Create a Continuous Learning Culture

Establishing a culture that values continuous learning is essential for any company looking to become a learning organization.

  • Prioritize employee development through training programs and mentorship opportunities
  • Build skills but foster relationships between teams working together on projects or initiatives Invest in upskilling opportunities such as online courses or conferences
  1. Encourage team members to learn best practices from other industries
  • Develop methods to help teams stay current with changing technology trends in their particular field of expertise
  • Encourage communication between teams so information is shared effectively throughout departments rather than siloed away into individual roles

Transform Into a Learning Organization

The changing nature of businesses requires adaptability for businesses to remain competitive. This means taking steps now towards becoming a learning organization rather than waiting until it’s too late down the line when customer needs have changed or competitors have already taken the lead with innovative solutions. While there’s no one size fits all answer for how best to become a learning organization, here’s how you can begin to transform your organization into one.

  • Focus on creating an environment where employee growth is valued and encouraged, communication is open and honest, and decisions are made collaboratively
  • Leverage technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) robotics, and virtual reality (VR), to creatively approach organizational challenges

In conclusion, becoming a learning organization has many benefits, with the three most impactful being:

  1. Reduced resistance toward change
  2. Improved innovation
  3. Increased adoption rates of new initiatives

Implement this within your business model in order to ensure your company remains competitive in an ever-evolving marketplace. Need help transforming your organization into a productive learning organization? Schedule a complimentary discovery call now.