The Works Trust Index Survey identified 100 top-performing companies and compared these organisations to other companies focused on well-being. The difference? The Character of the company.

Entelechy offers organisations the opportunity to become a Company of Character. It may sound strange to say that a company can have Character as the humans within it do. Yet, any coming together of humans becomes a constellation, and, in so doing, every individual represents the values of the whole. From how people within the organisation present themselves, to how they collaborate, to how they perform and lead, every behaviour creates a sense of the Character of the company.

Graph showing insights from the Great Place the Work Trust Index Survey

There is no better way to illustrate the concept of companies with Character than to explore a bar chart from the Work’s Trust Index Survey, which singles out the top-performing organisations worthy of recognition. While many of the companies surveyed had an active policy for well-being, the top-performing companies are doing something extra. There is something about the culture they create that results from the behaviour of managers. These behaviours are a consequence of the Character of the people within it. Here we explore how Entelechy’s Character Qualities are core to this success.

Management recognises honest mistakes as part of doing business.

A significant focus for successful companies is the capacity to give space for employees to explore new possibilities. Accepting that humans can be vulnerable to error and acknowledging it as such reduces fear and anxiety in the workplace and helps us feel safe. To be forgiving as a manager is a superpower that few pull off with the humanity it requires. Safety is one of the most basic needs of human beings, and without it, we cannot hope to achieve self-actualisation – the actualisation of their potential.

The freedom to make mistakes also allows us to be creative and to be courageous. The best ideas begin as a risk to a company; some work out and make millions, and some don’t and fall into obscurity. To be encouraging of those who dare to try is the Character of the most successful companies in the world.

Management shows appreciation for good work and extra effort.

To be humble when witnessing better work from those in teams, demonstrates Character in a leader. To be grateful and sincere in the praise given is an essential quality of all managers. Yet, the best companies know that these qualities should be lived by all team members, and when this is promoted, the ability to be collaborative is enhanced.

I can ask management any reasonable question and get a straight answer.

To be authentic and gracious when asked reasonable questions might be something that most successful companies take for granted. Yet, to be trusting of employees to such an extent that to be honest is the most appropriate action requires much work on culture. These are not soft qualities that come without consciously developing these traits within the organisation.

Management does a good job of assigning and coordinating people.

To be collaborative requires active and conscious management by leaders. Without this conscious management, people can become anxious, and where there are gaps, people create stories to fill the space. Therefore, to be expressive of what is expected and to be organised promotes security and so helps talent to flourish. Also, when people are certain of their roles, it allows them to be accountable and responsible for the execution of their role in the company.

Management involves people in decisions that affect their jobs or work environment.

This data point represents the largest gap between the most successful organisations and others that focus on the well-being of their employees. To be fair and be committed to transparency helps team members feel they have agency over their careers, and with this belief in the need for employees to be independent comes self-determination to succeed.

The capacity to be adaptable and influential in equal measure means the best decision can be made for the individual and the company.

Management makes its expectations clear.

When management can be strategic and purposeful in how they present work, they empower team members to be efficient and organised and help them be reliable. A leader who can be responsible for the clear expectations of team members often needs to do much less management than those who don’t.

Management’s actions match its words.

To be wise means living beliefs which are shared with teams in every action of every day. To be disciplined in this way takes conscious effort. It also requires the leader to be self-aware and in tune with the values they demonstrate in their actions. To be visionary, or someone who can see themselves and the influence they exert over the community of employees around them, is a rare Character Quality, and few leaders excel to this level.

If you are interested in learning about becoming a Company of Character, email [email protected]. I would love to explore how Character could deliver you the culture lived by these top-performing companies.