Creating a Culture Staff Will Love
About seven years ago, while working for a boutique-consulting firm, I actually had the good fortune of working with two types of leader within the organization. The first was very direct, to the point and al about business, while the other was a bit more freehearted and definitely much more of a “feely” person. The contrast was stark; but most important were the lessons I learned. I believe one of the most important lessons I learned was how personalities shape the business culture. Strangely enough, because they were polar opposites, I felt there was always a good sense of balance.
Now as a senior manager, responsible for facilitating a healthy productive workplace, I understand that I not only set the precedence but also are responsible for maintaining and cultivating it. It’s critical for me to take time and actually think about how I promote good business culture. A few specific things I have personally incorporated include developing a staff suggestion roundtable meeting, monthly staff outing, and a full pay-day for taking part in a community service project once a year. These small changes have already yielded signs of positive growth for the staff.
So what are you doing in your business to establish a healthy and productive business culture? How does it compliment your leadership capabilities? We took a hard look at 5 essential ingredients for any business leader looking for long-term growth and profitable success within their small business workplace.
1. State your goal
There is nothing more anxious than groping around in the dark without a point of reference for your actions. Especially if you are in a task-oriented environment where you constantly need feedback to proceed. You need to state the goal in order for people to have a general idea of what’s actually going on and what’s expected. Your staff needs you to articulate your vision in a clear manner. Start with the “end” in mind, that why everyone is reading from the same sheet of music. After you have stated your vision, you can then state your goals and underline how each team member fits into that vision and goal. You can emphasize your message to the team by highlighting the importance of their contributions. You can also demonstrate how their contributions align with your stated goals.
2. Organize communication
Communication within a company, or with clients, should include a discussion on preferred acceptable channels. Tasks should be communicated often and clearly. With the development of so many com-tools, there is no reason to be communication deficient. Use tools like Asana, Slack, or Google Hangout for interactive communication.
Lastly, it doesn’t matter how busy you are as the senior manager you need to make it a priority to clearly communicate tasks to staff and team members. You should also clearly communicate expectations bringing clarity and focus within your organization.
3. Do what you say and say what you do
There is nothing more disengaging than being dishonest or uncommitted to your staff. You should never make promises you can’t keep. Also if you know you are unable to keep your word, be upfront and transparent it. By not being true to your word, you create an air of insecurity leaving employees to be more concerned about what you do than the task to be accomplished. Aim for transparency when possible. Also, include staff in on strategic decisions either through a committee or individually. They should never feel they are on the outside looking in.
4. Give feedback and develop employee skills
Feedback is an essential part of a successful business culture because it helps employees develop their skills. Feedback should always occur right after an event or task. Keep feedback focused on the actions and not the individual person. Positive reinforcement breeds a positive culture. Also, make sure you are investing in your employee’s training and development. You should allow your staff to have a direct hand in their professional development and professional well-being. There is nothing more exciting for business than an empowered and engaged employee.
5. Empower and cultivate responsibility
How are you empowering your staff? If I were to speak to one of your employees, would they say your environment empowers them to do their jobs efficient and effectively? Your business culture needs to encourage autonomy and allow new leaders to emerge. It should allow employees to make decisions, and increase their responsibilities in accordance with performance. You should always praise success and provide reinforcing feedback for continued growth.
An engaged positive business culture is all about employing certain values that positively influence business performance and that constantly engage the well-being of your employees. You have to be willing to create a true people-centric organization. Your customers and staff are not just numbers and metrics, they are people. Finding ways to tap into your staff’s long-term goals are good. BUT finding ways to incorporate them into your workplace, not only serve their well-being but the organizations as well.