According to Entrapreneur magazine ” culture is heralded as one of the most important factors for a business’ long-term success”.
In an Ere Media article, Jamie Notter says, ” Culture is not about being cool or even being a “best place to work.” It’s about being more successful. Period”.
Many experts in talent management and leadership tout culture as one of the primary factors in driving the success of an organization. So, how does good culture happen and what can leaders do to help it thrive?
Step 1 – Know Thy Employees
If you are a leader within your company, get to know as many employees as you can. Know their names. Know their hobbies. Ask what they are doing over the weekend.
Early in my management career, I was more focused on results than on people. I was successful from a strictly profit/project basis, but didn’t forge many relationships.
At some point I recognized my shortcoming and assigned myself this specific motto for improvement: Never put tasks before people. This served as a constant reminder that people come first.
As the new CEO at EchoData, I know without doubt that my relationship with our employees directly contributes to our corporate culture. I’ve diligently worked to know every employee’s name and I’m now learning additional details about our company’s most important asset – our people. It may not come naturally for me, but it is most definitely worth the effort!
Step 2 – Encourage High Performance
People want to win. High performers thrive in an environment of accountability, but they wilt when they work hard while others barely try.
Recognize and reward high performance. Coach low performers so they can become high performers. Do not tolerate continued low performance, or you risk frustrating your best employees.
Ask any manager on Earth who they’d rather manage: high or low performing teams. NOBODY wants to manage low performers, and NOBODY wants to be on a low performing team.
One of our primary jobs as managers is to build high performance teams filled with people who want to win. Accountability is how to get there.
Step 3 – Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
A speaker recently told me that we must repeat the same message 13 times. That’s 13 times!?!? Get it, the same message 13 times!? Did I say it enough – we must repeat the message 13 times.
That was just 4 times and it was already annoying. As leaders, we must repeat the important stuff over and over, ad nauseam. While the message may be getting old to us, keep in mind that it may be the first listening for some. Important messages that contribute in a positive way to your company culture should be repeated long after you think you’re done.
Step 4 – Measure & Share Progress
People want to win – but winning at something requires the tedious job of keeping score. Some things are hard to measure. Unfortunately, they’re often the things we most want to win.
First decide what would be the most important “win” for your company. Then figure out how to measure that win. Finally, measure fanatically and report results consistently. And don’t forget to celebrate with the team when you’ve won.
Step 5 – Hire Well
Of course, for startups this would be step #1…
You want to hire people who have the behaviors and attitude you value. It’s easier to teach a skill than to fix an attitude.
After hiring the right people for the job, don’t forget to hold them accountable through coaching and feedback.
What would you add to this list?