There’s no pamphlet or training video about managing your company’s culture, but it’s arguably one of the most important parts of running a successful business.
A company’s culture is the interactions between its employees, and the overall ideas they share with each other. I’m not saying you need to start an island nation with your business and form a new language (although that would be pretty cool), but you do need to put in some effort in this area.
If you don’t know how to manage your company’s culture, you risk having a lack of cohesion between your employees, leading to a stalemate when it comes to your company’s growth. If you’re looking to get your business a step ahead, check to see if you might be suffering from the side effects of these poor cultural dynamics—they could be keeping your business down.
We all have different ways of leading a team. Some leaders are strict, some are a bit more laid back, and some of them like to encourage Taco Tuesday on Saturdays for whatever reason. But if someone in leadership is “new in town,” their unique management strategies can be a strange sight.
Depending on what your employees are used to, they could end up “teaming up” against you. They’re not going to barge into your office with pitchforks and torches, demanding their old boss back. What they can do, though, is throw a wrench into your structural dynamic by complaining about you to their fellow employees who’ve been around a lot longer.
Try setting ground rules about what you expect from them. More importantly, lay out what they can expect from you in a work environment. Don’t say things like “work hard” or “get the job done.”
Instead, give them an idea of what your “model employee” looks like, and how you’ll be a “model leader” right back.
Due to the structural nature of leadership positions, there can be some major blocks in communication between you and your employees. Whether it’s an intimidation factor or a lack of respect, there are certain concepts around leadership that can make communication difficult.
This can lead to employees going through uncomfortable situations without a way to mention it to you. They could have important ideas during meetings without the freedom to speak out. Heck, they might just gather around the watercooler and speak their frustrations about the new guy in accounting (trust me, I don’t blame them).
If you’ve heard a few too many rumors around the watercooler, give your employees a chance to talk about it. Make space for anonymous notes and read them at the end of the day. Make a point to ask if anyone has anything to add during meetings. Just give your employees an opportunity to speak out.
Low Team Morale
For most people, work is a place from which they get a paycheck and go home. In fact, only 20% of employees feel passionate about their jobs. If you’re noticing stagnant numbers on your quarterly reports, it can be worthwhile to explore methods of getting your employees psyched to come into work every day.
I’m not saying you should make the workplace the ultimate funhouse with a bouncy castle and a tiny car filled with 37 clowns (if you can manage 38, that’s a different story), but give your employees something to look forward to when they step in the door.
Maybe you could plan some holiday parties throughout the year to offer them a chance to mingle and get to know each other. Put in an espresso machine that edges out the boring cup of joe for a quick pick-me-up. Offer a bonus if your team reaches a certain quota of sales targets.
The most important thing is to have an open dialogue with them. Once you know what can make your employee’s time at work more meaningful, you’ll see your numbers skyrocket in no time.
It all comes down to establishing teamwork.
If you’re looking to knock your quarterly results out of the park, you need to refine the roots of what keeps your company running. What’s the point of having hundreds of people working for a business if none of them work together properly?
Knowing how to manage your company’s culture, and keep your structural dynamics in line, are both crucial to growing your business. Solve those puzzles, and you’ll keep your operations running like clockwork.
In The Meantime, Here's Something To Help You On Your Journey. Take The Leadership Culture Survey