The age old adage from Peter Drucker still holds true:
Culture eats strategy for breakfast.
As it turns outs, one of the most important variables that determine success in your business is your team & company culture. Ideas can come and go but in order to truly execute to the highest potential, you must surround yourself with great people and have their energy compound one another
So what do we mean when we say culture?
To put it simply, culture is the set of values, behaviors, traditions, and rewards systems that define an organization or entity. To build a strong culture, it requires with identifying these shared values in an open environment with your team.
That being said, when many managers start out, they tend to spend a disproportionate amount of time on measuring results instead of creating the conditions that will drive those results.
In fact, a 2014 Gallup poll highlights that nearly three-quarters of workers are disengaged in their jobs – highlighting the necessity of a positive workplace culture in our organizations.
Patrick Lencioni in his 2002 book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” covers this phenomenon in blocks of a pyramid. The root cause of team dysfunction is the absence of trust between the team leader and those he is responsible for, which ultimately manifests itself in inattention to results.
Here are seven concrete actions you as a leader can take right away to build a stronger team culture:
- Make your organization’s common goals & mission physically visible in the workplace and refer to them often in your dialogue.
- Model the behavior that you want to see in your team. It can be easy to pass judgment if you are not leading by example.
- Hold monthly one-to-one meeting with your team members to go over their personal and professional experience. Simply creating a space for people to express themselves openly will do wonders for creating trust.
- Create a space for roundtable feedback sessions with your team, at the minimum each quarter.
- Use team retreats to identify the personal goals & drivers of each person and their background. A circle sharing will build a sense of camaraderie and kinship among the team
- Empower your team to take ownership & responsibility over their positions by giving them the autonomy to make decisions. You may capable of doing a project better than them but giving them the space to fail is the only way to create conditions for genuine learning.
- Put your employees first before anything else. Clients will come & go. However, creating a culture of caring, compassion, and loyalty will spread and will stick eternally in the minds of your team.
Strong cultures are not built overnight but making the small steps each day to create an atmosphere of openness and trust will go a long way to driving your business forward and cementing your legacy as a thoughtful leader.
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