Company Culture: What’s Lurking in the Background?
This is #5 in the series, 7 Easy Ways to Kill Your Business. Today, we look at what’s lurking in the background at your company.
What type of leader are you? What level of service do you provide? Do your employees enjoy work? What message are you sending with every email and every discussion? Do you value people’s time? Are your people important to you?
The answers to these and many other important questions are being answered every day whether you like it or not, or worse, know it or not. Your actions, whether they are loud and proud or silent and calm, are answering all of them. The difference between good and great can be as simple as conscious and unconscious. What’s hiding in the background? What kind of company culture do you actually have?
A VP of Finance is walking through the office when he notices out of the corner of his eye someone on Facebook at their desk. It is obviously a personal visit, not company related. He decides to avoid the conflict and ignore it. What culture was just reinforced or created?
A construction manager walks a job with his team member, the job is dirty with empty drink cans and other trash strewn about. The manager says nothing and praises the team member on a good looking project. What is the expectation that has been set?
The President of a company tells all his teams that the development of their people is important to him. However, he refuses to invest any budget or time in training. What message is being sent?
There are more examples than I care to write about, but a few things are always very clear and evident:
You create culture whether you’re being intentional about it or not.
You tell people what is really important by your actions, not your words.
All of this can be done on purpose (consciously) or simply allowed to happen (unconsciously).
The key is having a plan.
What are your values and goals? What are the underlying ideals and beliefs that are the foundation of your company? Make sure those are known and then you’re your actions and decisions on them. If you say something is important, back it up with a plan that shows that. Make an effort and conscious decision to create the culture and atmosphere you want. Choose your words, make sure examples are seen, and “walk the talk” by doing as you say.
When you are clear about the culture you want to create, you will start to see those that fit inside that culture start to shine and those that don’t will be obvious as well. Your team will start performing at a higher level and you won’t have to work nearly as hard at keeping things on the tracks. Your team will do it for you. You will be able to focus on developing and growing your team members so your business can do the same. You won’t have to stay so near-sighted in order to make sure everyone “does their job.”
Be conscious in your actions to create the team and company you want and deserve. Your effort now will be rewarded with much greater results in the future.