Building Culture Within Your Business
Every company has a distinct culture whether or not you are aware of what yours is. World class companies have leaders that take action to sculpt the culture they want right from day one. Others let the culture develop on its own and then wonder why they can't seem to break through the plateau they've reached. The answer is almost always going to be tied to some aspect of your business's culture. Below are some statistics taken from Global Human Capital Trends 2016 – Deloitte University Press that outline current executive perceptions on culture.
Culture derives from the word cult, which in the wrong context can sound harmful to a business. However, the root concept of the word represents a deeper meaning: inspiring people to follow you no matter where you go. This is a culture built on trust. To develop a culture such as this, the process must start at the top and trickle down throughout the organization. As previously mentioned, businesses will always hit some type of plateau in their lifecycle in which the only way to progress is to give up control or delegate tasks. Those who give up power and delegate, exemplify a level of trust within the organization and their team. The more responsibility you give up, the less time you spend on micro tasks, and the more time you have to focus on the macro: breaking through those plateaus. The leaders who refuse to give up control consistently bounce off the glass ceiling they've created for themselves. By showing you trust your employees without expecting trust back, you plant a seed in the company that manifests into a foundation for perpetual growth. Once this process has begun, you will quickly realize that culture is the most important aspect of a business.
Once you have begun demonstrating more trust among your employees, you still must monitor their performance and keep them engaged. In some aspects engagement can be as simple as ensuring you do a lap around the office, or incorporating small fireside chats. When it comes to measuring your actual employee's performance, there are four main categories in which they will fall into: Eagles, Owls, Seagulls, or Turkeys. This is a topic to be discussed on its own at a later date, however, you can learn these different categories as well as effective methods to review performance and ensure your culture is being exercised daily by reading, The Leadership Code by AJ Slivinski.
A clear mission backed by a solid set of values provides a core for a company's culture to expand upon. It provides a reference point for when workloads become overwhelming. An effective company doesn't hand out a sheet of values for employees to stick in a drawer and never look at again. An effective company practises their values in every action of the business at every level, regardless of seniority. These values then become your main hiring and evaluation criteria.
Through giving more control to your team, engaging and monitoring employees, and incorporating your values into every action, you will see some immediate changes within the culture of your company. This shift in culture will allow you to power through any plateaus holding your business back from becoming world class, now and in the future.
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