There is a saying that all ships rise with a rising tide. In your company that tide is culture. Your culture will either work for you raising everyone’s work, attitude, and enjoyment or bring you down. Company culture exists if you are a solopreneur or if you have thousands of employees. A business with distinctive culture will begin to self-audit weeding out those that don’t fit and attracting those that do. Making everything easier a healthy company culture will prosper your business.
Photo by KCNewman Photography
Be Clear. You must know what you are shooting at to make culture excellent. Skills and work ethic that you are born with and have had nurtured and ingrained into you are easy to take for granted. A lot of areas in my life I assumed were common sense. When you make assumptions of common sense, we get vaguer, and your culture becomes confusing rising and falling on emotion. Be precise about terms like “hard work.” What does that mean exactly? Only with a proper map are you going to be able to get the best culture possible.
Hire Wisely. Getting the right people on the bus as Jim Collins says in his excellent book, Good to Great is the only way you are going to have high culture. Some skills you can teach and some skills need to be natural. It is a necessity to figure out the difference and hire for the skills that must be natural. In my food service business, we are looking for naturally smiling people, who get along well with others, care about other people, and go crazy standing around. I have tried to train all of these things and I can’t, but other skills like upselling, cleaning, making pizzas, excellent customer service, and great communication is trainable when team members have the right intangibles. Hiring the right people for the right jobs is necessary for awesome culture.
Upline Manage. Employees must feel and have the ability to upline manage. Establishing a business that empowers all who are part of the organization to watch each other and hold all accountable ensures a united front on culture. You do not want to establish a, “do as I say not as I do” atmosphere. When building an organization making sure that no people are above the company helps the company to operate as a living organism. No one is above the organization, and this needs to be well-known and reinforced to have unrivaled culture.
Data/I Statements. Nothing destroys a culture faster than drama and hurt feelings. We are all human and we will always wound each other’s feelings and have drama, but we must be relentless in trying to destroy these. Speaking of data instead of the meaning we make out of the data keeps conversations on facts and ensures the clearest and most accurate communication. Data keeps the conversation on solutions and keeps confrontations from spiraling out of control. I statements when you are speaking for yourself and we statements when you are speaking for the group is indispensable. Speaking of data and using accurate I statements ensures the stability of your culture.
Recognize. Recognition of accomplishments and milestones bolster and encourages the culture to thrive. It is an opportunity to honor employees’ commitment and to encourage growth in areas of culture that you want to reinforce. Recognition will go a long way in growing a culture around achieving and getting things done. Focus and intentionality on recognition will make your team feel like a team instead of an employee. It will establish that you care for them on an individual level and appreciate what they have done for you and your family. Recognize and encourage your team to prosper your culture.
Have fun. Business should be fun for the most part and this is especially true for culture. Develop a workplace that people want to go to by making your focus on fun while maintaining productivity. Play and work can and should go together. We as entrepreneurs spend most of a waking time working on and thinking about our companies. Why wouldn’t we have a fun thriving culture? I believe a place that people want to be at increases productivity and engagement. Have a good time to increase the power of healthy culture.
Culture is like soil. Healthy grounds will lead to healthy plants. The land requires you to pull weeds to allow the right plants to grow. It requires the right amount of water. Too much or too little and the plants die. Healthy fertile soil creates the right conditions to get the best of the plants in the garden. Make sure that your company has healthy productive soil for your people to prosper in and your business will go places you never imagine. Be blessed on your journey.