Culture is a leader’s best friend! A workplace with a great culture provides fuel to get the momentum machine moving! Companies that have great cultures make coming to work a joy instead of a dread. Excited, positive employees have less absences, cause less drama and produce more.
If the collective attitude of your workplace needs an upgrade, start by following these simple suggestions to better your C.U.L.T.U.R.E.
Create an inclusive atmosphere – Start by celebrating diversity and create a feeling of openness to share ideas and suggestions for improvement. It’s one thing to hire for diversity, but the best leaders understand the treasure of ideas and creativity that comes from having people with different backgrounds on their teams. Encourage all ideas to be brought to the table and you’ll be amazed at what you get!
Understand the pulse – Learn to observe the attitudes and rhythms of your teams. This will help you better assess engagement and needs for intervention. Watch the mannerisms of your people as they interact with each other and customers. Do your employees move with a sense of purpose and pep in their steps? Is there a natural willingness to serve others? Leaders in tune with their team’s pulse can identify when culture needs to be tweaked.
Love your employees – Think about the sacrifices as well as the contributions they make for the team. Most of your employees do not wake up with the desire to come to work and goof off all day. They want to succeed and rely on you to help them do that. As a leader, you should desire for them to be as successful as possible and this desire comes from a love for them. The best leaders love their employees because they genuinely care about them.
Treat everyone with respect – Respect everyone as not only a team member, but more importantly, as a human who is there to make the team a success. Respect must be earned and, as a leader, it is up to you to lead by example. The most effective way to increase respect is to model what it means to give it. Think about your tone when you address your employees and be mindful of showing them respect. Remember that respect must be given for it to be reciprocated.
Unify the team – Help team members understand how their contributions serve their teammates as well as the company. Unification comes through service to the team, from the team. When teammates help each other, productivity goes through the roof and excitement builds. Watch any documentary about a championship sports team and you will discover how unified they are through their service to each other. Talent and coaching are important, but not as much as unification.
Rely on each other – Trust is a must with regard to culture. Learning to rely on each other is the catalyst for solidifying a team into a family. When the team is so unified it becomes like family, it becomes easier to trust each other. Leaders should always stress the importance of relying on each other and look for creating opportunities to do that. Team projects and exercises are a great way to help increase reliability.
Expect excellence – Expect excellence of yourself as well as your team. Raising your level of expectation based upon your belief in your employees will cause them to elevate their game. One of the U.S. Air Force’s core values is, “Excellence in all we do”. Along with integrity and service, excellence was permeated into everything we did in the military. When excellence becomes a pillar of your team’s culture, great things will happen.
Following these suggestions to a better C.U.L.T.U.R.E. has proven itself to be a game changer in my experience. I have been on teams that have gone from dysfunctional to wonderful in little time because leaders focused on bettering the culture. Those teams, in turn, produced more, increased engagement scores and significantly reduced turnover.
What are your suggestions to help create a better workplace culture? Please comment and let us know what has worked for you.
Hope this helps, everyone…lead well!