Strengthening Company Culture One Step at a Time
In a conversation with one of our clients this week, the topic of teamwork and leadership came up. “Things are going well” she said, “but I can see the potential for cracks to form. I really want to get in front of this; to do something to bring us closer together before things go wrong”.
Most small business leaders know that having a more productive team is good for business overall. Like our client above, there may not be any obvious cracks in the team, but often we can be just one stressful situation away from everything changing.
Considering that prevention is the best cure, we thought of three simple steps every team leader can take to enhance and develop their company culture.
Step 1: Be prepared to embrace change
Most leaders know that embracing change is fundamental to navigating the challenges of business. However, embracing change starts with the act of being prepared and being willing to embrace change in the first instance.
From a leader’s perspective, embracing change means helping your employees to understand that change is occurring all the time across all levels of the organisation, from small matters to big ones. Context helps to make sense of change that is all around us.
In our recent interview with Mark Parry, MD of Ron Finemore Transport, he suggested leaders need to learn from change and stretch themselves; to look at the challenges the team are facing and turn them into opportunities. This requires confidence on behalf of the leader, and appreciation for your team’s diverse skills and contributions.
Step 2: Get to know your team as individuals
Whilst being a leader requires a modicum of fairness to ensure all people are treated equally, the reality is that people have different needs and are in different circumstances. Therefore, they may require an individual approach from time to time. Whether this is to do with their differing behavioural styles (think DiSC profiles) or their personal circumstances during lockdown (home-schooling, sick kids or parents), approaching individuals on a unique basis and addressing their concerns specifically, enables you to better manage the productivity and energy in the team.
Step 3: Close the gaps
To understand how to improve your company culture, you also need to know where the gaps are in being a high performing team.
In their recent white paper Harnessing Employee Culture, HR Coach Australasia outline the research they did on the cultural performance gaps between teams (download whitepaper here).
They found significant gaps existed between high performing and low performing teams across five key areas:
- Customer focus
- Motivated work teams
- Loyalty to the business; and
- Honesty and integrity
Ask yourself, which do you think your team is performing well at and what areas could you improve?
In summary, your team might be performing well and most of the team are humming along, but you can be only one drama away from having your culture tested. It’s easy for people to get along when everything is going well, but what happens when something goes wrong? How well does the team work together? How do you as a leader get ahead of the problems?
There is always room for improvement. It’s a matter of taking small steps in the right direction and not leaving anyone on the team behind. Please reach out to one of the Howardco team if you would like support to strengthen your company culture in 2021.