Leaders set the pace and tone in the organization. They set goals, direct their teams, resolve conflicts and show the way to their people when priorities conflict. Their behaviors establish the norms that define what is right and what is not. Their thoughts percolate down the organization. Based on what employees see, hear and experience, they decide if customer requirements are more important than internal processes and the approval hierarchy. They get to know if customers come first or employees first, boss first or team first. People see if winning at any cost is celebrated or all-around performance is valued. Organizations value outcomes as well as the methods adopted to achieve them. However, it is the culture that defines how important are the methods alongside the results.
Formulating the Precise Force of Energy
It’s easy to create a positive and powerful energy field in your workplace. To do it, you need to back off the governmental-sounding policies and rules that too many organizations shove in their employees’ faces on a regular basis. When you hire smart people and let them connect to their own power source at work, they will amaze you. You won’t need ten million rules and policies then. The standard and predictable response of an employee in a healthy workplace is to hit and surmount his or her goals and every team goal, too. They can do that because their forward energy is unblocked.
Focusing on “The Critical Few”
Conventional wisdom advocates a comprehensive approach, as it is rightly quoted “everybody should change everything that’s not perfect” But companies must be rigorously selective when it comes to picking behaviors. The key is to focus on what we call “the critical few,” a small number of important behaviors that would have great impact if put into practice by a significant number of people. Discern a few things people do throughout the company that positively affect business performance. For example, ways of starting meetings or talking with customers. Making sure those are aligned with the company’s overall strategy. Also, check that people feel good about doing these things so that you tap into emotional commitment. Then codify them by translating those critical behaviors into simple, practical steps that people can take every day. Next, select groups of employees who are primed for these few behaviors, those who will respond strongly to the new behaviors and who are likely to implement and spread them.
Principle of Comrade Unity
A company with a team-unity corporate culture makes employees’ happiness its top priority. Frequent team outings, opportunities to provide meaningful feedback, and flexibility to accommodate employees’ family lives are common markers of a team-first culture.
Team-oriented companies hire for culture fit first, skills and experience second. Because they know happy employees make for happier customers. It’s a great culture for any customer service-focused company to embody because employees are more likely to be satisfied with their work and eager to show their gratitude by going the extra mile for customers. The larger the company, the more difficult it is to maintain this type of culture. That’s why having a team member dedicated to cultivating culture is a great strategy for any company.
Leave All Doors Open
In order to empower employees, let them know the communication lines are always open for them. Here are some other ways business owners can implement more open lines of communication:
- Set open office hours for employees to come and speak to management
- Have a suggestion box, and once a month review suggestions with employees
- Ask employees their opinions on policies or what they would do differently if they could
Most importantly, remain open to feedback and creativity. There are tons of great ideas that your people have from working in the trenches with your actual customers on a day-to-day basis. Your employees and contractors shouldn’t feel as if they can’t approach certain members of your company. In fact, if you empower them to bring important matters to someone who can effectively handle them, the problem will get handled faster than if it had to travel through the hoops of bureaucracy. This also allows employees and contractors to get back to their work faster and keep operations running efficiently.
Room for Advancement
Promoting employees from the workplace within is a great way to let your organization know that with diligence, leadership and determination, they can climb the ranks and become supervisors, managers, and executives. Promoting an employee from your business also reduces the cost of hiring someone outside of your organization through recruiting, interviewing, training and onboarding.
By promoting one of your existing employees, you get someone who needs minimal training, little to no onboarding and is already able to work hand-in-hand with the other members of your organization. This is especially true if your business is expanding rapidly and more positions are being created that need to be filled.
Maintaining Right Balance
The leadership has to walk a tightrope in making sure that the right balance is being maintained between these two approaches. On one hand, the leader has to demonstrate his commitment towards establishing a friendly workplace where relationships are valued and individual circumstances are considered while evaluating the employee’s performance and making decisions about the role, career growth, and further development. And at the same time, objective measures such as designated targets, KPIs (key performance indicators), predetermined frequencies to evaluate performance, policies around compensation, benefits, rewards, and recognition are to be defined. The right balance of the two approaches makes sure that individual performance is recognized, appropriately rewarded, an environment of healthy competition is created and a drive towards excellence permeates in the organization.
Adults look for freedom, dignity, and recognition; they value a workplace that treats everyone fairly, practices honesty and exhibits consistency. The virtue of freedom is especially influenced by the organization’s founder, executives, and other managerial staff because of their role in decision making and strategic direction
These basic principles are universal irrespective of culture and the style of leadership. Therefore, all organizations must possess a culture of fostering freedom.