You need to build a lasting culture!
I woke up this morning thinking about the basics. Fundamentals. Foundation. Check out this 2 minute video about how Michael Jordan became the greatest of all time (yes, the GOAT):
He spent all of his time on the fundamentals. In our organizations we can spend time on really frilly, fad ideas and concepts. But if we want to build an organizational culture worthy of being talked about in books like Good to Great we need to focus on the fundamentals.
Here are four fundamentals to practice over and over until they become a part of your organizational DNA:
Do what you say you will do
I remember hearing that parents would bribe their kids with, for example, candy, if the kid did something, only hoping the kid would forget about it by the time they got home. Kids don’t forget candy rewards! Same goes for our employees: when leadership says they will do something but they don’t do it, we remember. Once can be forgiven, twice is disappointing, three times feels like a habit. The problem is what this does to your culture. Your team will learn to not trust you’ll follow through on the simple things. That eroding trust will erode your culture, and you’ll see people leave your organization for a leader they can trust.
If this is a problem for anyone on your leadership, there are two easy solutions. First, follow through on what you say you will. If you absolutely can’t, or shouldn’t, then have very good communication about why you aren’t. Second, stop committing to things you shouldn’t commit to. When your commitments are of utmost importance, you only commit to things when you should.
Plan your hiring wisely to avoid knee-jerk actions
I’ve seen layoffs happen when they never should have. Over hiring or hiring the wrong people can be issues you don’t deal with when you create a real talent acquisition plan. If you continue to have problems with this, please hire a consultant to help you. Mistakes in hiring impacts people, their families, and others around them. The need to do layoffs can add undue stress to your entire organization and decrease confidence from your team in your leadership (see a theme?). Hiring is tricky, and planning your talent needs for the next year or longer can be hard. But there are experts who can help you make sure you are planning wisely to avoid the problems associated with hiring mistakes.
Your strategic roadmap: Plan, communicate, have consistency
Your team wants to feel confident they are investing their time, career, and future in the right organization and leader. When you create a strategic roadmap, and communicate that roadmap, they can feel confident in the future of the organization, your products and services, and their future. Of course things change… we know that. They know that. But having a plan that makes sense, and takes into consideration competition and market opportunities, as well as any market threats to your organization, can help instill that confidence. Then consistently work on your roadmap. Communicate changes that come up with your team, perhaps explaining why things change. I’ve worked with leaders who are continually changing things and the changes confuse everyone. Be careful to make strategic changes that make sense, and communicate the whats and whys of those changes.
Include your team in failures and success
Ownership and responsibility are key to building culture. I’m not talking about equity ownership… that’s another conversation for another post. I’m talking about taking ownership of problems, failures, wins, etc. Your team needs to know you trust them to make decisions. If they make a bad decision, help them learn from it and move on. There is a lot written about failing fast and moving on as a success strategy. The key, I think, is that your team doesn’t pass blame (and, you don’t pass blame) for failures.
On the flip side, give your employees ownership in success. I remember early in my career I made a sale (I wasn’t in sales, but I was in the right place at the right time), and I hardly got a “good job.” Getting a commission or bonus would have been gratifying, but to not even get recognition, privately or within the organization, felt demoralizing. When your team does good things they should be rewarded. This creates a culture of results and recognition. If you didn’t know, this is a core service Snowfly offers… click the Contact Us link below to learn about our incentives, performance, rewards, and recognition system.
There are more fundamentals, I’m sure. I hope you come up with your own list with your executives and managers, and talk about the fundamentals your team needs to practice, and focus on, daily.
At Snowfly, we are a bit obsessed with organizational culture. We know that having a positive culture improves lives. You can’t go to a big-box store and buy culture. You can’t order it from Amazon. You can’t even read a book, or this blog post, and get a great culture. It takes consistent work, and focus, on fundamentals.
We can help with that. We are helping different organizations build culture based on fundamentals. Want to see how? Reach out to us: