For our new 3 part series, we’re going to be discussing—that’s right, discussing because I want YOUR input too—The major factors that create a great business culture.
A successful business thrives on a healthy organizational culture; one that enhances productivity, efficiency, and loyalty. But just how do you achieve that? By Understanding that leading by example is truly the only way to create the environment that you want to be a part of.
Our first factor that we’ll discuss today is communication: direct, honest, and open on every level. From the owner’s chair all the way down to the entry-level assistant, communication is important groundwork to lie out for a healthy environment. So how does it help to create a great business culture, exactly? I’m glad you asked!
Create Safety & Transparency
By being honest with your team about the good and the bad, you’re not only earning their trust, you’re establishing strong communication. Encouraging healthy confrontation between your staff also allows them to feel comfortable voicing their opinions, and practice doing so in an achievement-minded manner. It's hard to create a great business culture if your employees always feel threatened. This approach prevents the potential for rumor mills, which is a huge source of negativity and information for people. Rather than allowing people to pull out their “jump to conclusions mats”, you nip things in the bud by addressing all concerns from poor quarterly stats to potential cutbacks.
Be an owner
Not just of your business, but of your decisions and statements, too. Don’t hum and haw when it comes down to decision-making time. Use all of your facts, trust your gut, and strongly communicate your choice. This confidence encourages your team to stand behind you and trust your judgment. Constantly changing your mind, however, leads to confusion, doubt, and ineffectiveness.
Be open to the same in return
Provide direct and open communication from the top down, and be willing to accept it from the bottom up. If you want to create an amazing work environment, you need to be willing to change. Hearing critiques is hard, and providing it to your boss is even harder. Accept that you’re not being assessed as a person, but based on the success of the company. If you want people to communicate in a fair and un-sugar-coated manner, you must show them you can accept the same. However, allow your managers to do their job in deciding exactly what information needs to be passed on—You don’t need to hear gripes about the soda machine not working properly. You do, however, need to hear about several employees complaining about the effects of their poor health benefits on their productivity.
In the end, a solid communication foundation allows your team to be more productive, more honest, and more cohesive. By being honest, taking pride in your choices, and being willing to accept criticisms, your team will treat the environment in the way that you guide them to. You'll create a great business culture that excites everyone within the company.
Tools and resources:
You can't go wrong with the book Crucial Conversations. The guys over at Vital Smarts have done a great job at teaching us how to up our game when it comes to creating an environment of open communication. It's a great book. Make sure to pick it up and absorb it with everything you've got.
Stay Tuned for Parts 2 & 3
In future blog posts, we'll be talking about the other 2 factors that create a great business culture:
- Part 2 - Aligning company values with every day tasks
- Part 3 - Creating a support system
Until next time, enjoy creating a culture that encourages communication. As usual, if your ready to take your company's accounting and finances to the next level, give us a call for a free consultation.
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