Why do you need to care about culture or about providing a great place to work?
Maybe it might help to answer these questions first:
- Fancy increasing your revenue by 400%?
- What about improving your client’s customer service experience by three times?
- Do you want the majority of your employees to be high performers?
Have I got your attention yet? Good! One thing I know about SMEs is that the words productivity, cost pressures and margins tend to focus the mind.
The good news is that these issues are not that complex – according to some of the latest research released out of the Harvard Business Review by Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones, employees want to follow authentic leaders but this also has to be from within an authentic organisation. They say that there are six elements that you business owners need to know in order to get the best out of your team. Your people need to know that – drum roll please…:
- they can be themselves
- they are allowed to understand what is going on in the organisation
- you will help them develop their strengths
- their employer stands for something that means something
- they can and should get a kick out of what they do
- dumb rules shouldn’t exist
So what does this mean and what are some practical ways you could change your business culture or better still, set it up this way to begin with?
The best results come from a melting pot of differing views, perspectives and experiences so embrace diversity.
Old style management kept information on a ‘need to know’ basis. Look to share and trust your employees and see what an information sharing and inclusion might do to performance levels. At Employee Matters I actively look to share our financials with our team.
Invest in development – again another traditional approach says ‘why would I train someone because then they will just leave me for my competitor’. Think about how much Google invest in training and how much they have reaped the rewards.
People want to feel that they are making the world a better place in their own small way or, conversely, the majority of people don’t want to work for an organisation that they would be embarrassed to admit to in a social situation.
People like to do good work; they want to be passionate about what they do. They want to be stretched and given an opportunity to grow.
Review all your rules – both documented and unspoken, do they still make sense? If they don’t – kill them off!
Remember, be authentic and lead by example. Maybe try one of the suggestions above and see what difference it makes – and please share the results – I would love to hear about it.