During challenging times, leaders must lean on their team, and rely on them more than they thought possible. But how does one build positive workplace culture within their team during these challenges?
In our Free How To Build Your Workplace Culture Guide, we give you step-by-step instructions and tips on how to unite and motivate your team as you build workplace culture.
The “why” is the purpose behind what you do. Why you do what you do, as a company, as a team. A health food store would perhaps have the why of “Helping our neighbours live longer and happier lives”
Reinforce with your team what the why is, not the what. The “what” would be “selling healthy organic food”.
Everyone in the business must understand the why and how they impact the why. The person cleaning the floor must understand that if he fails at his task, the building can’t offer those items which then impact the neighbour’s lives and happiness.
Sit down with the team, or video conference, but reinforce the why with the team, make sure they live and breathe it daily.
The goal is ultimately coming out the other side of this crisis whole. But there can only be ONE goal. In your business, when overcoming adversity, you must have 1 goal for ALL people.
When you have one, clear and understood goal, the team should act for the good of the whole and not their own good.
When you have multiple goals, they all overlap and impact the success of each other.
For a large company, the goal could be “Be known as the BEST company in the industry for sweet and sour sauce”. Everyone’s actions, be it creating new recipes, new marketing will all be done to become the best company and not for one particular blend of sauce
Ensure everyone knows the goal.
You must engage with the teams, keep them involved and ensure they are always remembering the WHY and the GOAL.
Find creative ways to engage your team and THEIR personal support team. Send thank you cards to their family at home, send gift baskets home, ask employees how their family is and address the individuals by NAME.
Make sure you know your team, their pets & children. If you’re not sure how to do this, check out our Culture Accelerator Program where we walk you through how to effectively grow your workplace culture on scale.
When times are challenging the number one skill, we must rely on is our Communication.
Your team will require honest communication and feedback as they grow. If they are unaware of hidden obstacles or challenges, they can’t help you navigate around them.
The more they know, the more they feel a part of the solution the more they will feel part of the team. When you keep secrets and only hand out part truths to select individuals, you can not build an effective corporate culture or team, as select individuals will feel they have one up on the other, which creates power struggles that will impact the culture.
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Honesty is often one of the hardest skills for leaders to have. It requires you to be open, vulnerable, and communicate with your team. When we come across an abandoned dog, which has been neglected and abused when that animal bites at us we understand why. We can know how they are feeling, their stress, and the motive behind their actions.
But animals unlike people don’t fake their emotions as well. In leadership, we are often told to put on a brave face, don’t let them see you as weak. But in times of crisis, this can put a divide between you and the team.
Be honest with your team, explain where you are concerned, why you are worried, and what is causing these fears. This way, in the event you snap and get mad, they will have a better understanding as to why.
Please note this doesn’t dissolve you of all responsibility for being a bad manager or rude, it simply allows them to relate to you and hopefully work with you to solve the situation.
If you come in, saying everything is good, yet scream at them when they waste some supplies, they don’t understand you, the time you are lying about something and can’t trust you.
As a leader, you often have to act with only part of the information, but with all the vision. Where your team has all of the information with none of the vision. You can explain your fears and concerns, and your team may rally with you to find the solution, they may already have it. They just didn’t know it was a problem.
Sharing and honest communication are key to building a strong culture in the workplace.
Trust ties in with all the above skills and steps.
Your team needs to see you behind honest, communicating, living the WHY, and following the 1 goal. If they see you do these skills, they will believe in the culture. They will trust in you, which in turn will have their trust in each other.
If you cannot live the above skills & steps your team will not trust in you which ends any chance of positive workplace culture
During challenging times you must remember to keep fun with the books. People need a light at the end of the tunnel.
This can be done by either hosting a dress-up video conference meeting, Friday at 5 outdoor picnics, forced coffee breaks (which can be done over video conferencing too), or bringing your pet to work.
These little, “pointless” activities, are ways you show appreciation to the team. It allows them to connect with one another, and talk about their day or their lives.
Connection is the one aspect that ties all these parts together, it unites the team and creates the culture. And a positive culture is fun.
When people aren’t having fun, they aren’t being creative, and this impacts your culture and work outflow.
Building culture is a formula. Culture is positive actions & thoughts over time, repeat. Culture is HABIT Once you have your culture, you must maintain it. You do this by repeating your actions again and again. Over time this becomes a habit, which becomes normal and then you have CULTURE.