I know it’s easy to point fingers at those around us when we feel like they’re bringing the culture of an organization down; however, I want to challenge you to find ways that you can personally uplift the culture of your organization. Because I believe everyone influences company culture, you and everyone around you!
In the last couple of years, we’ve faced a lot of change. All of these changes, like having less face-to-face interaction with our co-workers or employees, have left even the most stable companies searching for ways to improve, enhance, change, or detoxify their company culture.
Before I tell you the steps you can take to create a strong culture, let me break down what I believe represents a strong culture.
A strong culture is one where:
- minimal politics and confusion exist
- turnover is low among good employees
- engagement and productivity are high
- results are consistently good
Does that sound like your organization? In working with organizations around the world, I’ve found that listening is the easiest place to start implementing change. Here are four things you need to listen to to have better workplace culture, no matter your position.
- Your coworkers.
Do you ever feel like you show up to work, say your hellos and goodbyes and head home? I know we’re all busy, but taking time to actively listen and connect with our coworkers is so important when you want to create a healthy culture at your organization. Next time you go into the office or log into a Zoom meeting, take the first five minutes to genuinely ask how your coworker is doing, what they’ve been up to outside of work. Check in on them. Try not to think of a meeting with your coworker as a box checked off of your list, but rather quality time to see how they’re doing, how their projects are going and how you can best support each other in your endeavors. Improve selflessness, in other words.
- Your gut.
Next, is an important one. We’ve all had those moments in our life where we have a gut feeling about something, and I would venture to say nine times out of 10, it’s correct. Don’t ignore these feelings. This means holding strong and true to your personal values and the values of the organization. If you have a bad feeling about something or if someone is doing something you know is wrong, trust your gut, speak up and do your best to resolve it before it becomes more of an issue. A strong culture is built from strong individuals who hold themselves and others accountable.
- Other leaders.
How are you pushing yourself professionally? Do you have a mentor or leader inside or outside of your organization who challenges you? What leadership podcast are you listening to? Who are other leaders you admire in your organization that you can emulate? I know, lots to think about. But, looking to other leaders who are successful is a great way to push yourself to get to where you want to be. Talk to them. Go out to lunch with them. Learn how they got to where they are and what advice they might have for you, especially if they work at the same organization. Continue to network inside your company and in the greater industry.
- Someone younger than you.
I believe that this nugget is often overlooked. Most people tend to seek older or more experienced people for advice. However, some of my greatest personal breakthroughs have come as challenges to my entrenched way of thinking from someone much younger than me. Not only does it give me fresh ideas, but my encouragement of others’ contribution builds their confidence and emboldens even more creative, collaborative thinking.
I want to challenge you to purposefully seek out and listen to these four things this week. If you want to hear more on how you can cultivate a strong culture at your organization, you can watch the full Workplace Culture Training today. Message or email me if you’re interested in a custom culture workshop with your team!