Some growth strategies are obvious and have immediate and tangible results. Others, like creating a culture, have more indirect results, but are still extremely important as you strive to make your organization more dynamic, more productive and more profitable.
Creating a culture for your company is about cultivating passion in both your team and customer base. Your culture clarifies your identity, your values and your beliefs, in addition to more basic things like the products or services you offer and how you price them.
Not sure what we mean by “culture”? Think “Enron,” and you generate a slew of images and adjectives of a company culture. To the other extreme, mention “Disney,” “Starbucks” or “ Patagonia,” and the thought process goes in opposite directions.
When you create a company culture, you’ll find yourself and your employees all dancing around the same bonfire. It unifies your mission and adds meaning (and fun) to your daily activities.
When this culture permeates all you do, you’ll find your customers picking up on it and responding to it. The kind of loyalty it can bring about can lead to significant repeat business and positive word-of-mouth – both invaluable.
To accurately convey who you are and what your business is all about, we provide some helpful tasks for you to complete.
HERE ARE FOUR CULTURE-CREATION STEPS:
- Define and Display Your End Goals
- Have All Team Members Take Ownership
- Find and Apply “Best Practices”
- Create a Social Agenda
Define and Display Your End Goals
When your team buys into a set of goals, it takes your business to a whole new level. We’ll leave the nature of the goals to you. But here we’ll reinforce the importance of setting specific goals for specific timeframes. We recommend setting monthly, quarterly and annual goals for near- and mid-term purposes, and “end-goals” for the longer term.
It’s important to establish goals not only for the company as a whole, but for each individual working at the company. That way, each person understands not only what they’re personally responsible for accomplishing, but also how their goals relate and contribute to the overall goals of the company.
To keep goals top of mind, don’t be shy about plastering them on the wall or making them into screen savers for office computers. Also, have regular check-ins consistent with the near-, mid-, and long-term goal timeframes you establish. This might be a bit intense for your team members at first, but these tête-à-têtes will quickly become welcomed meetings where each person gets coordinated with, and feels more confident and directed in, their work effort.
Have All Team Members Take Ownership
To be sure your goal-setting effort packs maximum punch - and that your team embraces the goals with vigor - establish a sense of “ownership.” Tap your team members’ inner entrepreneur. Your people should know that there’s a “win” for them, not just for you, the owner, upon achieving individual or team goals. The rewards can range from simple team celebrations to financial windfalls.
Your objective should be to squelch any punch-in, punch-out mentality and replace it with the zeal and tenacity of a bright-eyed business owner.
Listen to the aspirations of team members and craft their roles and incentives so they’re positioned to flourish.
Bottom line, your employees feel like pivotal contributors and that they can influence the process of reaching the company goals. If you keep that spirit, you’ll have a thriving business. If you lose it, cynicism, laziness and mediocrity are destined to creep into your business.