Long have we heard in the marketplace that great culture leads to profits. We have gone so far to say in our employment ads and recruitment efforts that “we are the best because we only hire the best” only to find out…this simply is not true. It begs to question; “Is your organization’s culture consistent with reality?” Let me explain.
In reality, we write out our mission statements and offer incentives on making it happen throughout our workplaces. However, studies show us that most employees…do not believe that the mantra of their workplace culture is accurately portrayed. According to Vital Smarts,
” Overall, the study, which surveyed more than 1,200 employees, managers and executives, found that employees have a much more negative view of their corporate culture than their bosses. And, the more senior a person is in the organization, the more positive their perception of their company culture.” – vitalsmarts.com*
What is the big disconnect? Honestly, I believe that it that, in reality, management isn’t in the seat of the employee on a regular basis. It is easy to make decisions and implement change when you aren’t the one being affected by it. Furthermore, it is easier to make the decision when you do not have to face the people that you make the decision about. Let’s face it, it is easy to make a “great culture” on paper, but far different than making a “great culture” in the actual workplace.
The truth be known, until management of any organization sits down and does the job of the person that they are trying to make happy, the creation of the perfect culture will fall flat. Here are few tips that I believe will help management of any organization to create a great culture;
- Don’t fill your team with bull. Pretty strong right out of the gate, right? There’s nothing worse to an employee than hear how amazing they are with your words and in the same breath show you with their actions…you don’t really care. John Maxwell may have said it best – “People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Don’t just tell someone you think that they are awesome, prove it!
- Don’t talk with your mouth if you aren’t willing to act with your wallet. Yep. If you want a great culture, you have to prove it by the almighty dollar on how much you care about people. Anyone who tells you that they aren’t in it for the money, take their paycheck for a month and suddenly their tune will change.
- Don’t expect much if you don’t give much power. There is a very fine line to walk on this. You cannot give your team all of the power. But they need more than what you are willing to give them. They need to know that you trust their judgement when they give you 40 hours a week. They are not your children (see the next point.)
- Don’t expect your employees to act like adults if they are treated like children. I have long thought this was true. Why? Who wants to go to work 40 hours a week and let someone treat them like a child? They don’t need you to micromanage them. Let your employees act like adults. No, seriously, stop it.
- Do their job. Yep. You read that right. Don’t sit in your office and make decisions for the employee if you don’t even know what they do. Even if you used to do what they do, you need to get out on the floor and experience it again. I don’t mean to sound rude but, get off of your high horse and get in the dirt with them. I love how Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, was known to go on the road with his truck drivers, work in the stock room, walk the floors of the store, and so much more. Why did he do that?
“I’d still say that visiting the stores and listening to our folks was one of the most valuable uses of my time as an executive. But really, our best ideas usually do come from the folks in the stores. Period.” -Sam Walton**
These are just a few things that we can do to help fix the culture in our organizations. There a lot more ways to make it better, but this is just a few thoughts from experience. When you have employees that are engaged, loving their company and their jobs sincerely, and a management team that produces rock stars, there are no ceilings to hinder you from great success.
** Retrieved 28OCT2017- “Sam Walton- Made in America.” Sam Walton- pp 230. Bantam; Reissue edition (June 1, 1993). ISBN 978-0553562835