As a company grows from a start-up through the various stages of a business’s life cycle, it will look very different from one stage to another
A million-dollar company cannot run like it did when it was first created out of the owner’s garage. Likewise, a billion-dollar company cannot run like a million-dollar company and succeed over time.
Leadership in Growth
Leaders must constantly change people, processes, and procedures to meet the new challenges of moving any company forward. Many leaders spend a great deal of time strategizing what the boxes of an organizational chart should look like.
They understandably use dollars and cents to measure their decisions because they have shareholders to satisfy.
But many business leaders make a grave mistake of focusing on the boxes on a piece of paper instead of the people to fill those spots.
I’ve seen many companies that have amazing workplace cultures. Then again, there are plenty of offices that feel more like a morgue than a business. That is nothing that can multiply a company’s effectiveness or divide it like the culture of the employees.
5 Steps to Creating a Killer Workplace Culture
Here’s how to create a killer workplace culture that will multiply your business.
1) Remember that the business is a family
Employees spend a majority of the week in the office. They are giving that time to you and not to their families and friends.
The last thing that you want is for them to dread coming to work.
A negative workplace attitude will drive down productivity and hurt your business. Remember that the office is a lot like a family for them – the more that they enjoy it, the more that they will produce. Creating a place that theyenjoy spending their time will boost productivity and profits.
2) Determine what kind of culture you want
How can you go somewhere without directions? Make the time to plan out the type of culture that you want to create. Planning will give you the framework that you will use to judge whether people in the organization should be a part of your train or left at the station.
What are the core values are you looking for? Integrity? Hard work? Can the people buy into the mission and vision for the company? Here’s a previous article I wrote discussing the importance of values to a company’s culture.
3) Hire for character and fit within the new culture, not skills alone
This is where many companies miss the point. It is always better to hire someone who has the character that fit the culture you are trying to create that may not have the specific skills you need than to hire someone for the skills that don’t fit into the culture.
Why? Skills can always be taught, but character is much harder to teach.
If you are creating a culture of hard work and loyalty, someone with those traits will gladly roll up their sleeves and refine their skills in order to move their career (and the company forward).
For more on hiring great character, see this article on Forbes.com.
4) Begin removing people who go against the tide you want to create
This is the toughest step to execute. It’s never easy saying goodbye, especially to people who have been there for a long time. You must guard your culture fiercely, which means removing the pieces that work against it.
It is vitally important that everyone is moving in the same direction! So for those that don’t fit on your train, drop them off at the next stop and allow them to get on the train that they do fit on.
5) Reward and encourage employees who live it out
Rewarding employees who demonstrate the character that you want your team to embody will reinforce the good behavior. Public recognition will not only let the team member know that you appreciate what they do, but it also lets the others know what is expected.
Make the new culture visible to all so that there is no guessing around what is expected. Here’s more about creating an employee reward system.