Great culture, it’s always about the people, then, anything is possible!
Remember when fancy glass buildings, work pods, break out areas, coffee bars, fridges filled with soft drinks, fruit baskets in every kitchen, on every floor, great subsidised lunches were aspiring conditions to be part of?
We are in unprecedented times, our work environments may never be the same. For now the new normal is remote working, homeschooling, only being allowed out briefly for daily exercise. Our ‘new normal’.
What is still true, regardless of our current ‘new normal’? What is still shining BRIGHT? People.
The power of people, the community spirit, even if it is a virtual one for the majority of us is strong, perhaps even stronger than ever. The level of support, generosity, kindness is everywhere.
Whether it is our phenomenal front line key workers (THANK YOU!) putting themselves at risk to take care of our sick, being part of a community support team for the vulnerable locally, medical R&D professionals globally looking for solutions and answers or online with your LinkedIn network, zooming with work colleagues or starting new virtual networking groups to support continued business development. People make or break a situation.
Great people make great cultures.
This is a time where understanding how we maintain, build, create strong cultures will help us to continue to maintain, build and grow our businesses, ESPECIALLY in challenging times. If we can do this virtually, we will knock it out the park when we are once again able to do this physically too!
I fell in love with the power of culture in my first job over 24 years ago and have been in love with it ever since.
I am still obsessed with it.
Creating focus and the right conditions around great people is a self-fulfilling prophecy and is how and when anything is possible.
If you are clear with what culture you want, your values, what you want to see, feel and hear and the ambition you have as a business, anything is possible.
I have been blessed to work for some of the most amazing businesses with brilliant people that have been as obsessed as I am about how to cultivate the passion, energy, experience and outcomes that drive high performance, growth and enormous amounts of care for their colleagues, customers and results.
Cultures where a limitless drive and ambition for growth was everywhere in every heart and mind. We were stronger together and we loved it. Every moment of everyday.
The sense of togetherness, support, collaboration, empowerment and winning mentality was in our DNA, in our culture and was just what we did. Not because it was expected but because we believed in our purpose, our values, our mission and each other. That was our power.
These are a few top tips for creating a great culture that nourishes an ‘anything is possible’ mindset.
- Be Clear – The purpose, vision, values and expectations are paramount. Everyone you hire needs to be aligned to these. They need to show and be passionate about what you are there ‘to do’. They need to see themselves as part of the journey and destination so that they can be fully in. Their core values need to align. This does not mean forgetting diversity, quite the opposite and often this diversity of backgrounds, thinking and encouragement for innovation and challenge can be found in the vision and values of future thinking cultures and is actually super charged if you get this part right!
- Match words with actions – Behaviours need to match the words. If you have values of ‘we care more’, ‘we never settle’, ‘we are one team’ it must be felt. How do you lead? How do you engage with people? How do you treat customers? Every action needs to support and showcase the values? How do you show up in challenging times when these values are at the centre of your world? Regardless of who you are or where you work internally, ensuring that the correct values and behaviours are actioned, celebrated and recognised, are part of everyday interactions and ‘felt’ breeds behaviour and culture. Employees are clear on the requirements and see and feel the benefit everywhere.
- Build momentum – The more the purpose, vision, values and expectations are demonstrated and talked about the better. These need to be integral in objectives, customer experience, how we do things around here, training. Every activity needs to reinforce them. The language, behaviours and actions need to match, which naturally builds momentum in everything you do. As an example, all the great companies I have worked for have put the customer at the heart of what they do. The first question asked in any given situation is ‘what does it means for the customer?’ and ‘what do we need to do, to ensure their experience is the best it can be?’ in accordance with the core values. It was just the way employees did things. Sharing these stories and results builds momentum and embeds culture.
- Empower your people – when you are clear with the purpose, vision, values and expectations this enables you to empower your people to fulfil their greatness. They know the ‘rules of the road’ they are then able to apply their unique powers to support them and the ultimate mission. They can naturally see where they can position themselves to demonstrate and deliver their part of the vision and values. Empowering your people to innovate, challenge the status quo, probe new and different approaches provides nourishing conditions that then fuel and reinforce the culture. This empowered ‘way’ we work invigorates the opportunity to evolve.
- Challenge the norms – Great cultures reflect, sometimes daily, on the power of their purpose, vision, values, expectations and people. They will use real time experiences to reflect on the impact of ‘how’ they do things as much as ‘what’ they do. It’s not that they change the purpose, vision, values when something doesn’t go well, what they do is challenge how true they have been to the core. Analyse outputs and results, reflect on the ‘north star’ and will call out where there is deviation or more focus required. Great cultures are open to challenge, questioning and will pivot when necessary on the ‘what’ they do for continued evolution but the ‘how’ is ingrained, reinforced and is their superpower.
Clear purpose, vision, values and expectations enable you to unlock the superpowers of all the people in your business and is fundamental to how you build great culture.
If you need some help to explore your culture, to understand what the possibilities are for improving it and ultimately improving your performance, let’s have a virtual cuppa to see how I can help you unlock the power of your people.