<![CDATA[These days you’ll find most businesses hunched over the boardroom table discussing how to build a culture that drives highly skilled workers through the doors of their organizations. And trust us, as a business that is obsessed with culture, we get it. Like some sort of alchemist, we pour over research, employee engagement rates, productivity per head and attrition data to figure out how to whip up a culture so magical, no one ever wants to leave. But it’s not just culture that will do it anymore. The trick here, is how do you build a positive work culture that motivates people to step out of the confines of their comfort zones, and aim for the stars in their desire to impact on the business. Because the truth is, that right there is where the real culture is. If you manage to build a business full of happy party people with an incredible culture of friendship and after works drinks, that doesn’t necessarily mean much if you’re looking for a high performing culture. The two do not go hand in hand. So, if you want to build a positive environment that brings the best out of your people, what can you do?
1. BE THE POSITIVITY YOU WANT TO SEE
The leadership can sit around that boardroom table as much as they like, but if they’re not living by the things they’re discussing, you can forget about it. If positivity and encouragement, laughter and empowerment are things you want in your office, you absolutely must lead by example. Which involves energy levels that never drop, keeping your head high when you don’t feel like it and always motivating those around you, especially your teams. If a manager in the business is walking around, head down with a frown of defeat on their face, or pissed off your team will soon enough follow suit. Stay above the masses.
2. DON’T BE AFRAID TO HAVE THE DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS
When you’re on a mission of positivity and performance, you’ll naturally always find one or two individuals who aren’t feeling as benevolent or great as you. Everyone has different things going on in their lives so it’s going to happen, but when you do identify these people, take them aside and have a conversation. Address it. Tackle it head-on. Grab hold of it. (Well not physically anyway). The point is, take them out for coffee, or lunch, or a slice of cake, anywhere that gets them out of the environment they’re grumbling about. Have an open conversation and ask them for feedback, areas of improvement, and how you can help them in their everyday life to make positive changes. It’s amazing how such a small gesture can have such a huge impact. Most of the time, negative people merely want to be heard. Once that happens, you can move forward. It happens to the best of us. It’s also important to identify individuals who are never going to get “back on the bus” and making the best call for the overall team if that’s the case. We are big advocates of Jim Collin’s book, Good to Great. Read it if you haven’t it’s a major tool for getting company culture right among other topics.
3. CREATE SPACES FOR CONVERSATION
When people aren’t given enough information, they automatically feel like they’re being screwed over. It’s just one of those odd human reactions that make us the sentient beings we are. People inherently want to know things and have conversations. Create a workplace that celebrates and makes time for conversations to happen. This could be an honesty circle every month, a weekly stand up, a monthly forum where people can submit questions anonymously. There are a million ways to cultivate spaces that will get people talking. It is when grievances and worries are left to fester that they can turn into a negative effect on your business.
Positivity is not yoga and game rooms or a culture in which everyone hits up happy hour every week. It’s about creating a workspace that empowers your people to step up, take charge and bring new ideas to the table. It’s nurturing environments that reward transparency and encourage honesty. Positivity and a strong culture allow conversations that are hard to happen, ideas to be challenged, teams holding each other accountable and a strong competitive energy that focuses on the team winning, not the individual. Above all, it’s about creating a space in which everyone has a voice, and in which everyone listens to that voice, regardless of seniority.]]>