A strong workplace culture is created by a group of people who choose to work with a business that they trust.
Typically this means a business that:
- inspires, respects and challenges them
- makes them smile
- celebrates their personal successes
- supports them in tough times
- exists to make a difference in the world, and
- has fun along the way.
Building a strong workplace culture helps to create stronger connections between team members; between team members and the business; and to bring more fun to work. It also serves a higher purpose: to create the foundation of long term sustainability and success.
Your team members may already understand the business they work for needs to make a sustainable profit each year to exist for the long term. For some team members, however, this may not be on their radar. It’s the job of the leaders, managers and owners of businesses to make sure that every team member understands this fundamental need of the business.
Once this need is clear, we can all then move to creating a business that does something great in the world over the long term.
The not-so-good times
However, we also need to be aware that sometimes, focus on business growth must take a back-step to the here and now, when the personal 'not-so-good' times hit.
I suggest allocating a yearly budget towards activities that help acknowledge the tough times your people might be experiencing in lives.
For example, if a team member – or someone close to a member of your staff (for example, a husband or child) - is having a tough time outside of work, firstly noticing it, thinking of them, making contact & possibly sending a small but thoughtful gift plus note to that person’s home can be one of the most caring things you can do to show your love for them.
Just last week, a member of our team at by business The Physio Co had a terrible time when her dog was bitten by a snake. The dog was more than a pet, it was a beloved member of her family, so, a small gift and caring note made its way to the person's home in Geelong.
Caring and showing love for your team members is the right thing to do. The beauty of the connection makes that person feel the love of their team. In time, it’s likely they too will return the favour.
Some key influencers are not even in your sight
It’s so very important for all of us to realise the most influential people in the lives of our team members are not on your payroll and well out of your daily visibility. These people frame the mood, confidence and opinions of your team members. They experience the rollercoaster of life with those team members in a way the company never will.
I’m talking about the husbands, wives, partners, kids, friends, family and housemates in the lives of your team members.
Every person I know is influenced on a daily basis by the people he or she lives or associates with.
The more people you take on the journey with your business, the greater the connection you’ll have with your own team members and the business.
I strongly recommend regular communication with team members and their families. One way you can do that is by sending something – and I am talking about 'snail mail' – to a team member’s home. That birthday or anniversary card, letter of praise or inspiring all-company update that lands in the mail box and then finds itself on the kitchen bench is much more likely to be read and appreciated by family members than any email or text hidden on a device somewhere at work.
It’s the small, thoughtful actions that make up a team’s culture and future.
More than that, it's about finding a rhythm of communication that helps you and your business show more love to your team members.