As we continue our exploration of leadership, we touch upon a topic which many business leaders talk about but cannot necessarily identify in their organization. They might reference things like “we have a great working environment here.” When asked to articulate what that is or looks like or how the staff view it the conversation tends to get very chilly very fast. The culture of the organization and the environment which either supports it or conflicts with it are sometimes secondary to the operation of the business.
Most every leader will acknowledge the importance of a great working environment and the culture it supports, but how many have made a conscious investment into building it and keeping it vibrant? All of us can quickly identify a toxic culture and the impact it has on the people and the business success. So, as we have a choice in having a great culture or putting up with a toxic one, why would we not make daily investments into supporting a great culture?
One of the reasons is that the daily noise of business operations consumes not only the leader but the business itself. As this routine of firefighting perpetuates itself, there is less and less time for focus on putting out the fires and getting back to smooth operations. This is why culture and the quality of it cannot be an afterthought.
Much like Sales/Revenues, the life blood of the business, Culture must also be focused on and kept top of mind. In those organizations where the culture is part of their daily focus, they have metrics to track it just like sales and revenue. It is not just some soft, touchy-feely thing which somehow keeps the staff from treating each other poorly or dealing with a customer in a rude way.
It is almost impossible to have great customer relationships if the team does not have great internal relationships. For the team to have great relationships with each other then the culture must support the environment to kindle those ways of interacting. As leaders you cannot leave this up to chance. Therefore, it is critical that as the leader you set the tone of the culture. You need a framework of behaviors and attitudes which will permeate throughout the company and out into your customer experience. Culture MUST constantly be invested in to and pay close attention to it.
This week, ask yourself about your framework for investing and building your organization’s culture? Do you have a core purpose and core values which are the guidance system for relationships and human interactions? Do you observe those characteristics you want and need to flourish at your business? Do your people believe in the existing culture and nature of the relationships both internally and externally? Set in motion a conscious commitment to define the culture and then engage it for greatness.
Looking to understand and build your ideal culture for future growth? Let a JKL Associates Promise Guide help you navigate to a timelier and more successful outcome. Give us a call at MI (313) 527-7945 or FL (407) 984-7246.