Are Your Team Building Activities Creating a Culture of Success?
Culture is one of if not the most important things to get right in a business. I believe if you have the culture right, then success will follow. It is also incredibly important to make sure that you maintain that culture. You can have the best team and the team may be very dedicated towards your purpose, and understanding core values that align with those, but you have to keep making sure that you’re reiterating that message and that everyone understands where you are going and why you are going there.
The importance of culture.
Culture takes a long time to build. It is a series of actions by leaders that engrains the culture of a business. It is clearly defining what you stand for, what your service standards are, what culture standards you have, but actually living those and making sure you demonstrate that from the leaders is absolutely key. Once you have a good culture, as we said, it’s incredibly important to make sure that it’s maintained.
You can have the most dedicated employees on your team, but making sure that they still remain on the same page is paramount to every business’s success. Furthermore, you probably heard of the expression hire slowly, fire quickly. That is of absolute importance to every business success and to ensure that bad cultural fits are removed as soon as possible. However, the meaning behind it can be expanded further with the flow on effects it can have on a business’s culture.
Let’s say, for example, that you have a great employee that is working hard, dedicated, understands where you want to go and is incredibly happy to work where they are. That’s exactly what you want to achieve. But then you hire someone, and perhaps, they are not a hard worker or they don’t fit. If you don’t correct the team quickly and free up their future, you can not only end up with an employee that is potentially doing damage to your client relationships, but to your current team.
Business Growth Factors
I attended a seminar a few years ago and one of the speaker was a gentleman by the name of Keith Abraham. One thing he said really resonated with me which was “the standard that you walk past is the standard you accept.” The moment that you walk past an employee behaving in a certain way or talking to a client a certain way or potentially in an attire that doesn’t fit with your culture, you are telling everyone that that is okay. What’s even worse is that some of these, I’ll call them toxic team players, actually result in that negativity or thought process being pushed to your other team members as well. Not only can they do damage to your client relationships, but they can do damage to the team culture that you have and culture is, as we’ve said, so hard to build, but it’s a bit like reputation, it’s incredibly easy to tear down.
The moment you have an employee that is unhappy, critical of the leadership, the systems, the decisions you’re making, they are talking about that with their fellow team members and perhaps creating doubt, creating a negativity that you don’t necessarily see until maybe it’s too late and you end up losing a key team member. Someone that you thought was dedicated, understood where you wanted to go, and you had a career path laid out for them, but perhaps they have been poisoned by this team member that is a bit negative.
That’s why it’s incredibly important to make sure the culture is maintained through healthy team building activities, you lead strongly and if you see any behaviour like that, don’t hesitate to correct it, because the moment you hesitate, the damage could be catastrophic. It’s not just potential lost clients, but also a potential lost team member, a valued team member.
Therefore, the question is – How do we maintain culture? It’s not easy, but you’ve got to make sure that you about your values and have the team members align with them and have regular check-ins with your team. They don’t have to be formal business reviews or personal reviews, but they should be a informal chat, to see how they’re going. Make sure that they understand what their role is in the company and how they contribute to you winning. Making sure that they feel valued with what they do.
Some tips I would give towards maintain a business’s culture are:
- Taking interest in what is happening with your team. How are they feeling on a personal level. Keeping personal and business separate is one thing, but understanding where your employees are at, being empathetic, will certainly contribute towards your culture.
- Meeting routines – making sure that everyone is aware of what the focus is of the business by regularly reiterating the business’s purpose in meetings.
- Clearly articulating the key performance indicators, but more importantly, is celebrating those wins when they are achieved. It is incredibly important to reward your team members and that’s not necessarily in the form of a bonus, but in the form of pat on the back or let’s go out and celebrate with the team for dinner or if you’ve kicked a major goal maybe that’s taking the team away for a retreat.
- Team Building Activities are helpful in that they create a positive work environment for everyone and help you to better understand strengths and weaknesses of your team.
It’s been proven that pay raises or bonuses are not as motivating as some extra rewards, so understanding what motivates your team, what makes them feel valued, is absolutely critical in making sure that you maintain a strong culture and a culture of winning.
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