Building A Culture Employees Need
“There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go.... if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.” - Ronald Reagan
The impact a leader has on his or her employees and thus their organization is immense. Too often in today’s society leaders and managers put their organization, the “bottom line” or concern for self before the welfare of their employees. Although this strategy may appear productive in the interim, it will not create a lasting environment for the future.
I had the fortunate opportunity to walk the grounds of Facebook earlier this year. I was amazed by the positive energy within their facility. Open floor plans, relaxed clothing, snack bars and even a beer tap. The productivity on the floor was contagious. Granted, Facebook can afford to do all those things whereas the average small and medium size business may not. However, there are steps any company can take to make their employees feel wanted, welcomed and needed. Do not underestimate the needs of your employees. Review your policies, conduct some self-reflection as a leader and don’t be afraid to make some changes.
Consider the most innovative and successful institutions today; Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, REI, Starbucks and others. Analyze their leadership and management models and understand what works for them could work for you. You’ll learn that these organizations put their employees, and therefore their customers first.
I am not advocating that businesses take on the culture and principles of these massive institutions. I am advocating, however, that leaders and managers take the time to understand their employees and review the “culture” within your organization. Take the time to recognize your employees, not only administratively, but daily or weekly by checking in with them and understanding their needs. This doesn’t need to be a formal check-in, just walk down to their operations and show your face. Demonstrate to them that you give a damn, that you want what is best for them. Build relationships, create this culture and be patient. After some time you will reap the benefits from happier employees. In turn their productivity and the impact you leave will be immeasurable.
Finally, it is important to understand what policies and culture will work within your organization. It is also important to find a balance so that employees do not take advantage of you or your kindness. Tune in next month to learn best practices of how to find that balance that can lead your organization to unlimited success.