This is a Guest Contribution by Emily Haruko Leeb. Visit her site at www.emilyleeb.com to know more.
One of the ways we can enhance performance, increase productivity and our company’s bottom line is through coaching in the workplace. Coaching in the workplace allows individuals to optimize their individual performance by becoming empowered, refining their skillsets and communication and staying committed to an engaged and aligned culture. Coaching, when done effectively, brings out the best in people. It aligns their commitments with their actions, and their actions with their words.
Company culture plays such a significant role in a company’s successes and failures. It’s a make or break variable, yet it has little to do with the actual nature of the business and everything to do with the people – how they communicate and how they perform.
If we do not consciously create a company culture, the company culture develops organically.
It could turn out just fine, but do you want to leave such an important part of your businesses identity to water cooler talk, slack group chats or the biggest but not always the best personalities in your organization?
The culture of a business, when not created consciously, is primarily determined by the background conversations of the staff. Background conversations are what people don’t say publicly but are thinking about or concerned about. These private or unspoken conversations can have a greater impact on what takes place in your business than the things that spoken publicly.
When consciously creating a company culture, a culture of ‘straight talk’ needs to be cultivated. Straight talk is when we bring the background conversation to the foreground. We need to be real, authentic and speak our mind with tact and empathy and we need to foster an environment where our staff can practice straight talk safely.
A foreground conversation encompasses what people say publicly, whether in meetings, memos, speeches, presentations, responses to requests, discussions with others etc. We want a company culture where our foreground conversations match our background conversations and align with our business’s intentions, commitments, and values.
Another detrimental company culture that breaks morale is what I call ‘yes culture.’
In a ‘yes culture” everyone says yes to everything but unlike a the more famous can-do attitude we try to foster, not yes is completed or even given a second thought. How many great ideas has your company “committed to” in a meeting but it vanished from everyone’s mind once the meeting finished?
It’s the a result of staff wanting to please in the moment but there is either no accountability or no leadership to help drive these ideas forward. In a ‘yes culture’ business, trust erodes every time a yes was spoken without integrity.
Trust is imperative to success.
To create a culture of trust, first you need to understand the domains of trust as they are the foundation for any relationship, whether platonic, romantic, or professional. The domains of trust include:
Capability & capacity. Trust in your team’s ability and skillset to do a specific job or task and in their capacity is that they have the time and tools to complete the task before any deadlines.
Intention & integrity. Trust that everyone has good intentions, to show up every day in alignment with and committed to the values and purpose your business has set. Trust in everyone’s integrity. Do what you say will when you say you’re going to do it and when you don’t, address it immediately. Have the conversations that you need to have, and/or redesign a new agreement to get back into integrity as quickly as possible.
Reliability. People need to trust your reliability. You follow-up and see things through to their completion.
Authenticity. Trust that you are bringing your genuine-self day-after-day. Trust that you are transparent and that you bring your background conversations to the foreground.
Logic. You can nurture Trust when what you say and do makes sense and is easily understood.
Empathy. Trust that you are a team player and know that it’s not all about you but that’s ok. You care for your team and show up for them with heart and compassion.
A culture of expectations is another no-go as it rarely results in what you were expecting.
A culture of expectations makes the grand assumption that everyone knows what they’re doing on the surface, but on the inside, amidst their quest for greater productivity and busy work, there is a lack of assurances in place. Often there are a lack of a deadlines or even clear job descriptions. In a culture of expectations, the expectations are one-sided. It’s the idea that something will get done, but there is no agreement around it, no assurances in place.
One sided agreements fail because you need both parties are working towards the same outcome and sharing equal understanding of expected outcome. When making agreements be clear on the deadlines, understanding on the expected outcomes assurances that the tasks can all be completed according to the agreements.
Another culture crusher is when people are only accountable for their strict area of responsibilities. We want to create a culture where everyone is takes responsibility and holds themselves accountable for more than just a strict circle.
Companies succeed when there is a culture of accountability. People step outside their purview to help in the success of other people on their immediate teams or in the larger company structure.
It could be offering to help tutor people on Excel shortcuts or something that goes unseen like refilling an empty printer tray but that commitment to accountability will pay big dividends in your company culture and your bottom line.
Do you want to enhance your company culture? Do you want a company culture that gives your team a sense of pride? Be clear on your company values, be clear on your company commitments and align your team through education and guidance as you grow a culture of agreements, trust, accountability, straight talk and of course many other transformational leadership traits.
To create a bespoke transformational leadership training for your business, book a complimentary strategy session with me today.