Business is very much a team sport. And much like a sports team, businesses also have their own uniforms, colours, logos, fan base i.e. demographics, protocols and culture. As we move along in the world of business, we’re noticing a trend among millennials. They don’t just want to be part of a team, they want to feel like a member of the team. They also want to have their own individuality but they do want to feel more emotionally connected with their work.
This should bring up the question in your mind, what are you doing to make them feel more ‘part of the crew’? For the most part, business owners don’t deeply consider what their company culture is and how it makes employees feel. On the one hand, this can be understood as it’s your business and you want certain attitudes to prevail over other. On the other hand, you also need to make people from different professional backgrounds feel comfortable and as if they are ‘in the loop’ of things. Here is how you can fester a solid team culture in your business.
How do you create a positive business culture?
Engagement and unity
Managers and heads of departments must realize they have something extremely powerful in the palms of their hands. They have an employee’s belief in them, the business and the tasks they are doing. The core goals desired by the business are felt and appreciated by employees. They want to do what they love and do it to help the business be successful and grow. This level of belief is the fuel that carries companies through choppy seas and onto better and brighter days.
The slow eroding waterfall that can damage and even erase these is a lack of transparency. Being transparent with employees is never something business owners should be afraid of. You might think that they won’t understand the complex pressures you’re under and why something difficult is being asked of them. However, employees should not be thought of as people incapable of comprehending the challenges their own bosses feel.
To improve employee engagement, you must always level with them. It gives every employee a sense of belonging when their boss treats them with respect and appreciation. You can simply do this by being honest so their trust in you may grow to a strong level. You can do this by letting employees be part of the decision-making process.
Allow employees to even vote on certain issues such as ideas that the business with go forward with. Allowing employees to have roundtable discussions with their respective head of department as well as in front of you is something greatly encouraged. With great power to share their voice with management, there’s greater unity among the employees and leaders.
A professional power image
Managers don’t all arrive in their position the same way. Some of them will be hired from into their role and others will have worked their way up to the top. The perks to attaining such a leading role must not only be increased pay and influence in the business. To make their day to day job easier, you implement things that will project your company’s power and professionalism through them. This might sound grandiose but it’s common for successful businesses to have car services for their C-suite and heads of departments. It can also be for managers if the circumstances warrant it.
Taking them to and picking them up from the airport when they travel to and back from business meetings abroad really boosts morale. Not only that, but it can make the general transportation needs of your top employees far less stressful. If they have such a full schedule and are required to be in several different locations to fulfill their role properly, then a company car service is something you may wish to provide. Alternatively, hiring private cars to perform the same role is also just as good.
Never too far
Financial institutions and firms always have what’s called a company cell phone policy. Quite simply, C-suite, heads of departments and managers all have a smartphone bought and paid for by the company. This phone is given special privilege over their personal phones as it is used for extremely sensitive company communication.
Smartphones don’t have to be expensive, they just need to have some very basic functions of text, phone and able to open files in cloud storage systems such as Google Drive. Equally the smartphones must have a service that is flexible and cheap to run. One such service is SMARTY unlimited data that also allows unlimited UK calls and texts.
For £18.75 a month this is by far one of the cheapest services that companies can use for a wide array of company phones. With a phone in their pockets, purely dedicated to contact with other company phone holders, your leading employees are never too far from each other. The company policy must insist these phones are kept switched on all the time, as they may need to be used in emergencies.
Dress code when travelling
Dress codes are often seen as archaic, and a concept that should be left in the past. However, uniforms aren’t always to make people look the same. They’re also used to give employees a sense of belonging. When you go to various business exhibitions and conferences, you’ll find that there are quite a lot of uniforms being worn by various companies.
They do this to identify their employees and separate them from the sea of people attending the events. It’s kind of like being on a sports team and wearing the badge with great pride while in among rival competitors. While surrounded by other professionals that are competing against them, your employees in dress code will feel a sense of having a unique identity and standing for things that others may not.
Of course, you may not want to have a company uniform or dress code in normal working hours. So it’s best that you decide on what your dress code will be when you’re on business overseas. It could just be a simple coupling of colours. Men in a particular suit or jeans and sweater combination and women in the same coloured skirt, blouse or similar smart-casual attire.
A chance to represent
Employees should be given numerous opportunities in which they can achieve a higher position in the company. One such way that is overlooked is the role of representing the business. Representatives will embody the very best qualities of your business. They will be proactive in sharing what is going on in your business on social media. It’s vital that representatives are treated respectfully by the business and given amazing opportunities to play big roles it’s growth.
For example, representatives have often been the first formal in-person contact that clients receive when they arrive for a meeting at office headquarters. They will meet the client at the reception or waiting area, then take them for a tour of the building. Showing them all the offices where employees are working and explaining the company culture, the representative informs the client of how the business operates.
Your best employees that are not managers and above in terms of management should be given the opportunity to occupy such a role. They act like ambassadors for your business, meeting all kinds of people that are interacting with your business. How do you go about choosing who they should be? They need to have great communication skills and are comfortable with public speaking. They must also be adept at their own role and on track to play a management role in the near future. This way they can speak from the office employee level as well as managerial ambitions too.
A hovering searchlight
Trust is an inescapable quality that employees and management must contribute towards. It has to be a level playing field in many respects when it comes to employees doing their work. In the spirit of trust and valuing employees, you should never have a culture of the hovering search light. Managers, heads of departments and C-suite ranked employees must never be always lurking over the shoulders of your workers.
Micromanagement is hardly ever necessary and not as effective as you might think. When someone is standing over you or constantly watching what you’re doing, your privacy is being abused and they quite clearly don’t trust you. How can one be expected to perform their best when the judging eyes of their superior are never out of sight?
Getting up every morning and going to work at a company you feel truly part of is a rare joy. Your business can help all professionals feel comfortable working for a brilliant team that has unique qualities. When travelling abroad you could have a dress code policy or perhaps a uniform that separates your employees from the rest of the crowd.
Never act as a big brother entity to your employees by micromanaging their activities in the office. Giving junior employees that are quickly rising through the ranks, a chance to represent the business forges strong attachments to your company with young professionals.