As the leader of your business, the most important thing for you to realise is this:
YOU are the guardian of your business’ culture.
Your business’ ability to grow and scale depends entirely on the people you gather around you to perform the roles you don’t have the time or experience for.
Eg: your customer service staff. Your bookkeepers. Your sales reps. And so on. If they don’t do their job, your business falls apart.
At the end of the day, your most precious asset is a business culture that supports your staff to succeed.
It’s one thing to have a mission, vision and vales for your business. That’s a great start.
But here’s where some business owners get it terribly wrong.
They expect their staff to carry the culture alone.
As leader of your business, YOU must be visibly living your business values each and every day. You need to be a human representation of those values.
There’s a saying ‘a fish rots from the head down’
Your staff are looking to you to be an example.
Even when you think they aren’t watching, they are.
When you exhibit behaviour that isn’t aligned with the values you want THEM to uphold, it creates a disconnect.
And where there is a disconnect, rot seeps in.
Staff feel the inauthenticity of what you say versus what you do. They resent it. And they will start to quietly rebel against it
... sometimes without even realising it.
The good news is, if that’s what’s going on in your business, it is possible to turn it around.
Employees don’t positively contribute to company culture because:
1 - They were the wrong hire for the role
2 - They don’t feel supported to succeed in their role
3 - They don’t feel recognised for their contribution
If they were the wrong hire (in terms of skill or attitude)... that’s on you. All you can do here is either move them to a more suitable role, or let them go.
If they are feeling unsupported or unrecognised... it’s also up to you to make it right.
I find open and honest communication is always the best way to begin. It’s your job to find out what motivates them, and use it to help them take pride in their role.
But if you don’t have a good enough relationship with your team to have an open conversation, ask yourself why.
Are you walking your talk? Are you showing up in your business with the same values and attitude you expect your staff to?
If not, why not?