Eight Easy Ways You Can Guide Your Business Culture
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. These executives are leaders who have built their companies from the ground up – culture included. Eight of these entrepreneurs share how leaders can craft and enable business culture at their companies.
1. Lead by Example
Leaders need to lead by example. Set the tone for work rate, productivity, ideas, and ethics. The way you work will often be your expectations for the team and therefore set the culture of the company.
2. Engage Your Team
There is absolutely nothing more important than having your team engaged. If your employees aren’t interested in the scope of their work, it will take forever to complete and will be poorly done. Make sure they are challenged and always learning.
3. Get Personal
My job is to keep everyone at my company engaged and interested. If I have a team member who is constantly checked out, the best work won’t be getting done. I like to enable a positive business culture within my team by sharing personal stories about how I got to this position and the challenges I have faced along the way. This shows my employees my purpose and inspiration.
4. Hire Based on Culture
You can train any number of skills, but you can’t train culture. You will always be fighting an uphill battle to change behaviors, but if you hire while thinking about that fit, enabling your culture will not be a task. Hiring people who share the culture will allow it to breed organically with some guidance.
5. Prioritize Diversity
Management’s task is to ascertain what stands between a team and its assigned goals, even if what stands in the way is the team’s own lack of cohesion. We like to start with diversity, rather than aim for a homogeneous group. That sends the signal to all that every individual is important. The team comes together when the goals are clear and everyone is contributing.
6. Build Culture Through Self-Trust
Authentic business culture is all about trust, and trusting others begins with trusting yourself. Only by trusting ourselves do we have the courage to put forth new ideas and create fertile ground for innovation. Beyond that, trusting ourselves means that we are better listeners and more receptive to the ideas of those around us. The relationships that emerge are the bedrock of authentic culture.
7. Make Everyone a Culture Advocate
Especially as your team grows, you can’t be the only one responsible for spreading culture. That’s why I make every team member a cultural advocate. This is more than another task – it’s a fun way to keep the team connected and engaged. We do this by ensuring each hire is as passionate about our culture, and encouraging them to find new ways to spread it, even if it’s their first day here.
8. Be Involved at the Ground Level
Team culture should be an extension of the organization’s core values. Enabling culture is solely a byproduct of leading by example. A first step is to set examples and be involved in the lower and mid-level work to inspire employees. Be involved in the ground level implementation of strategies – not just planning – while working alongside each member of your team as equals.