12 Ways Leaders Can Help Their Team Overcome Culture Issues
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. The topic for today is culture issues.
1. Communicate Directly and Frequently
It’s important that a leader be highly communicative in these types of situations, directly speaking to the team members about what they need to do and how their efforts will make a difference. It has to be frequent, consistent and clear, as well as offer time for the team to respond and provide feedback. This regular, hands-on communication approach can override any other cultural issues.
2. Keep Your Team Focused on Strategic Goals
In spite of the culture, you can keep your team focused on those strategic goals that are within your control. When your team can see the results of achieving goals and feel that forward momentum, they’ll be more motivated to reach other goals. This is how you can create your own internal team culture of pushing forward in the face of adversity.
3. Set Them Free
Nothing motivates smart people more than freedom. Freedom is the single most important motivator for the employees in our business. Naturally, freedom comes with a lot of responsibility, but because we invest in the right people, in the appropriate training and give them the best tools to excel, we attract and retain great employees who can manage themselves.
4. Step Away from the Issue
Take them out of the company and away from the environment where they can relax and be themselves. Then, show them what you are like as a leader outside of that environment too so you can start to show them how it could be different if they all work together to change from those culture issues to something they want it to be.
5. Openly Address Issues
It’s rare that a company with issues can keep them in the dark from their employees. Rather than living in a hushed environment, openly discuss company issues and invite the team to come together to brainstorm solutions. You’ll help them feel like a part of the change and get easier adoption of whatever solutions emerge.
6. Take It Back to the Core
What I do is treat everyone on my team as an intrapreneur. I believe treating everyone in this fashion is the spunk that keeps the culture going. No company is immune to problems, but culture is a reflection of your team not believing completely in your vision as a leader. Revisiting your company’s core values and reiterating those values will center your team and steady the ship.
7. Anchor Your Team to a Broader Purpose
Anchor your team within a context of a broader purpose. This can be as simple as the value that members play in one another’s lives or within the broader scope of what you do for the world.
8. Form a Bubble
Form a bubble around your team; deflect external issues as best you can. If you can successfully create a positive environment within a volatile one, you’ll foster a culture that will keep your team motivated, productive and pushing forward at all times. Keep communication high, mitigate divisiveness within your team, and become a beacon of positivity.
9. Take Time To Appreciate People’s Work
Providing positive feedback to your team is crucial when it comes to keeping your team motivated and performing well. It can be easy to find the fault in people’s work but if you criticize without offering encouragement or inspiration, you’ll never help them improve. When you encourage your team members and value their efforts, you’ll create a positive work culture that will pay off for everyone.
10. Listen to Your Employees
Listening to your team is so important. Whether it’s deadlines, performance expectations, rapid growth, or new teammates, it’s natural for people to feel stressed. As a leader, it’s your job to listen and support your employees when they need it most. Every little thing you can do to pay attention helps to reset, realign and re-motivate a team facing issues.
11. Be Worth Observing
Employees will tend to mimic their manner of interaction in the office according to who they look up to in the chain of operations. How you lead and treat your employees or fellow partners is the ultimate measuring stick that trickles down to how others in a company will treat one another. Encourage an environment where people treat one another with kindness and one that rewards team spirit.
12. Reformulate Your Core Values
Cultural issues occur because there are people in your organization who are misaligned to your organization’s values. So go back to the drawing board with the entire team and reformulate the brand’s core values. Going through this exercise will reinforce the majority’s values and single out those who don’t fit within the culture, whom I’ve seen firsthand will take the cue to leave on their own.