As we enter a new year we will come across new trends to follow, trends that are here to stay and new concepts that companies should follow to stay ahead. But as much as everyone talks about trends, rarely do people talk of mistakes that we make. We shy away from talking about the Himalayan blunders we commit year on year. Today,Let’s talk about these bloopers and burst them once and for all.
There are 3 simple points that every company should follow irrespective of the team size & nature of the company, yet many of us ignore these. By ignoring these points you impact the team in a big way – There is lack of enthusiasm, connect and desire to deliver. The performance levels are low & attrition levels are high. These are a few of the many things you may experience if you are not following the below mentioned points. They are not trends, but the foundation that helps create a productive work culture and a strong team .
Does your team talk business?
It is very important not only for the senior members of your company to understand the business perfectly but also for the junior level employee. Your entire team should be aware of the business that you do, products/services that you sell, numbers that you make or break and the ‘why and how’ of business. You know you have reached the nirvana of business awareness when your office boy understands the business and gives ideas to save cost & serve better. A lack of business acumen affects the performance. If your team does not understand why business decisions are made, then they will not be able to connect it to the business outcomes. When the team understands the business, they gain the advantage of deciding what is right & wrong for the company and perform at a higher level. You in turn create Intrapreneurs within the company that helps your company grow faster.
E.g.: Zingerman – A delicatessen in Michigan, USA, practices open communication for sharing their business information and follow a principle called “open finance”. They involve everyone in the business. In order to do that, they let everyone see the numbers (Be it a customer executive at the counter or the washer doing the dishes). What Zingerman believes in is that the employees don’t care about the statements, but when they are running the business they need to understand how cash turns into profit and need to know how the sales are being affected. It’s something that they have no understanding of, but once they understand it, it changes everything they do and they know whats going on. They perform better and in turn the company grows faster. Zingerman has benefited tremendously from this initiative.They also practice open meetings where employees can join any department meeting that is being conducted in the company. This gives them a thorough understanding of what is happening in the company, what is working and what needs to be changed.
Do they understand what value they are adding?
Most of the HR problems get solved when employees understand what and how they are adding value. We as individuals have an innate need to see how we contribute towards the final outcome. This is one of the basic and simplest things to do, yet companies ignore this point. It is very important that your team understands how they are adding value through their work. Most times teams work towards achieving a goal that has been assigned to them, but rarely do they understand what the final outcome is and how their work affects it. Once they understand what and how their work is adding value, you will see an instant change in their performance, motivation and their enthusiasm.
E.g.: Zappos an e-commerce company understands this and uses it perfectly. Everyone at Zappos is aware of how their work affects the end customer and how they contribute to the final outcome. They live the company values every day and it reflects in their work. The employees at Zappos are always upbeat about their work and this makes Zappos one of the fastest growing companies.
If you don’t invest in yourself how will someone else invest in you?
As a company you have to invest in yourself and your team. Learning is the only constant. You have to keep enhancing the skills & competencies of your team on a regular basis. We are moving at a very fast rate, what is in demand & popular today may not be the same tomorrow and hence learning, updating and sharing is the only way to move ahead. Ask yourself -are you investing in yourself and in your team? You have to create a culture of learning that helps develop the skills & competencies collaboratively.
E.g.: Airbnb is a great example for this. Talking about learning culture, Airbnb brings in industry leaders who share their insights on a certain topic. From CEOs to musicians, these leaders always have something invaluable to teach the team.
This 3 point checklist is the basis of a good work culture. To achieve success and growth you have to stop making the mistake (of not following the above rules).Take year 2017 by the horns, follow the above steps and create awesome teams and a value based culture.