Every company has a culture, whether it’s good or bad. The question for most firms today is how do you improve and make yours better? Today, firms seem to have two choices when faced with the need to change and improve their culture: stay the way they are and hunker down, or go out and have conversations that might offer different solutions.
Conversations that lead to engagement will most assuredly mean change, and, as we all know, change is not always easy. The concept of circling the wagons to form a cohesive group can lead to unintentionally uniting forces against one another and focusing energies inwardly with a negative effect. Our inward focus should be on common causes, values, customers and purpose. The energy we expend on our internal focus should be for the growth of the company and culture as a unifying factor, not as a toxic threat. Too often, the culture can become a mess with a long list of negative effects.
Engagement will lead to intelligent conversations with the team members around one another, fostering respect and the ability to fix the cultural problems by considering different solutions. Ultimately, the culture can become a shared vision for the firm, with all employees working towards a common, articulated goal. That goal can become the focus that all employees circle the wagons around and protect for the good of one another and the firm.
Engaged teams really make your business different to the market and internally, as it demonstrates that your team is committed to doing its best to show the customer or client how important they are to the business. One key aspect of engagement is how the team member feels about their direct supervisor, who they look to for leadership. If there is a positive relationship where the team member believes the supervisor has their best interests at heart, they are likely to remain at the business or firm for a long while. If not, they are less engaged and more susceptible to looking around for other opportunities.
Fundamental change to create a good culture will not begin with circling the wagons and focusing internally against one another. Good culture will need a strong leader to manage the environment for change where people want to belong and have trust. When you have identified the culture you want to build, explain to your team the business rationale and why you are doing this. Keep your destination in the forefront for your team. Celebrate even minor victories on cultural change. By doing that regularly, your team will understand this is not a flavor of the month effort and you are serious about your culture.
If you need assistance in organizing or facilitating a growth-planning process for your firm or niche practice, please Contact Us to schedule a complimentary phone consultation. The Rainmaker Companies can help you Grow Your Firm, Grow Your Practice, or Grow Your Self.