A strong leader has the ability to focus on the culture their leadership creates as much as they focus on business strategy. If a leader can balance the two, then eventually you will have a positive work environment. Culture is essentially a reflection of the productivity of an organization. What is the process, and how efficient is it? And finally, what’s a typical interaction amongst coworkers like? If the word seamless comes to mind when answering all 3 of those questions, then a company doesn’t have to change its culture in any way at all.
But if every day you dread going into work because of the overall disorganized and chaotic so-called system your company has in place is driving you mad, then a culture change is in high demand, even if you and your peers don’t know it yet.
If a company functions like a damaged machine or injured animal, it simply can’t operate at 100%. You have to go right to the source and address the problems at hand first, well before even thinking of growing or trying to increase revenue. A culture should achieve the results leaders and workers want and ultimately need if they want to work in a successful environment. Here are 10 most common mistakes business executives and owners make when trying to revamp company culture.
1. Focusing on Resistors – A big trap that often occurs is when leaders focus on individuals who are openly refusing a new big change or company policy. If someone doesn’t like it, they can leave, even if they are valuable. But in a non-managerial role, if they are resisting, then fire them if it’s going against company codes and standards. Everyone is replaceable at the end of the day, and this includes management also.
2. Undervaluing Purpose – Cultures that undervalue purpose dismiss human nature and weaken cultures drastically over time. It’s instinctual to want to be apart of something bigger than ourselves. But when someone loses that sense of belonging, then feelings of detachment occur and then one tends to lose the drive to stay with their organization anyway.
3. Too Many Meetings – If leaders are too busy to devote at least the minimum amount of time required to their workers, then they’re missing out on a big part of what it actually means to shape or reshape their companies culture. Be present, as much as you can, leader or not, in all group related activities.
4. Under-communicating – When someones giving directions with the one-and-done approach, it simply isn’t enough, and you won’t get your point across. Directions can go in one ear and out the other if you run by barking quick vague orders at people. Instead, beat it into people, verbally and in an emails/texts/faxes, and a sticky note for good measure. Make sure they have accurately received your point, by any means necessary. Megaphone maybe?
5. Thinking in Silos – When you make changes in one area, anticipate the impacts of this change in other areas of the business. Think ahead and try to predict these outcomes and make sure the potential results can only help and not hurt the business.
6. Spreading Negativity – Just be mindful of your mood. If you are having a bad day or are in a bad mood, it happens, we’re all human, close your door and cool down.
7. Thinking Short Term – This is a big no-no and shouldn’t be done under any circumstance. Focusing solely on profit is what we mean here. It’s better to balance short-term thinking and execution with long-term strategy and planning.
8. Promoting Individualism – No one person is more important than the cooperative efforts of the team. Never condone favoritism, and instead promote teamwork and team building. This can drastically impact your culture one way or the other. This one is a biggy.
9. Downplaying Relationships – Our brains are wired to think about relationship building of all kinds. It would be a huge mistake not to take advantage of this natural instinct and tap into building relationships within a team based environment.
10. Overlooking Social Needs – Numbers 8 & 9 tap into our biology. Great leaders encourage friendships at work because it promotes a more affiliative style culture. Most modern employee’s don’t want to just show up and leave, they want a fulfilling work experience every day. A great leader can leverage this natural biology by utilizing it and helping it assist in the process of creating an overall great company culture.
When building a new culture, or reshaping an old dwindling one, avoid these 10 mistakes and you will build a culture that can lead your organization to a very promising and prosperous future.
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