In the very early stages of getting my company off the ground, I was learning, growing, and going in many directions. Growing a great company culture was part of the process.
I made strategic and financial decisions, hired people, and focused on what the company needed at that time.
All was not perfect. Far from it.
At that point, we had about 15 employees. As a start-up business, we didn’t have the financial wherewithal to pay the highest market dollars for salaries. For the most part, it worked out for us.
But we became aware of a particular person who was not a good hire.
Do You Act – or Ignore?
One new employee just didn’t have the skillset and experience to do the job, and more importantly, the value system was not aligned.
This was not a good hire for us. And we realized it very early on.
Initially, I didn’t do what I needed to do to remedy the problem. In my discussions with this person, I relayed my expectations for the position and offered assistance and support.
But there were many things happening that were not aligned with what I stood for.
I just accepted it for too long because I didn’t know how to fix the problem. I thought that it was still better than not having anyone in that role.
I didn’t realize that my team was affected by this bad hiring decision. I was fooling myself in thinking that everyone was doing what they needed to do and not really paying attention to what this person was – or was not- doing.
But I was unsure of what action to take.
Begin At the Beginning…
We decided to create an anonymous survey for our team.
This would give us feedback on what support was needed, what they liked about working for us, where the opportunities were to grow and help us become better as a workplace.
The results of the survey astounded me: the rest of the team was more than aware of the problem that existed.
The comments were difficult for me to read, such as:
- “We love the leadership here, but we think that you don’t hold everyone equally accountable…”
- “You are not paying attention and letting things go that should never be this way.”
I knew in that moment, that I was responsible for creating this team, the culture, and the morale.
My need to get the results that I wanted for the business and everyone in it was great, I simply wasn’t taking responsibility in that moment.
I needed to acknowledge to the others that I was now aware of the situation and that I would deal with it accordingly. I had to become a responsible leader to everyone involved and not ignore important issues or condone them as acceptable as a compromise to the business.
Ensuring that there is a good working environment for everyone was my top priority.
Eventually, this person was terminated from our organization. We were able to learn from that experience and hire an extremely qualified addition who carried us through growth in a key position for the next 9 years.
Take Charge to Create Your Business Culture
When it comes to creating the culture in your business and team that you want to achieve, it begins with making one decision:
What kind of leader you WANT to be?
Once you can decide that answer, you will be set up toward the results you want.
Leading from a place of fear, desperation or scarcity results in a leader no longer being in the driver’s seat. It is the default style for many leaders who share thoughts such as:
- The labor market is tight, and they’re scared that their best employees are going to quit if things are changed.
- They have an extremely challenging client who they jump through hoops for because they’re worried they will lose their business.
- Their superiors tell them that there are issues that need to be addressed but they don’t speak up for the team because they’re afraid they’ll lose their job or not be seen as a team player.
Have you seen yourself in these struggles? You probably have.
The problem with all of this? You end up working hard to manage all the reactions and opinions of everyone else – and you aren’t getting the results that you want.
When You Appear Indecisive, Your Business Culture is Affected
Appearing indecisive, pandering, over-sharing and circling around things (rather than being a decisive and progress-oriented leader) causes your business to be greatly affected.
When your employees realize you are fearful, they may quit on you.
Then what? Even if they don’t leave, who is in the driver’s seat for:
- managing the team?
- making fiscally responsible compensation decisions?
- establishing other policies, procedures, and other job requirements?
When your clients dictate how your company’s operations will run – rather than the company determining how it can best serve the clients – what kinds of things can happen?
The entire operation is not as efficient:
- Employees are confused, and morale is at risk.
- New clients may not be satisfied with what you are offering and never give you a chance.
- Existing clients are not being served in the best way possible.
- Nobody is clear about what you do and what you stand for – or even who you serve.
Have You Found Yourself in These Situations?
Here’s my suggestion:
Give the matter serious thought and see what happens as you become aware of yourself and how you are thinking. You may see more things that jump out at you because of your becoming more mindful.
When that happens and you are open to the idea that things could be different, begin taking the steps.
It’s Your Choice to Create Great Culture In Your Business
You get to choose very deliberately, and the rest can fall into place.
Next, determine how you want to approach your business. What do you want to think about the business, yourself, your team, your clients?
Finally, by becoming more aware and choosing your own approach, it will generate fuel in you to motivate you toward putting actions into place.
Remember, if you are not feeling motivated or confident and instead feel reluctant or afraid to change, that’s not the best time to act to achieve the results you want.
Here at Strive Coaching Studio, we dive into and tackle issues like this frequently. With our one-on-one coaching sessions, we confront the issues you are facing and help you to grow the business YOU envision.