Category Archives: Leadership
Do you start your week off with a sense of dread of how you’ll get your teams motivated and inspired this week? Do you get overwhelmed as to how to you can make culture deeper but, wow, there’s just so much work to do?
Having a clearly defined expectation of your organization’s culture is always the foremost step, but it’s the consistent application of culture throughout the week that will enhance employee engagement and make your teams synergize with purpose.
So to give you a starting point for success, here is a simple Monday checklist to get you started driving culture this week. It’s designed to be simple and easy to execute and reference:
- Read your company’s culture and mission statement. A refresher of your culture and value will recalibrate how you as a leader embody culture and ensures you are looking to stay in proper alignment.
- Start your leadership team off with a “temperature check” of how culture is and a commitment to make culture Job #1 this week. Get as many of the team aligned with culture in all they plan to achieve over the coming days.
- Through individual or team meetings, virtual meetings, phone calls, personal interactions and emails, make sure to promote your culture at every interaction. Every interaction is an opportunity to remind your team about the culture you are all working under, and towards.
- Thread culture through every project, strategic plan, financial forecast, training sessions, and every other project in an effort to bring cohesive engagement. Many times strategy seems to close the door to infusing culture. The best way to strengthen culture change is to ensure it has a place in every action plan, strategy meeting and task.
- Pick 5 employees (1 per day) and find a “temperature check” time to ask about culture and empower them to build it. People need reminders throughout the week. Your should be having regular times with your team and individually encouraging them and working on how they can inspire culture as well.
- Schedule time for yourself midway through the week to stop and asses how YOU are impacting culture. This may mean a little more work on your part as a leader, but not only reminding yourself, but reassessing your progress midway through will help you end on a stronger note as the week goes forward.
- Wrap up your work week with a reflection or a “plus-minus” of how your team enhanced culture and what next week’s steps are. This is a great way to not only give yourself a report card of how culture is progressing, but how your organization is heading into the coming week. Planning how to course correct or fan the flame that is already on fire will ensure you are already preparing to prioritize culture the next week and onwards.
By keeping this list before you and reviewing it every morning, you will see consistent, then amazing, growth in your culture and how your people will fully lock-in to promoting the mission and vision of the organization as well.
Feel free to adapt and tailor this checklist to your individual and corporate needs. I attached two links to previous posts I’ve written to help you in your staff 1-to-1’s and reviewing your days and weeks. These strategies will help this checklist become a living organism in your company.
Keeping culture change and growth simple is key, yet keeping it a priority is vital. Make culture happen this week!
One of the secrets to MOD Pizza’s success is not just their efforts to value all employees. It’s the culture that enables their company to produce that type of environment.
In spite of the struggles of operating during the pandemic, the company appears to be doubling down on their culture.
A culture that allows room for employees to be themselves and make the necessary decisions for the customer.
It’s what CEO Scott Svenson calls “wide boulevards and high curves.” Meaning that they trust their employees enough to give them “wide boulevards” to work within until they break that trust.
“If you jump a curve, then you can’t be a part of the team anymore,” Svenson says.
They don’t over regulate with tons of policies, instead deferring to a culture based on basic values and an understanding that employees are empowered to take the necessary actions. “The culture we’re developing often has a life of its own.”
Svenson said that this type of response has extended to other aspects of the company. For example, there is no company rule for how an employee should respond if a customer comes in to complain about food or service. The end result, he said, should always be that the customer should leave happy, but how they get there is up to the employee.
This type of culture has been around for decades. It’s similar to the”simultaneous loose-tight properties” that Tom Peters and Robert Waterman highlighted in their early 1980’s tome “In Search of Excellence”.
In an age of diversity, changing management structures and finding better ways to lead teams, this method still proves itself, even if it’s a trendy pizza concept filled with Milennials and iGen workers.
Giving your team a large enough sandbox to play in creates a delta above the average companies and allows you to be more inclusive, connected and vision-focused. It’s not a new concept, but a proven one that continues to be proven effective.
Allow your people the wide boulevards and high curves to work in. Let their personalities come out, their creativity to take root, and for them to do what is right without you or policy getting in the way.
An employee who gets reprimanded for posting on social media during work hours – even though they’ve pre-automated the posting schedule with AI.
A manager asked to dress a certain way for a business meeting – because that’s how their boss has dressed for decades.
Telling staff to fill the data – because it shows up on the report better.
These all have one thing in common. The boss has told them to do this because of how it looks. Optics are everything, they might say.
If we spent less time worrying about how things look and more time doing them the right way and for the right reasons, then maybe things would look great just because they were.