How to Shift your Business Culture from ‘I Can’t’ to ‘I Will’.
With the Gallup Employee Engagement Survey reminding us that only 30 percent of employees are engaged at work, and only 35 percent of the managers, it’s little wonder that workplace culture has come under scrutiny in recent years.
I always like to break down statistics into situations that I will likely encounter.
To me, this means every time I start a consulting project with a new firm, if I walk into any room holding up to 10 people, seven of them are standing there wishing they were somewhere else.
That’s a daunting proposition to take on.
I have been so fortunate within my own company to build an amazing team of inspired, engaged colleagues that I feel such sadness when I am faced with such a reality.
You can pick up the signals of disengaged work cultures the minute you step in the door. I see them as the “I can’t” cultures. Disenchanted workers have no interest in figuring out how to do something for a firm they are just trying to get out of.
People working only because of the paycheck aren’t going to linger to make sure a new piece of technology really works or pull the all-nighter if necessary to ensure that a project is completed and sent to the client by deadline.
Changing your workplace culture
How do you turn your company from an “I can’t” to an “I will” culture?
Change in an organization moves fastest from the top down. If it starts at the bottom but the top rows stifle it and block the sunshine, it will wither and die. But if light shines from the top, it will warm and nourish all in its path.
That light turns on when workers are encouraged to express their honest opinions and discuss what they believe will work and what is reasonable.
Corporations across North America are full of chief executive officers who claim they don’t want to be surrounded by employees who just say “yes” to everything, but those who don’t find themselves sitting at the same desk for a very long time.
It is important to show respect for what is being said and to listen actively, questioning to indicate full attention and even jotting down the occasional idea.
Most importantly, in person or via electronic message, let the employee know that they broadened your range of thinking about options and that you really appreciate their input.
Place value on losses as well as wins
If the price of presenting an idea that doesn’t work is demotion, dismissal or ridicule, don’t expect that person will ever step up to the plate again.
When you form teams, talk about the management’s risk strategy. Let them know that you want members who bring their best game to the table, and that ultimately, you will all share joint responsibility for its success or failure at the end of the project.
Cultures of innovation need to be able to face the occasional failure and move forward with the enhanced knowledge of knowing what doesn’t work.
Encourage creativity in all its forms. Remember that the person who believes it is within their power to be creative will live up to that power, just as the person who doesn’t think they can come up with great ideas will fulfill that prophecy.
Be willing to change the status quo if a reasonable case is made for doing so. In our digital age, our world and how we work is moving much too fast to place any stock in adhering to the past.
Paula Morand, CSP is a leadership building, revenue boosting, strategy expanding keynote speaker, author and visionary. This dreaming big and being bold leadership expert and brand strategist brings her vibrant energy, humor and wisdom to ignite individuals, organizations and communities to lead change, growth and bold impact. 23 years, 25,000 clients, 19 countries, 11 books, former radio personality, 10x award winning entrepreneur and humorous emcee.
To check out Paula’s book, “Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything” go to Amazon http://ow.ly/i8yW307ix67
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