It’s not a must-have product, it’s not a killer marketing campaign and it’s not rocket science. The most important element for a successful business is its internal culture, according to Business Insider. Finding employees whose career goals are in line with the company’s goals should be every hiring manager’s intent, but too many settle for employees with a high competency for the job even if their cultural fit is low. Have you heard the old saying about one bad apple spoiling the whole bunch? The same can be true with one bad hire causing conflict and stress that ripples through every aspect of your business.Benefits of a Strong Team
Redefine Yourself — If you’ve already got an office full of unhappy folk who don’t get along and don’t want to see each other succeed you may need to start with the basics. No, don’t fire everyone and start over. Focus on defining your brand and core values. If you’re not clear on your business mission, how can anyone else be? Engage your top managers to assist you in creating a clear, concise mission statement. Asking for employee feedback will set the stage for a new era of team unity. Once the mission is refined, host a company-wide meeting to share the new focus. Encourage employees to ask questions about the new mission and give them concrete answers about how they can help achieve the new goals. For example, “being courteous” to customers is an abstract idea. “Returning customer messages within 2 hours” is a concrete idea that everyone can understand.
Open Up – Removing the literal walls from your office place can remove the symbolic walls as well. Get rid of old-fashioned cubicles that keep employees blocked off from one another. Isolation doesn’t improve productivity, as YSFEntrepreneur.com explains, but connection and collaboration do. When your employees can see each other, they’re more likely to make friends.
Act It Out – Taking a group acting class is a fun team-building exercise that can improve communication, expand creativity and build group morale as team members support each other through sometimes emotionally vulnerable exercises. Another option for bringing a little bit of pizzazz to your company culture is to surprise the group with tickets for Broadway and see a show together. Once back home, managers can create their own team-building exercises by having employees reenact scenes from the show or facilitating a group discussion about the experience. Team building can and should be fun.
Showing Up – Uh, oh, here comes the boss. Managers and owners can do a lot to improve company culture by simply coming out of their offices to engage with and praise their staff. If the only time your staff sees you is when someone’s in trouble, you’re missing out on the best and easiest way to build a strong team.
Author: Samantha Broadwell. Sam counsels small businesses for SCORE and writes about her insights
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