Sorry, there’s no magic pill!
Just like building a successful business, or losing those last 5kg before your goal weight, there is no hidden quick fix that will give you a sustainable, awesome workplace culture. You’ve heard it before, but you can have all the ping pong tables and disco balls that you like and still have a crappy culture!
Culture is created and lead from the top. While it is certainly not the sole responsibility of the CEO to influence and maintain a culture, but if they don’t believe in it, why would anyone else in the team?
These days, people see through cliché culture statements about diversity, flexibility and agility. If there is little action to back up these up, then they aren’t worth the paper (or flashy wall decal) their written on!
It was recently school holidays and we saw a number of father-daughter duos getting around our coworking space. Over the course of the day one of these Dad’s was conducting (what we assume were) job interviews while his young daughter sat happily on his lap or doing some colouring in in the seat next to him. What better way to demonstrate the culture but by living it, even (and especially) during the interview process!
A great example of this comes from Robbert Rietbroek, CEO of PepsiCo Aust and NZ, where he implemented a policy called ‘Leaders Leaving Early’. He was quoted in an article by news.com:
“Leaders Leaving Loudly’ is something we created to ensure that when team leaders leave, they feel comfortable doing so but also to declare it to the broader team,” Mr Rietbroek said.
“So, for instance, if I occasionally go at 4pm to pick up my daughters, I will make sure I tell the people around me, ‘I’m going to pick up my children.’ Because if it’s okay for the boss, then it’s okay for middle management and new hires.”
Mr Rietbroek said the goal is to reduce “presenteeism”, because if you are “younger or more junior, you need to be able to see your leaders go home, to be comfortable to leave”.
All businesses need to make money, but if your team see you putting profit or comfort before giving your customer the best service or the best outcome then they might just start cutting corners too.
I was at a seminar by Agile Eleven last month and they used the example of Tinder disrupting the online dating industry but putting their customer at the centre of their design, implementation and roll out. They realised their customer didn’t want to have to pay to see their matches, or spend precious hours reading through profiles and emails. So the swipe right and swipe left platform was born. While it didn’t make money for a bit there, it didn’t take long before Tinder had a huge majority of market share and joined the ranks of Uber and AirBnB of shaking up their industries.
So if you’re a business owner looking to take on or grow your team, and you’re wanting to cultivate a kick-ass culture for you and your people, get out there and practice what you preach!
And if you need a helping hand, get in touch for a free chat about how we can get your culture on the path to greatness!