People talk about working in a culture where morale is low. So what makes it a broken culture and how can you fix it? Culture is made up of people’s behaviors, how people act and behave. More specifically, it is your managers or leaders in your business and their specific behaviors that shape the culture of your business. Managers have the power to influence; to make an employee feel happy or sad, to stay or go.
If managers demonstrate poor behavior after poor behaviour and make bad decision after bad decision, the result is negative and the affects ripple across a business. If a manager has no self-awareness around the impact of their behaviour; are completely unaware of what they said or did, why they behaved the way they did or how they could or should have said it, there begins the problem. If there is no awareness or conscious effort made to understand, reflect or change it, then very quickly, a company ends up with the profile of a bad culture. The business is labelled a bad place to work.
Those on the receiving end of this poor behavior and often bad decisions of managers or leaders will lose respect for those they work for. Over time the trust in the relationship breaks down. Employees lose appetite in their work, their motivation on the job withers away, they lose interest, despite how passionate and enthusiastic they may once have been. The result is employees leave and don’t come back. Word spreads and it can become increasingly more difficult to get the right staff. My message to employers is employees leave managers not organisations, pay attention to your managers and make the right choices and interventions before it is too late.
This can be prevented by investing in your managers today. Appoint a HR Consultant or Coach who will challenge their mindset and teach them the skills of how to manage culture, how to communicate and behave effectively, how to ask the powerful questions and trust in their employees who always hold the answers. There is a skill to having more meaningful conversation in the workplace and it needs to be taught. Sometimes organisations forget this and expect just because a manager is a technical expert in their field, that they can now simultaneously influence, lead and manage people with the same ease and confidence. This is not so. People are complex, personalities are many and different. By challenging how managers think and behave, by them digging deep to understand their own values, set of beliefs, behaviours and drivers, this equips them with the skills and knowledge to understand how others are wired and why. They need to understand the motives, drivers and strengths of the employees they work with, leverage this and then lead, communicate and coach with confidence. Its about enabling new awareness, empowering others and behaving as a leader in the workplace daily. This will accelerate and drive success.
My final words of advice are put your leaders through a self coaching skills programme or self awareness workshop, do it today to retain the people of tomorrow in your business. A positive culture is built on a culture of self awareness and self management. This is what employees want in 2018 – they want a better employee experience and to be happy in their work. It starts and ends with you.