In Proof That Positive Work Cultures Are More Productive, the Harvard Business Review speaks eloquently of the power of positive energy to transform workplace performance. But we think everyone pretty much already gets this. The only question for a lot of business leaders is, “how can I bring more of it to my company?”
And so, based on the long experience we’ve had in building our own culture, let us propose a simple three-step plan that we think could make the difference for you, too:
#1 Define your values
This is the first, not-to-be-missed step toward actively shaping your culture. Ask yourself which personal characteristics you believe employees should have that, taken together, will promote better cooperation and collaboration within your company—while driving negativity and cynicism out. This is a task that needs careful consideration, so bring it to your leadership team and spend time brainstorming it. Build your list. Check it. Delete the obvious, “table stakes” values. Rebuild it. In the end, get it down to three to five.
#2 Recruit with them
Now you have a values-based hiring guide. Of course, skill sets, education and experience will always be critical to who you choose to employ, but with your core values clear you can better select the kind of people you want to hire as well. This isn’t the easiest of tasks, and we confess we don’t always get it right, but it does get easier with time.
Perhaps even more important, you can incorporate your core values into your annual employee review process so you can nurture and reward these values company-wide from here on out.
#3 Set a great example
This is probably the most important step of all. If you want your employees to be more giving, be more giving to them and to the community. If you’d like to see them show passion toward what they do, make sure you’re always showing yours. People look to company leaders more than anywhere else to learn the company culture and understand what’s expected of them. And actions will always speak far, far louder than words.
Like most companies, MSM saw the value in a positive work culture from the beginning but it didn’t happen automatically. We can tell you that over time, by applying the three steps we’ve outlined above, we finally have succeeded.
Click here if you’d like to see a list of our core values.
Here’s wishing you success in getting the power of a positive culture working for your company.