Culture – in business – is how we manage the process of negotiating values, and it all begins with the vision. As a leader, you never intend to have a toxic culture, and no leader necessarily believes their culture style is toxic. It is all quite subjective in reality. Finding the candidates that align with your culture is up to them and their belief system comprehending your managerial style, but it is first up to you.
It is more than explaining your mission and policy. It is how you talk to and treat not only your subordinates but your bosses and others within and without the company. You can repeat your intended culture or mission until your employees are blue in the face, but if they don’t see it integrated into your daily actions, they will perceive a much different view of your intentions.
If you want your employees and new hires to buy why you do the things you do, they must first see it in action directly from you.
LEADING WITH THE “WHY”
Defining your culture begins with defining your “why” or your vision.
The vision must clearly state the direction of an organization or group. It is your magnetic north.
Cultivating the vision can only commence when the leader can clearly define it.
HOW TO CLEARLY DEFINE YOUR VISION
According to the Harvard Business Review, a strong corporate culture is supported by social science as intuition.
In layman’s terms, it is a perfect recipe; a combination of “why” (intuition) and “how” (social sciences).
Here are a few tips to help cultivate your visionary, forward-thinking ideas into practical, everyday language that translates to the culture you want:
Write out your most audacious goals for your business or team culture.
Answer the Big Questions:
How do you want your team to ultimately impact the rest of the company?
How do you envision your employees interacting and communicating?
What kind of conflict resolution do you have in place?
How do you want your employees to be affected by the culture of the team?
The more details you provide will help you remain clear when you begin simplifying your thoughts into a translatable statement.
Bring your vision back down to everyday work life and note how you see your vision put to use when inevitable conflicts arise as well as triumphs.
Be practical here. How will you put this vision to use every single day?
Now that you can clearly see on paper the vision you want to create, simplify it into an easily digestible statement.
Keep this exercise for your records and revisit it with and without your team. Use it to your advantage to check in with your team’s performance and your own. It will assist and ensure you all live up to this vision every day.
Then, then it’s time to explain this vision to a new hire. They will easily buy into your “why” because they can clearly see it displayed in your (and your teams) language, actions, energy, and charisma.
TJ's advice on the challenges and market changes relevant to SME construction companies searching for talent on the West Coast.