Are You Cultivating a Forward-Thinking Company Culture?
Tuesday January 31st, 2017
Estimated time to read: 2 minutes, 30 seconds
What defines your company culture? Are your workers driven by incentives, or are they aimless in their daily work? Are their ideas valued and supported, or are they stifled? Are they motivated by money, status or a desire to see the company succeed? As a leader in your company, the wellbeing of your team and the environment in which they work must be a top priority. Happy employees are loyal and productive employees. So, asking yourself questions like these could be the key to ensuring that your company is cultivating a culture that is innovative, inclusive and supportive. Are you cultivating a forward-thinking company culture? In order to create a forward-thinking company culture, you have to keep your sights set on the future. But leading by example isn’t enough to develop an environment where all team members thrive and feel satisfied. Here are a few other ways to get your team on board with a forward-thinking vision.
As a leader, your ability to communicate is perhaps one of the most important skills you possess. Transparency through communication allows your team to build a healthy working relationship with you by encouraging them to communicate their needs and feel confident that their voices will be heard. Communicate your vision clearly and regularly with your team by recapping your goals at each meeting, and encouraging employees to voice concerns or make suggestions. It’s also important to remember that communication is not just for the times of success – it is just as vitally important to communicate in times of company distress. Examples of this include when a project goal has not been met or a client was lost. During these times, your staff needs to hear from you just as frequently to set their minds at ease and ensure them that you are all in this together. Effective communication through difficult ordeals can strengthen feelings of company loyalty and fortify your working relationship with your team. A satisfied and loyal team is one that shares a common vision where each member equally contributes to the cultivation of a positive company culture.
Beyond communicating your vision for the company, it is important to enlist the help of others on your team. You all need to work together to set that vision as a company-wide priority and increase your opportunities for improvement. Empower your management team and employees who exemplify the culture you are working towards to become leaders amongst their peers. You are only one person, and while your voice should be heard frequently within your company, you simply cannot do it alone. By delegating some leadership responsibilities to some of your staff, you can ensure that, even when you’re not in the room, your standards are being met.
One very important aspect of cultivating a forward-thinking company culture is the value you place on the thoughts and actions of your team. Foster creativity and innovation by recognizing it and rewarding it, even if it is unsuccessful. Encourage your team to take risks, think outside the box and feel confident enough to share those thoughts. Without reward, it is all too easy to stifle the creativity needed to work towards a forward-thinking vision. Provide incentives for team members to work towards and follow through on your promises of reward. Doing so will create an atmosphere of support where employees feel respected and valued, further encouraging their efforts to innovate.
This is perhaps the most important thing to consider when creating your company culture. To truly be forward-thinking, you must recognize that change happens frequently and adaptability is a necessity. The word “cultivate” implies growth, which is the priority of any successful company. To grow is to adapt, and your goal as a leader is to continually encourage your staff to grow together. Understand that any company who does not adapt can easily be left behind as we see the business world change and shift towards digitalization and globalization. Such advancements will impact your company, and so it is vital to your success that you plan for the future changes that will require you to evolve as a business. Leadership is a hands-on job, one that requires you to jump in the trenches and do the work alongside your team while pushing them further. Keeping your eye on the future as you practice effective communication, delegation and validation will ensure that your company is cultivating a forward-thinking culture.
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