Top Three Things You Can Do To Create a Great Culture

Mar 25, 2020

I recently talked with a client who asked me the following:

“I really want to be a good leader and create a good culture for people. What are the top three things I can do to ensure they are engaged, loyal, and want to come to work every day?”

Wow. Great question!

First, I want to point out that many leaders never even ask the question. They just assume they are doing fine and their people are content.

So, good for my client! She took the first step by actually realizing that she has a role to play in creating a great place to work, and that maybe…just maybe…she could do a little better!

Here is what I told her:

  1. Get to know your team, and care about them as real people. Let them care about you as a real person. Talk to them. Know their families. Realize they are someone’s wife, sister, mother and/or amazing aunt. Appreciate their away-from-the-job hobbies and skills. Is one person an expert in fixing cars? Does another go hiking at every opportunity? How old are their children and where do they go to school? Ask about them on a regular basis. Or their pets…whatever. Understand their hopes and dreams. For one person, this job may be their last stop before retirement, and so they might want some peace and quiet, and a good 401(k) plan. Another might see this as a stepping stone and learning time for their next gig. What does he want to learn to take with him, and how can you help him progress?
  2. Appreciate the work done by each individual on the team. They may not be perfect, but who is?? You hired them for the skills they have, and as such, appreciate the time they are putting in to assist you in accomplishing your career/professional/life goals. Treat them well, let them know you recognize their gifts and want them to succeed.
  3. Learn how to communicate well, and learn how to handle differences of opinion (some people call this conflict). Just as in any relationship, working together can lead to differences of opinion about how things ‘should’ be done. Knowing how to resolve these differences calmly and positively builds trust and allows people to work together over long periods of time without developing resentments and holding grudges.

There are many more things that make a difference—transparency, having consistent values, having good skills for leading and accountability—but since I am only limited to three…..