Laura Colton / Content Marketing
“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Ants and bees have a long-standing reputation as some of nature’s hardest little workers. The secret to their success lies in their ability to communicate and work together efficiently in order for their colony to survive and grow.
The same concept is true in business. Much like a colony, a business must rely heavily on its workers to carry out tasks, delegate certain duties, and rally together to create a united front against rival businesses.
If there’s anything that we can learn from nature, it’s that an organization is only as strong as its team. A team that is passionate and enthusiastic to carry out a company’s vision and mission is a force that is to be reckoned with.
The problem is that creating a strong and formidable company culture doesn’t just happen overnight. Like anything worthwhile, it takes time, resilience, and commitment to help form a company culture that is worth fighting for.
Here’s a quick rundown on how you can build your own strong colony:
Let Freedom Ring
There’s nothing like creating a sense of community and trust for a team than by micromanaging everyone’s every move – said no one ever.
Feeling constantly under the microscope promotes a culture of fear, doubt, and uncertainty.
Not only is continuously pointing out the negatives rather than the positives counterintuitive, it’s also incredibly stifling in terms of creativity and efficiency.
People are less likely to voice their opinions and think outside the box if they feel like their opinions will be shot down from the get-go.
While there’s always a need to keep track of tasks and make sure deadlines are being made, there’s also a fine line between detail-oriented and obsessively nit-picky.
The more freedom people have in navigating their task list, the more likely it is that they will feel like they are a trusted asset and valued member of the team.
Encourage Innovation and Abstract Thinking
“Doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting different results, is the definition of crazy.” – Unknown
Some of the best ideas come from the most unexpected places. As many a cocktail napkin can attest, brilliant ideas come and go. There’s no secret formula to innovation, but there are ways to help cultivate a culture that encourages and celebrates out of the box thinking.
Smart leaders provide employees with tools that allow them to harness and channel their ideas into something greater.
Setting aside time each week for a team to meet and bounce ideas off one another is one of the best ways to get in the habit of thinking differently. The more consistently these meetings take place, the better chance there is of creating a steady stream of ideas and thoughts.
Make sure that when these meetings take place, there is time set aside for everyone’s voice to be heard. There’s always the chance that a younger and less experienced employee may approach a problem in a way that hasn’t been explored yet.
Fresh perspectives and different points of views are the catalyst for sparking ideas that go against the grain and challenge the status quo.
There is a real importance and pay-off in bringing creativity and imagination to the workplace. Anything that encourages freethinking and productivity should be seen as a positive step forward for a company’s culture.
Say it Loud and Proud
A true business leader realizes that a key driver for company culture is communication.
The leader must set the tone, and promote the company’s message and vision clearly, in order to create a united company culture.
In our world of the instantaneous, people often get lost in the fray and overwhelmed by the overload of information that is constantly being thrown at us. This is why clarification and openness is key in reaching people and clearing up prevailing questions.
Consistently carve out time to set up open meetings with your team to explain what’s changing, what’s working, and what’s not working. Look at the big picture and find a way to get the whole team on board as a collaborative force.
Use visual aids like white boards and PowerPoint to break down key information in a way that is concise and easy to understand. There is a direct link between visuals and learning, and combining the two is a smart way to make sure your team can actually see what changes are happening over time and why.
Keeping everyone in the loop is another way to make sure your team is up-to-date and on the same page.
Make sure that your team is aware of the goals that need to be met and how they are being measured. It’s important that a team knows and understands what’s expected of them and what they need to do to produce exceptional results.
While the business world continues to change, the importance of communication remains invaluable.
Employees that feel like their voice is being heard and understand their individual contributions to the company are also more likely to feel connected to the company and its vision.