By Andy Bailey
The first month of 2019 is traditionally a time dedicated to setting goals to become a healthier you in the new year. But do you have goals in place to build a healthier company in 2019? If not, you should!
Gone are the days when individuals aim to just clock-in and clock-out, counting down the minutes until the weekend. More and more of today’s workforce are craving a life where work isn’t obligatory, but an essential part of their well-being, including an important source of confidence, creativity and friendship. In fact, one study has shown that close work friendships build employee satisfaction by 50 percent. Imagine a reality where your employees were 50 percent more satisfied coming to work each day. It’s possible with a little bit of effort and maybe a happy hour, or two. Here are three steps to get started:
1. Over Communicate
Communication is an essential part of any relationship, but how often do we let poor communication happen with those we spend the most time with throughout the day? Make 2019 the year you get into a regular meeting rhythm, and encourage that doors and lines of communication stay open among team members. I often advise implementing a daily huddle, a practice taken from Verne Harnish’s breakthrough book, “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” where he describes daily meetings as one of the keys to Nelson Rockefeller’s success during the 19-year growth of his company Standard Oil into an energy powerhouse. Daily huddles promote accountability, camaraderie and organization among everyone in your business.
In addition to daily huddles, monthly meetings with individual employees are a great way to stay in tune with your employee’s personal and professional health. They allow you to be aware of how they’re doing, track any goals and address any issues directly. If you make expressing questions or concerns a habit from the beginning, employees will be more likely to bring you problems (or solutions!) soon after they arise.
2. Encourage Growth
Companies go to great lengths to ensure they are hiring smart, friendly and trustworthy team members that will add benefit to their organization, but do we continue to put forth the time and effort to grow these individuals throughout their tenure? Maybe they want to grow as a leader, run a marathon, speak a new language, read more, learn a new skill or simply keep their desk more organized. No matter the specific goal, personal growth and achievement positively affect day-to-day emotions, drive and self-confidence. Provide a way for your team members to have accountability within the company for their personal goals, and help them succeed. That may mean starting a book club, providing a budget for outside classes or assisting with a gym membership. Encourage your team to work towards something that matters to them, and see their personal and professional growth soar!
3. Lead By Example
Being a good leader is more than just being an expert decision maker. It includes smaller things like remembering the new intern’s name, showing up on time to meetings, filling the copier with paper or offering a hello in the hallway. Companies sustain their competitive advantage and compelling company culture when everyone is actively doing these things. Don’t let one enthusiastic team member shoulder the weight of sustaining your company’s culture. Remember, as a business leader, everything you’d like your company to be known for starts with you.
Make no mistake, building a close team requires commitment. But you will see the payoff with increased work performance and morale, which translates to improved business growth and talent retention. Don’t wait any longer to make your workplace a place of consistency, camaraderie and closeness for every member of your team.
Andy Bailey is the author of No Try Only Do: Building a Business on Purpose, Alignment, and Accountability. He is CEO and head coach with business coaching firm Petra Coach and serves in an advisory role on the Gazelles Council, the leaders of the Scale Up movement. Visit his blog at petracoach.com for more business and leadership insight.