Having an environment where employees are happy, enjoy their jobs, and feel like they’re part of a team working to accomplish something bigger may sound like an idea straight out of the movies. Or perhaps something only found in the galleries of stock images.
But it is possible to have that type of environment in your organization. In any organization. Yes, it takes some work. But more importantly, it takes the right work, focused on the right things.
How do you know what those right things are? Start asking some questions.
Assessing these four areas of your business will help you determine what type of culture challenges you may be facing.
1.) Team environment
A cohesive, well-developed team will outperform even the most talented individual. Ensuring that every member of your team works effectively with the rest of the group is critical to achieving consistent results.
Questions to ask: Thinking about the environment in our organization, is it truly a team working together and helping each other? Is everyone focused on the same ideas and vision of the company? Are there groups of individuals who are working alone or in silos? Are people communicating openly and effectively?
2.) Role clarity
In order do their jobs effectively, all team members should have clarity on exactly what their roles are, and how they contribute to the vision and goals of the organization. If people don’t understand how the work they do impacts the team, the organization, and the clients, it’s easy to dismiss the work as insignificant— and to treat it that way.
Questions to ask: How well do our groups and individuals understand their contributions and worth? Do we have accurate job descriptions that clarify responsibilities for everyone on the team? Are we giving people the big-picture vision and letting them know where/how they fit in?
The most successful organizations have built-in accountability systems for every role. Each person and position should contribute to the company’s overall success. If there are missing links, the organization as a whole won’t be able to thrive.
Questions to ask: What expectations do we have for our team members? How do we hold them accountable? Do we have natural and/or formal systems in place for this? What are the consequences for poor performance? How do we help people improve?
There’s a reason we call them leaders. These folks not only create the vision for the business, they set the goals and the tone for everything that happens within it. How they treat staff directly correlates to how the staff treats each other, and their clients.
If your leadership team cares about employee wellbeing and personal and professional growth, this will have a positive impact on the entire organization. And of course it goes without saying that negative feelings and attitudes will create a negative environment.
Questions to ask: What kinds of behaviors is the leadership team modeling? Do we have a tight, cohesive group or is it combative and disorganized? How do our leaders interact and communicate with the team? Is leadership showing them that they are valued? Is our leadership team living up to their own expectations?
If you feel good about your answers to these questions, congratulations! You’ve either built a solid culture, or you’re happy where you are.
If some of your answers made you uncomfortable, it’s time to ask yourself one last question:
What is holding us back from creating an environment where our teams thrive?
Once you have the answer to that question, you can begin creating your new vision, your new culture, and your new reality.
At Raffa Financial, we help clients identify organizational challenges, create big picture strategies, and put customized solutions in place. From tailored benefit programs to custom retirement plans to risk management services, we’ve got you covered. Get in touch to find out what working with a true employee benefits consultant feels like.
Photo by Andrey_Kuzmin