As a small or mid-sized business owner, you understand the importance of controlling your…
January is a great time to reflect on the past and look ahead to the future. The month of January gets its name from the Roman god “Janus’. Often depicted with two heads, one facing toward the past and the other toward the future. Even more, the Roman name for the door was Janua. The duality of the Roman god Janus combined with the symbol of a door opening and closing has made this month a symbol of beginnings and transitions.
As business leaders, we open and close the doors to our business. Attracting the right people, retaining them and ensuring a positive corporate culture for years to come is essential to sustaining a strong workforce and corporate culture. Hiring the right people with the right skills, attitudes and values that align with your company’s mission and goals helps to foster a positive work environment because the workforce is the backbone of any business. By setting a strong foundation in the workforce, leaders set the stage for a successful business and who doesn’t enjoy success?
A positive corporate culture can also help attract top talent to your organization. Having a workplace that values its employees will make potential candidates more likely to apply for positions at your company than your competitors. Being selective as to who you bring onto your team or, to bring it back to the door analogy, allow to walk in the door will allow you to build a strong team of talented individuals who will be more likely to stay with the company for the long term. When you invite the right people in, the right things happen.
Employees have a major role to play in developing and maintaining a positive corporate culture. Every employee within a company impacts the overall culture and environment, and they need to be actively engaged in creating a positive work environment. Think of it as adding ingredients to a recipe. You want to select individuals who won’t overpower the team or upset the balance. Instead, you want individuals who will ADD to and ENHANCE what you have already built. Like a recipe gone wrong, you also know when you need to clean house and start from scratch.
As employers, you should look to cultivate an atmosphere of trust and respect within your company. Allowing employees to speak up and have their opinions heard creates an atmosphere of inclusion and acceptance, which is proven to increase employee satisfaction and morale. Employees should also be treated with respect and trust, which will help them feel valued and appreciated. Recognizing and rewarding employees who actively contribute to the company culture is a great way to boost morale and incentivize your team. When the right people do come through the door, you want to keep them! When you have the right people on your team, your company is more likely to achieve and hopefully exceed its goals. When hiring people, be clear about the job description and your expectations. What are you looking for them to accomplish within the first 3 – 6 months? How do you plan to measure their performance? What support has been put in place to ensure their success? The questions they ask you as the interviewer are equally telling and important. What do they want to know about the company? How motivated are they? What are their interests? Take note of what they say and how they say it.
Once the right people are in place, it is essential to communicate your company’s mission, vision, and values clearly and often. Leaders should lead by example, showing employees how to implement these values daily. Leaders should be available for questions, comments, and feedback. Finally, creating an environment where employees can learn and grow is essential. Offering education opportunities, professional development, and training can help to ensure that employees are up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices in their field and in your business’s industry. This helps to build employee morale and strengthens the company’s overall performance.
As you move through January, consider the notion of the Roman god Janus. Learn from your past experiences and take those lessons to make better decisions that will guide your future in the right direction. In the words of Denis Waitley, there are no mistakes or failures, only lessons. Remember those lessons and keep your eyes and focus on your future.