Pulse January / February 2019 - Page 40

about improving culture, start by documenting what’s expected of managers in a way that is clear, inspiring and measurable. How do you want them to respond to difficult events? What’s your approach to performance management? How much feedback do you expect them to give to the team and in what way should that be delivered? Make a simple list of three to five key manager values, with three to five specific behaviors for each one. Bringing People Together Every good dinner party includes some form of prepping and planning—and the same runs true for your culture as well. This is where you start to get specific about the kind of place you are trying to create and start to define what that looks like so other people can help keep the party going. This is where you focus on your vision. It makes it a lot easier for your team to execute the big plan when they know what it looks like. Imagine your team is in a car and pulls up to a stoplight. They can continue ahead, make a U-turn, turn left or turn right. Each of those is a good choice—depending on where you want to go. For them to make the right choice, they have to know where they’re going; in order for your employees to drive the company culture in the right direction, you’ve got to have a clearly defined vision that properly sets the table for success. If you were to ask each of your employees to define what success looks like for your company, for your customer, for a great experience, for a good shift—would they all say the same thing? Or would their answers lead you in drastically different directions? To get started with crafting a vision for your team, schedule 20 minutes alone outside of your normal day-to-day; grab a pen and paper; put a future date on the top of the page, like “end of this year” or “five years out”; then, start describing what your spa will look like at that point in time. Imagine you’ve hopped in a time machine into that future date and are describing what you see happening. How are people interacting? How are decisions being made? What things are going on in the business? How are your guests responding? What kinds of people are working there? What are they doing? Get specific about defining what matters, what you want to happen and what exactly it looks like if everyone is successful. Once you have this drafted, share it with a few people for feedback before finalizing it. The final version can be included in hiring and orientation information as a reminder of what everyone is working toward. Letting Others Contribute Each person who shows up to a party contributes in some way. Some of it is positive, some of it is negative. But each person has an impact. The same is true of your culture. Every person you hire, promote, keep and even terminate dictates what your culture is—and ultimately how your brand will be remembered. You have a big opportunity in tuning in to what is going on more often. The easiest way to get started is by doing a short and simple survey that gives you a list of what’s working and what areas might need some attention. You can extract tremendous value even from the simplest of employee surveys. To get started, find a convenient way to survey your team and ask, “what do you like best about working here?” and “what would make it even better?” Use their responses to make some decisions about ways to improve your culture in 2019. As you think about your plans for 2019, in what ways will you make culture a priority? Will you use the ideas above to create an intentional culture built by design or leave it up to luck? Make this the year that you create a culture that engages your team, creates a remarkable experience for your guests and makes your brand stand out. n “A positive culture at your business will make it easy to recruit top talent, generate employee engagement, boost sales and create a buzzworthy brand.” MIKE GANINO is a culture and storytelling expert who helps leaders, teams and organizations communicate, connect and engage. He’s the author of Company Culture for Dummies, a how-to book that links a strong company culture to positive results in almost every area of business. 38 PULSE ■ January/February 2019