Maintaining a world-beating culture can be as easy as doing a bunch of little things regularly.
Take for example the simple process of deliberately catching people doing things right.
None of us are total strangers to giving positive feedback. But generally, and rather sadly, we’re more given to voicing the negatives and letting the positives slide by. You might simply give one of your people a knowing wink and a nod when they do something right because they’re really just doing their job, but give them a solid dressing down when they do something wrong because you’re very focused on changing that behaviour.
Making the change however to praising good work, even when it falls within the bounds of the basic job description, can have a very motivating effect, as you can imagine.
But you can take it a whole lot further than that by making it part of your role to catch people doing things right, every day and having a regular weekly gathering where you thank them for that good work in front of the entire company or department or team.
It’s heady stuff and it can have some very sexy results.
People start to like it which is no surprise, but that carries into their attitude at work. The kind of place where they feel recognised is the kind of place people like to be.
They also start to see what the people around them are doing and develop a better understanding of their colleagues roles where they otherwise may genuinely have no real clue.
And you create a culture where encouragement, not censorship, is the norm. In that environment, it’s the rare person who is happy not to be regularly recognised.
But it’s advice that must come with a warning: you’re going to have to put in some work if you want to get the benefits and not suffer any negative results from this.
Catching people doing things right means finding EVERYONE doing something right at least pretty regularly. The person that is never recognised is going to resent the people that are recognised all the time … and they’re going to resent you too. Not everyone is so obviously easy to praise however; roles fulfilled by the admin clerk are never going to have the sex-appeal of the latest breathtaking commerical performance of your leading salesperson.
That means you’re going to have to really look; really pay attention to what your people are doing.
But that’s a good thing, isn’t it?