Culture has become critical. People have too many options to be a part of something that isn't enjoyable. Those that stay in miserable cultures have been deceived believing they can neither change the culture nor be a part of something better.
Photo credit to Jason Hargrove
How happy is your team? How happy are you?
Maybe these questions feel ridiculous. Results are all you measure. If that's the case the first question is answered, your people are not happy. To you they aren't people, the are a labor force. Poor cultures are often a result of emotionally insecure leaders who consistently worry about how others view them.
When I was part of a labor force nothing was enjoyable. Even though there were individual wins and team wins there was always something else on fire. It felt like perfection was the only expectation and it was exhausting. I don't remember feeling encouraged, valuable, affirmed, or appreciated. How can anyone feel like they are part of a team with those feelings in their heart? They can't.
I want to help you create a "wow" culture. A "Wow" culture produces great feelings in your people. A culture of happier people will be a more productive team. Here we go:
1. People first - How are you helping people succeed? When was the last time you thought of someone else before yourself? This is leadership, influence is a result of helping others achieve their goals. As I heard someone say being selfless means thinking of yourself less. If you focus on helping others become the best at what they do than how can your team not be great?
2. Be generous - In any way you can be generous. Be generous with words of praise. Be generous with thank you's. Be generous connecting your team to resources and people. Be generous in pay. Be generous in gifts. Be generous in prayer. Be generous with your time. Be generous! The level to which you are generous is a reflection to the level you value people.
3. Give a voice - Allow your team to participate in the conversation. Leaders will want to pass over this believing it means allowing the team to make a decision. But it's not the same. I saw one leader put it, "Decision making here is not a democracy but we want to allow room for input." If I can add my opinion to the top headline at CNN.com by making a comment than how in the world can I not make a comment on the team that I work so hard for? That's pretty backwards if you think about it.
4. Be the loudest - Don't let your applause fall short. If you are the leader be the one to cheer the loudest for team members when they succeed. Cheer even louder when they fail. I'm not saying you cheer for the failure I'm saying you cheer for the person. Tell them to get up, get back in the game, and work again. The only failure is to quit trying. People quit trying because a leader isn't cheering for who they are as a person.
I can be a help but you can also help! How have you experienced being a part of a "Wow" culture? What made you feel happy to be part of that team? Please leave a comment below!