Categories
Company Culture

11 Simple Tips To Improve Company Culture 

When defining the key ingredients for company culture, there are four pillars that will always guide you towards building a good foundation.

The 4c’s of company culture are:
1/ Campfire
2/ Competition
3/ Community
4/ Collaboration  

Here are eleven of Focus’ top tips to improve your company culture

  1. Agreed Principles & Approved Behaviours – the best companies understand the boundaries of each team and understand the principles that drive them forward and the agreed and approved behaviours are universally agreed are driving the people and company forward. Knowing that humans are designed to understand guidance (remember many believe rules are made to be broken) and boundary lines will help all employees from the least to most experienced.
    Key for success: review and update agreed principles and behaviours every six months
  2. Eat Together: Have a food you all can eat and eat together, whether in person or virtually. The connection that is made around eating at a campfire setting is priceless.
    Key for success: create this as a ritual
  3. Drink Together: Enable rotating “coffee chats” across the business, this should be randomised and connect colleagues from all areas of the business, including the “most senior and most junior”.
    Key for success: create this as a ritual
  4. Show & Tell: Create a company show and tell – enable departments to demo what they are working on, encourage departments to create games and interactive elements to explain what the department does and how they feed into the business
    Key for success: create this as a ritual
  5. Forums: Regular Forums focusing on show and tells – take it a step further than standups and recurring meetings, enable teams (not just departments) to show their work and demonstrate the value.
    Have this open to the whole company, these forums could be optional to attend for companies with over 350 employees; if you can record these, share and have a record on your wiki these drive companies to create connections, coach, collaborate and curate collectively.
    Keep for success: ensure feedback is provided (not opinion) and there is applause. Applause creates herding  
  6. Games: Create a company-wide game that teams are mixed up for, so they can compete against each other and build bonds with colleagues they rarely work with.
    Key for success: Small disposable games not touraments work best
  7. Captain: Use a captain system in meetings, rotate the owners of regular meetings and intros a captain who steers the meeting. This helps to remove HIPPO’s owning the meeting, it can remove status games, it helps to evolve individuals and places respect at the heart of the meeting. I have gone so far in buying a captain armbands and ensuring the captain wears the armband in each meeting. Visuals help, thats why flags exists, thats why unforms work, thats why adding ranks to uniforms exist, thats why captains wear armbands in sports.
    Key for success: Ensure everyone supports and respects the captain in every meeting
  8. Caring & Causes: Create a cause the company supports and creates squads to dedicated days to supporting the agreed cause. Awaydays supporting charity and non profit days are popular, curating how many of the team go together are important and varying how they can support is important. Connecting smaller groups of people to support these together is important, creating mini herds of teams drives movement within your business.
    Key for success: Report back with videos and images of the cause each herd supports  
  9. Storytell Failure: Create failure of the month storytelling – when failure is discussed and openly understood, companies can move forward and help a learning culture to develop and remove stigmas against failure. Companies who celebrate together in the good and the bad have the best company culture.
    Key for success: Thank the storyteller and engage with their failure  
  10. Unsung Heroes: Something that is rarely celebrated but should be are the unsung heroes in your business, the ones who go over and above the roles to ensure success happens, not just on projects but with developing and mentoring others.
    Key for success: Call out unsung heroes formally and informally
  11. Agreed Anthem: Have an anthem (a song, a sound or even a poem or film clip) that whenever played recreates a connection.
    Key for success: Refer to the athem and play regaulrly  

Best of luck rolling these out for your business, remember you can roll out some at a time to help start the ball rolling.

Categories
Anonymous Career Advice

How do I get unstuck in a stagnant job?

This week’s anonymous career advice is something I am confident 99% of people have faced and a large number of people are facing today, not just because of the job market and business climate, but down to how we all face career crossroads every few years of our working lives. 

Dear Focus, How do I get unstuck in a stagnant job? 

There is a time in any job when you feel like you, the role and/or the business is stagnating. It’s one of the most common discussion points in my coaching services

One of the more painful truths in business is roles do actually slow and stagnate, one of my truths I let people know is if you feel like something is stagnating you have the power to evolve in and around a role, don’t let the company or the role hold you back.

You have the power to understand your strengths and weaknesses, you have the power to find resources online to help you (the internet has brilliant free resources), you can find an internal mentor or find an external mentor to help you develop. 

If you need help to understand your professional strengths and weaknesses, read this it’s time for a professional and personal SWOT leaders letter for guidance and how to address some of your concerns. 

If you feel like this is a professional injury or you need rehab from previous situations, read this professional injuries and rehab leaders letter and speak to your manager or step up as a leader and help those to progress around you. 

One of the most important aspects here is to uncover what is stuck, where do you feel stuck and what opportunities are there for you. This could be taking on broader projects, stepping up and taking over an area of the business that is underperforming or needs more guidance or assistance.

Something many people take on as a challenge is a side hustle or a passion project. In a lot of my own personal career, a side hustle taught me more about business and operations than many large businesses I worked in or with.

If you feel like you want to make the move away I recommend reading our recent anonymous career advice, unfinished business vs knowing it’s time to leave

If you need more help or you need help highlighting bigger issues at your company, our anonymous text helpline will help take this forward.  

Good luck and remember this is the time to step up and own your career.

Categories
Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 36 – Three Questions To Build Relationships

Three Questions To Build Relationships

Dear Leaders, I hope you are doing well.

I asked a CEO I mentor how they were doing and their response last week was “you are the first person connected to work who has asked me how I am doing in months”.

It is likely feeling a little harder as a manager as of late, alongside being a support network and a confidant.

For almost everyone, its important to know you got this, you have likely done a better job than you know and you will likely have some time off booked that will help you refresh.

With that said, I have three questions for you to ask your team to help you feel like you are making progress and some exercises to follow up with.

The 3 Questions

When was the last time you reconnected with your team members individually?

Yes, this seems counter to my opening of the leader’s letter, however, it is an activity that brings people closer together and allows all parties to want to connect. Arrange a speed round of connecting to your team individually and asking for their advice or their opinion on something important coming up in 15 minutes slots. Short and concise meetings are essential to connecting.

I suggest this is done on the phone or through a video call and a project that you will need their help and guidance on.

When was the last time you found out something new about your colleagues?

Letting you into a little secret, in the Focus remote company culture workshops, the first thing we do is ask you to answer a number of quick-fire questions as a group, aiming to bring you closer to your colleagues by finding something out you would not know today. Starting with a positive is something we learnt from leaders letter 2 from Disney chairman Bob Iger and this is a great way to achieve this.

A very popular free template we launched recently will help you do this and enable your team to find out new things about you that will help to bring down some fears or barriers to asking how you are and if they can help you. This template works with teams, departments or companies and will kickstart improving your department’s subculture.

When was the last time you surprised your team?

Being remote has been a challenge logistically for almost every company, as a manager, one of the best ways to engage and connect with your team is to surprise them.

I know you have a number of tasks to complete and big projects to smash, however, if you are in a place to, consider making the time and thinking about how you might send a small thank you to your team members or the leaderships team around you.

It could be something small like their favourite snack or could be a new notepad with a handwritten thank you note.
Liaising with HR will be important re addresses etc but small gestures go a long way to (re)build trust and connection and importantly, showing you are thinking of them and how they are doing as people.

By giving to others you are taking the time to connect, to build stronger bonds and offer yourself a rest bite.

Have a good week answering the three questions and actioning small but significant gestures, and you will be surprised what you learn and how colleagues will want to connect in a reciprocal relationship.

Thanks,

Danny Denhard

How about sharing a few teamwork quotes?

Categories
Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 1 – Develop Leaders

Develop Leaders

08/06/2020

Dear Leaders,

Welcome aboard to the first leaders letter.

Each week there will be a weekly letter designed to help you address something important for the future and focus on moving forward.

If you have to read one piece of content this week, it is Jeff Weiner’s leaving email to the LinkedIn team.

Why?

LinkedIn’s growth and development under Jeff’s guidance has been incredible and has strategically transformed LinkedIn from an occasional visit to a daily utility for many businesses and professionals.

If you haven’t already watched Jeff’s famous all hands from 2016, watch it at the bottom of this letter.

Future Focus
Something to remember this week, while looking forward to the future, ask yourself how are you looking to develop your existing staff.

It’s easy to look at the upcoming months and look at the list of objectives you want to hit, however, without your people in recent months the business wouldn’t be in the place it is today.

Help to develop personal growth plans together with your leaders and their teams.
Ensure you make and take the time with your managers to create personal development plans for each team member, fix dates and milestones in to understand the progress and how you can continue develop your team.

Until next week,

Thanks and have a good week.

Danny Denhard

Focus Leader