Categories
Focus News

Are You Creating The Right Company Culture?

Let me ask you a couple of questions…

Have you held a recent Zoom or Teams call where there was an atmosphere?

Did it feel like tension was controlling the call? 

Did a seemingly trivial question create a ripple throughout your business?

If the answer to those questions is yes: you’re not alone. In today’s chaotic workplace, the feeling of a business – the company’s interactions and behaviours – have never been as important. 

If the answer is no: believe me, think again.
I’m willing to bet you have experienced these situations.

Maybe you’re just not seeing it or know what is happening within your business. You could be too disconnected from the business – running through obstacles versus tackling them. 

These are the feeling of a business.

And these feelings, or senses, are just a layer of what Company Culture is. Often high performing businesses have a healthy and guiding company culture where everyone can add value.

Company Culture is co-created, not dictated by the leadership. 

But Company Culture is more than the feeling.

It includes the vibe, the connections between colleagues, the frictions, the unexplainable that makes the teams click.

It includes unwritten expectations, cross-functional collaboration, the reduction of egos, and work pride.

Company Culture has several important components.

It encompasses…

  • The environment you set
  • The workplace (including remote working spaces)
  • The connections between the teams
  • The chemistry your colleagues have
  • The acceptable and unacceptable behaviours

The workplace is now more than ‘the place we all use to perform our work tasks’.

There is an updated version that must include working from home and remotely.

We need to know work can happen anywhere, that we are still the same company with the same objectives, and we can grow personally and professionally. 


The way we work is shifting.

The world is shifting, and so too is the workplace.

In this move towards a successful hybrid workplace, the right Company Culture becomes an unfair advantage for those who have embraced Emotional Intelligence (EQ) as much as IQ.

So take it! It will help you hire the best employees, retain your best performers and develop an award-winning business.

Here is a list of actions you can take to make your workplace and Company Culture work for the next three to five years: 

  • Co-create guiding principles that everyone signs up to; these will act as pillars and guide your decision making 
  • Create a company compass to help guide every decision, especially when you’re unavailable 
  • Enable personal development plans and have direct and actionable steps to take to let your team know how to be successful 
  • Build psychological safety by connecting colleagues 
  • Develop your employees’ EQ as much as IQ – the more compassion you build, the better 
  • Have an updated knowledge centre to keep everyone up to date on the what and the why 
  • Build a hybrid workplace where you book in and book out of the office – knowing where and when people will be working helps reduce stress and improve trust 
  • If there are issues, create ‘power half hours’ to clear the air and remove stumbling blocks. Healthy debate leads to more open and honest conversation, reduces problems and reconnects people  
  • Leverage asynchronous communications – be more deliberate in written communications vs having too many face-to-face or online meetings 
  • Build separate spaces for collaboration, for heads down (concentration), and to eat together 

This article was supplied to The Business Clubhouse magazine supporting Hitting The Wall Podcast I appeared on.

Listen To The Supporting Podcast:

A conversation with Danny Denhard of Focus Winning At Business with Ash Taylor

In this week’s episode I chat to Danny Denhard from Focus who’s on a mission to change the world of work. We discuss all things culture and leadership, digging into how businesses thrive when they put culture in the workplace first. You’ll learn about the power of creating personal eco-systems, and why enabling conflict in the workplace is a good thing. We talk about business being a badge of honour, prioritising culture before the workplace collapses, and why gossip is so important. Danny also takes through his personal manifesto for change, why being back-to-back is damaging productivity and whether the new habits we’ve created in the last 12 months are beneficial to people and businesses A fascinating discussion Weekly digest Of the best articles from the week you likely haven’t read – https://mustreads.substack.com Weekly inspiration every Monday on improving leadership – https://blog.focus.business/leaders Focus aka fixing the broken world of work Website https://www.focus.business/ Manifesto – https://www.focus.business/manifesto Connect on social media with me https://dannydenhard.com/linkedin https://dannydenhard.com/twitter

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?