People are driven by rewards and affirmations. As a business owner, you’re highly aware of this — after all, it’s why your employees need a paycheck to come to work every day. But you also know that there’s more to it than just money, it’s about feeling valued as people.
Building a great company culture is about more than just picking the right people and paying them fairly, though that’s the required foundation. If you want your employees to really like each other, you’re going to get them to overcome natural tendencies like shyness, and watch out for disputes so that they can be resolved before they turn into disasters.
Here are five ways to motivate your employees to truly be a team.
Settle on Core Values & Mission Early
Before I became an entrepreneur, I used to laugh at company mission statements. They seemed so pointless — just another piece of marketing mumbo jumbo. That belief is true, but only if the mission statement really is crafted for the outside world’s benefit, not your team.
Early on — or as soon as possible, if your brand is already established — it’s incredibly important that you and the rest of your leadership craft a mission statement for your brand. This statement shouldn’t have to do with revenue or profit; your mission statement is why your company exists. Still not convinced? Remember: companies with a high sense of purpose outperform those without purpose by 400 percent.
How is your brand making the world a better place? What value are you offering? What are your core values? A great statement embodies all of these questions, and is strong enough to drive your team forward and motivate them to be their best selves, even when it’s difficult.
Structure Is Everything
How do entry level marketing assistants know that they’re lower than your Chief Marketing Officer? What cues, other than pay, do they get? The obvious answer is structure.
The people you report to are the people you view as higher up in the organization than you — which means that you measure your abilities and worth to the company against them. Equally importantly, the hierarchy of your organization shows what matters overall.
A great example of this is when Apple famously elevated its design team so that the only person they reported to was (and, well, is) the CEO. This started the brand on the journey to producing the best designed products on the market; exactly as intended.
Now that you have your mission and your organizational structure, it’s time for the everyday maintenance phase. The most important one is frequent communication. This is a simple requirement, but the most easy to understand: it’s difficult to feel close to someone you never talk to.
Schedule, at minimum, a weekly meeting with each of your managers, and make sure that every team member, no matter remote, contract, or otherwise, speaks with their team and their superior at least as frequently. Encourage people to chat about non-work related topics, instead of punishing it. Lastly, give them some things to talk about that are a little more fun than the latest slide deck.
Make Time For Fun
Yes, work and productivity are important, but they aren’t sustainable if they’re the only things your teams find when they’re at work or interacting with your company. The simple truth is that if you don’t make time for fun activities for your teams, you’ll have a silent office and employees who can’t wait to go home.
Always Remember: Leadership sets the tone.
Lastly, as with all relationships, telling other people how to act only works if you follow your own rules. If you want your employees to be friendly, you’ll need to be friendly. Want them to be passionate about the brand? Show them your drive.
If you want your company culture to be healthy and thriving, it will take plenty of work – and showing your teams just how much it matters to you is one of the key factors in succeeding.