It’s as Easy as 123 Getting Started

Small to mid-size companies, those with 20 to 200 employees can often reach a point where they get a little stagnant in growth. There are steps that can be taken to achieve new levels in growth and it all starts with listening … really listening. The process begins by performing diagnostic measures to identify patterns in the company culture. There are three basic steps as easy as 1,2,3.

Step 1

Bring together the top leadership and ask them to share their perspective about the company: those things they see as going great, what it is they love about it, and what could use improvement. Open-ended questions will provide the best feedback to utilize for change. Once this is complete, ask the next level of management the same round of questions. These conversations should be done face to face or by phone if necessary to assure personal attention, and there should be no time limit. Take time to really hear what is being said.

Continue this process with employees of the company. If there are too many people to interview, it is okay to narrow it by allowing a certain number of employees from each department to sign up. There may be people who do not want to participate and that is also okay.

Step 2

The goal is to look for patterns in the feedback – both good and bad. This is referred to as checking the temperature of the company culture and is vital to do a proper alignment for growth. After surveying the leadership team and employees, it is time to assess the patterns you have uncovered and create your company’s rules of the game, which is the foundation of culture of the organization. The culture is comprised of a set of rules on what is acceptable behavior and how people in your company will treat one another.

Once patterns are recognized and rules established, alignment can begin. It all starts with the leadership team. Getting top management on the same page is crucial to sustainable growth. People are often so busy serving customers or performing daily functions that they forget to work on themselves as leaders and they become ineffective. There is an unwritten rule that states at least 10 percent of your time should be spent developing yourself. This is true in business as well as personal life.

Step 3

Keep training and learning. You earn more when you learn more. Change is only sustainable when behaviors become habit. Check back with leadership and see who really wants to grow and who would best apply the learning to benefit the most people. Sometimes it’s the most enthusiastic leader and sometimes it’s the person with the greatest point of leverage or impact. The positive vibe from training will last only about three weeks unless it is passed along to as many employees as possible.

So, to recap … survey leadership and employees, find the patterns and create the rules of the game, and identify the team members best suited for training so that the impact will be greatest. Allow yourself time for change to happen and to see results.

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Peg, Pete, Michelle

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