Can you relate?
Starting a new job, maybe with a well-known company. Very proud to have been selected amongst many other candidates and have already mapped out your next 10 years of career evolution and the celebrations along the way with your new colleagues.
Day 1. You’re all ready, super excited and a bit nervous. You walk in expecting the welcome party and…nothing. Not even a hello. You sit at your desk wondering what to do, you eat lunch alone.
Maybe today was just a bad day.
Then the whole week is just a repeat of day 1 and here is the truth, the culture of your new company sucks!
Or maybe you started there a few years back and it wasn’t that bad then or didn’t impact you as much, but now you’ve just been promoted manager and you realize all the politics that is going on in the background.
There are different level of bad culture and if it is toxic to the point that you start feeling physically ill on Sunday night, just leave. It’s never worth it.
Sometimes it’s not that dramatic and for whatever reasons, it makes better sense for you to stay. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about the situation.
Actually as the manager, you are responsible for the culture within your team, regardless of what is happening around you. I would go even further as to say that even if the business has a terrible culture; you can still have a great one in your team, and here is how.
Identify the gap
Usually not everything is “broken” in the culture, or not everything that is broken is a problem for you.
So first determine what is really a peeve pet. Collaboration between employees? Values of the business? Way people talk to each other?
Be very clear to your team about what the culture needs to be. What is not acceptable within your team even if it might be common practice in the business.
Lead the way.
There is no room for slip ups. You must always demonstrate the behaviour you have asked of your team and keep a positive mindset.
If you ask your team to be respectful and they hear you swear at someone or about someone, you are sending conflicting messages.
If they hear you complain about how the culture of the business is terrible and feel you are finding it difficult to cope, they will question your abilities to stand by them against the rest of the company.
Reward good behaviour
And address inappropriate ones. You need to show that you mean it and encourage and incentivize others to come to the party. There is no point in proclaiming a new way of “doing things around here” and then not follow through.
We all know that a great culture brings great results. So by changing the culture in your team, you will attract a different level of performances. This will be noticed and will influence other managers to create the same changes.
You can also make sure that you develop relationships with individuals who are the most influential. Look for the informal leaders. Those that people follow even though they are not in a position of leadership. Subtly make passing comments and suggestions. Do the same with your own manager. If you have to, make it sound like it was their idea.
It is primordial that you gain full awareness of what you can control and influence and what you can’t, and focus on where you can change things.
You can’t single handedly change a whole business but you can affect your own team.
Know your values and stay true to them, but before you start this process you must be fully committed to it. If you just want to test the water chances are it will backfire. You need to realize that once you have gotten the ball rolling, you can’t leave when it gets too tough, because thsi would leave your team exposed.
If you are working in a great business with a terrible culture and you don’t want to leave but don’t want to put up with it either? Book a time now for a free strategy session.
To your success!