If your business has been doing the same things in the same way for a long time, it could be stuck in a repetitive rut. More commonly this is a result of a poor company culture, which takes perseverance and consistent commitment to combat.We’ll discuss this in more depth later. There’s a reason that 94% of executive plus 88% of employees point to having a distinct workplace culture as an important factor in the success of any business.
You might be able to feel it. Maybe there’s a lack of enthusiasm among staff and complacency has started to take hold. Maybe your customer service is starting to slide.
Perhaps negativity has begun to creep into customer feedback in a way that it never used to. Or maybe your bottom line has become sluggish.
These things are bad enough, but what’s even worse is when they happen without you realising it. You might think you’re ticking along nicely but if you take a closer look, your business could be stagnating.
You might have an uneasy sense that you need to address these problems, but you’re deep in denial and do nothing about it.
You know you need to inspire positive change, but where on earth do you start?
How long has it been since you did something truly new or exciting? Something to invigorate staff or inject new life into your products or services?
If this sounds like your business, it’s time to take action….
Inspire Positive Change…
Some problems in your business can be resolved easily. For example, if your IT is outdated, you can invest in new technology.
But sometimes you just get the sense that there’s a general weariness in the very fabric of your business – what we call your culture.
Your culture affects everything – your people, services and ultimately, your business success.
Businesses that have been going for many years do get weary. That’s ok. But you have to recognise and address this before it drags you down too far.
If you feel your business needs a new lease of life – you need to shake things up, inspire creativity and boost growth – your culture is a good place to start.
Join The Culture Club…
Culture is sometimes seen as a ‘fuzzy’ term, something that’s hard to pin down. However, for your business, getting your culture right is absolutely crucial.
It’s the heart of your organisation. It defines who you are, where you’re going and how you do things.
Your culture starts with your vision, values and goals and filters down into every part of your business, from the basics like how you on-board new staff and train your managers, to the hierarchy of your organisation itself, where the power truly lies, your customs and practices, the stories you tell about your work, and the tales people tell about you, as well as your processes and both the level and manner of communication taking place.
A company culture is multi-layered, multi-faceted and infinitely complex. It’s incredibly easy to create a superficial culture and believe you have this box ticked, but you really need to dig deeper.
Your culture shouldn’t exist for the sake of looking good on paper. It should inspire people – your staff, your customers, your prospects, your competitors, and you.
Start by going back to basics – do a complete culture audit to find out what it currently looks like.
Talk to staff and customers. Aim to find out:
What is the true level of staff engagement?
How do your customers define you?
Do your processes support your ideal culture?
Next, you need to define what your ideal culture looks like and work up a plan to create and embed it across your organisation.
Embedding change across a workforce that has been stuck in the same negative habits for a long time is very difficult. It takes real dedication, and sometimes a bit of help from change management professionals.
If you can get it right though, you will have a business that’s fighting fit and ready for the future.
Ring The Changes…
I passionately believe that change is good.
People are not hard-wired to deal with change. Our natural reaction is one of fear and resistance. But in our 21st century world, change is a necessity.
The pace of life and business is so frantic that if you don’t change, you will very quickly get left behind.
Take a look at your people, products and services, and processes. When did you last make any significant positive changes?
Rethink the way you hire and on-board new staff, the training and coaching offered to managers, or how you motivate teams.
If you’ve neglected to keep up with new tech now is the time to jump on board.
Consider embracing new working methods and systems – whether this is agile working, Cloud computing, refreshed marketing, or Lean processes.
Or look at your product and service offering. Consumer demands and expectations are constantly evolving, are you keeping up?
When it comes to any kind of organisational or transformational change, this is incredibly hard to get right.
Without the buy-in of your employees, any widespread operational or cultural changes you try to implement will fail. To make your changes a success, you need to lay the foundations with high levels of employee engagement.
Engagement is another concept that is often misunderstood but can have a huge impact on business success. You can explore this further in my blog here…
A refreshed culture and revived workforce can open the way for innovation.
This is the real game-changer for businesses. If you want to inspire positive change, encouraging innovation is a definite winner.
Innovation will bring about not just new products or services, but new ways of working, new ways of communicating and new attitudes.
Part of the reason for employee disengagement or apathy could be that they fear trying anything new. They are stuck on the same old treadmill. If you want innovation to flourish, you have to take away the fear of failure.
Just paving the way for innovation can refresh your employees – it gives them the space to be creative and shows they are trusted to try out new ideas.
Inspiring positive change through innovation doesn’t have to mean coming up with a ground-breaking new idea. You can start small. Seek out employee feedback, create break-out spaces in the workplace or put together a specialist team with your best creative minds.
Let’s Get Started…
Change is not easy, but you can’t afford to stand still in today’s business climate. If you’ve recognised that you need to inspire positive change in your business, that’s an important first step. Get yourself into this mindset and focus on achieving it.
However you decide to shake things up, just get out there and get started. Shake off complacency, stop procrastinating and take that leap.
Your people will be refreshed, more engaged and more productive. Your business will stop coasting along and start racing ahead.
If you want to know more about inspiring innovation, change management, culture change or empowering your employees, sign up below for my free video series on The CPR Method, and see how it can transform your business…