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The Foundation

Toxic culture? Retention issues? Low production? Revenue loss?

These are only a few symptoms of a business that’s suffering from a poor foundation or a complete lack of. Do you find yourself there? It’s a frustrating place to be in business and the result can be devastating. 

I speak often publicly about the “foundation” of great business. It seems profound, but it’s really just common sense. The problem lies in the fact that business owners and leaders are often too close to the problem to see it. This is where outside perspective, employee feedback or coaching/consulting can really add valuable insights. It’s very difficult to fix what you don’t know is broken…or missing!

The Signs

  • Poor attendance!
    • Let’s be honest…it’s MUCH easier to get out of bed when we are excited about what lies ahead of us. A case of the Sunday night blues happens to all of us, but a well-placed employee with strong leadership WILL want to show up! Do you notice your staff is calling in sick more often or coming in late/leaving early?
  • Toxic Culture
    • Culture is arguably one of the most important aspects for individuals in the workplace. Gossip, bullying, unhealthy competition, and anger in the workplace is a BIG red flag…regardless of what’s written in the handbook. 
  • People Quit
    • Turnover happens, but too much turnover is costly and VERY bad for all aspects of business. Do you have a difficult time retaining staff members? How long do staff usually stay onboard? Do people just “no show” or give two weeks’ notice? Do you find yourself often firing people? 
  • Revenue Loss or a Lack of Growth
    • Every serious business should be tracking growth, and growth should overall move UP not consistently down. If you find yourself going backwards, it’s time to start asking YOURSELF what you may be doing wrong or not seeing. Healthy things GROW! 
  • Apathy
    • People that don’t care, don’t stay, and if they do stay…they don’t care. That’s bad news all around. These people drag everyone down with their energy!

While these are only a few of the symptoms of a weak foundation, they are BIG ones. If you’re a business owner reading this…you know exactly what I’m talking about. You’ve seen it. If you’re an employee reading this…you also know exactly what I’m talking about. So…what’s the fix?

Foundational Piece – Leadership

First, I’d like to say…we are ALL leaders in our own specific ways. Leadership is a major foundational piece of business, as everything stems from this in one way or another. Leaders set the pace. There are a handful of things amazing leaders do! 

  1. Great leaders create leaders in their business! It’s not top down, it’s bottom up! Control is not their objective; it’s about leveraging the strengths of those within their business and making leaders out of EVERYONE! That means a great leader understands those they lead, and they allow them to lead in their own unique way. One of the most important questions I ask dynamic leaders who struggle with holding on is; Do you want control, or do you want results? Both rarely happen simultaneously.
  2. Great leaders are highly accountable and fallible. When mistakes happen or things go wrong, a solid leader asks themselves what THEY could have done better FIRST. They do not point fingers, they lead, therefore they take the first hit. This builds trust with their team and allows others to see that mistakes are opportunities to safely grow!
  3. Great leaders follow through. One of the biggest complaints I hear and where some of the strongest leaders I know struggle is with follow through. Many leaders are visionaries, and in that the struggle to complete projects before moving on to the next is a common thing. Once leaders become aware of how the lack of follow through impacts their more structured staff members, they have the opportunity to put more plans in place to ensure objectives are being met!

Without this piece in place, the next two foundational pieces would struggle to be in alignment with a healthy business.

Foundational Piece – Communication

George Bernard Shaw said it best, “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” 

We all communicate, but what we say and what we hear is very different. How much time one person needs to process a thought before responding will vary greatly from that of another person. Direct verses indirect communication is received differently depending on the ears hearing it. 

Communication makes the world go-round but is the single most complained about thing by employees (and arguably anyone in a relationship with another human being). Understanding your own communication style and the style of those within your business will GREATLY improve how messages are delivered, received, and acted upon. The art of skillful communication is LEARNED not acquired at birth…and can make miracles happen. Sales increase, team dynamics improve, conflict resolves itself and people thrive. 

Foundational Piece – Culture

This is last, but certainly not least. In fact,…it’s the goal of the other two! Culture, especially since 2020 is one of the MOST important aspects of employment for more people than ever before. The Great Resignation is very aligned with the fact that people woke up and realized that they HATED what they did and where they did it. The money was no longer as valuable as the time spent in a poor culture. I spoke to so many people, and still do in regards to exactly this. People crave more, and rightfully so. The cold capitalist business model that puts profit over people is dying. Individuals (more and more daily) are leaning into something greater for themselves…purpose, alignment, and deep satisfaction! 

If you’re looking to assess your own culture, please follow the link HERE for some valuable questions to ask yourself and your staff. We all have a culture, the question is…is it the culture we want? If you’re looking to assess and make real changes, please contact me HERE to set up a free consultation! My purpose and passion is to create stronger businesses that employ the best individuals!