Last weeks newsletter was all about what the gut feeling is in your work place, more commonly described as a workplace culture!

We focused on how environment is a large contributor of creating a work place culture.

This week I want to discuss an equal contributor to workplace culture and that is; relationships.

Companies that are built to last and sustain the bumps along the way are those that start with quality relationships internally. There are two critical components that determine the health of relationships; the Trust that is formed between an organisation and its employees, and the ongoing Communication required to keep people informed and allow them to be heard.

I came across this awesome story of a 30 year old CEO in the States, Dan Price who decided to take a pay cut himself to boost the salaries of his employees, demonstrating equal earnings and building a team that wants to do right by the company.

He also introduced unlimited annual leave and other benefits that would seem certainly high risk, but in actual fact the results have been amazing. His staff have naturally not taken advantage of these generous benefits, in fact the morale and motivation has increased, people want to work hard and do well for the company, proving increase in productivity and well respected relationships formed. As if that wasn’t enough of a positive impact, Dan talks of this approach attracting new clients and revenues skyrocketing with feedback that people would rather do business with companies like Dan’s who share similar values, and staff that are happy to be there.

The ripple effect is great relationships are formed with the customers.

If you want to know more about Dan and his current business strategy check out the link below to see a recent interview.…

An interesting contrast would be poor old McDonalds, who seems to be getting a real bashing in the media at the moment about their culture within the franchisees. In the US the evidence of poor financial results are largely being blamed for lack of truth, trust and communication between company and franchisees. See here for recent article on this issue.…

To create a climate where truth is heard, look at how your business is building trust and communicating throughout the teams. I attribute Jim Collins, author Good to Great who suggests some basic practices to create a climate of truth:

  1. Lead with questions, not answers
  2. Engage in dialogue and debate, not coercion
  3. Conduct autopsies, without blame (a good debrief)
  4. Build red flag mechanisms that turn information in to information that cannot be ignored

All this culture talk really is quite simple. Businesses are built on relationships and people like doing business with people they like.

When I reflect on the few relationships in my life that have ended or to be blunt; failed, I must admit it was either trust or communication that became the “reason” why it no longer worked.

Lets keep business simple and work on our relationships, the rest is easy.

Go and Inspire