I have been in the tech industry for years.  Over my time, companies have grown and companies have failed.  Each time I have seen a company succeed, it is in a big part due to company culture.  Company culture can make or break a company.  The employees, their attitude towards work, attitude at work, and enjoyment of work can make or break a company.

Be the Person You Want Your Team Members To Be

It is important to be the person you want your team members to be.  The term leading from the front is a great way to start this.  Any new leader at a company should go in and experience every department or job that they can before they start to make changes.  This gives them a solid feel for what each position does, what they need, and what is being done right.  When you mirror the image you want your team members to be, the others will follow you.  That is part of leadership.

Don’t Just Notice The Negative

Noticing the negative that goes on in a company is very easy.  You can see negative impacts in reports and even by just talking with customers.  Addressing each negative issue is very important.  What is even more important is to recognize the positive things that you see every day.  If your team only hears negative comments from you, that is all they will associate you with.  A negative boss will grow quickly to be disliked and may lose their status as a true leader.

This goes hand in hand with the fact that people are used to considering feedback as criticism.  In most early careers at fast food restaurants and grocery stores, this is exactly how feedback is used.  Fostering an atmosphere where feedback is used to help people grow.  Your team members need to know that.

Fostering A Sense of Self-Leadership

Everyone in the company can benefit from the skill of self-leadership.  It is how good leaders are able to stay on track, show up to meetings on time, do what is right when it is hard.  In it’s essential nature, self-leadership is as simple as self-motivation.  However, where it differs is the fact that self-leadership means taking charge of your direction, creating a direction for one’s self, learning to work with a team, and having high expectations for one’s self.

Creating A Positive Work Environment

There are a lot of ways to create a positive work environment in the modern world.  Sure soda and snacks at work are a way to help make team members happier but that doesn’t do anything about the work itself.  One way that I believe you can really change a work place is to take the drone feeling away from the workplace.  Part of the way to do this is to get rid of words like employee as much as possible.  Team members helps to foster a sense of team and comradery.

Another way to do this is to have management and supervisory teams learn more beyond the names of those under them, just like you should be doing.  This helps to add humanity to your team, something that makes each person feel recognized and understood, thus making more efficient team members.

Host Events

Work shouldn’t be all business no matter how much traditionalists say so.  Events such as family barbeques, bowling nights, and the like help to get your team engaged with the company.  Many long-standing businesses have such nights.  The culture of any business can be built when the team bonds.

Creating a company culture is more than just parties and happy hours, or telling people how much your company culture “rocks”.  Make sure that potential new hires get the chance to actually see the positive culture you have worked so hard to foster at your company.  This will create an even higher desire for them to join your team and recruit their friends in the future.

What do you think? Does this resonate with you and your teams?  Share your stories in the comments below.

-Todd

Todd Ringleman

Todd Ringleman

Founder, CEO at RAY • ALLEN INC
Todd Ringleman is Founder and CEO of RAY • ALLEN INC. Under Todd’s leadership, RAY • ALLEN INC has grown from a disruptive idea into a leading partner in the IT Asset Management and Recurring Revenue market.
Todd Ringleman