Your CULTUREmetrics are what provide workplace enhancement and foster business growth. Forging your culture must be deliberately developed, daily. So before we can even discuss CULTUREmetrics, leaders need to develop actionable, high impact ways to help breathe new life into old habits.
Ensuring your company culture is a tangible commodity that actually impacts the business in a positive way; and not a nonentity that only pretends to serve the business, is a 3-step process:
1. Leaders- Hire for culture by focusing on applicant’s values and motivators. It’s your job to protect your culture by preventing the wrong people with the wrong beliefs and attitudes from entering the business in the first place. Theoretically, jointly-held beliefs and perspectives are what aligns a culture, but finding staff who can embellish your vision, is also part of this equation.
2. New Hires– Consider welcoming new employees with a culture ‘training kit’. Your kit might include: Communicating your story from origin to current day; explaining each of your CULTUREmetrics and their role in the day to day business; identifying behaviours that support your culture and those that debilitate it; funny business bloopers; past high impact experiences and lessons learned; examples of team and business accomplishments and failures; recommended reading; and whatever else makes your new hires want to share in the experience. **Involve your existing staff in creating and updating the content of your culture training kit. This will keep them personally connected to new hires, and your mandates.
3. Existing Employees– They need to receive a continual kick in the (culture) pants to always bring them back to the company’s sum of values and its core essence.
Culture complacency is one the biggest threats to business sustainability
A culture should not be considered a stable entity though. It should be dynamic and always developing…not a destination.
You as the leader, must keep your culture’s immune system strong by continually reinforcing staff roles in the company culture and challenging their culture accountability. Always look for new ways to strengthen the glue by giving your staff a voice. One good way to do that, would be to appoint staff as cultural attachés and assign someone each week to be in charge of finding ways to foster the company culture.
Is it time to introduce some ‘new drivers’ into your old (stagnant) culture?
5 CULTUREmetrics we’re watching:
** Remember, as with any project implementation, you need a climate that cultivates engagement, as well as the proper resources and processes, so that you can funnel that engagement, into a prototype.
The cost of doing business increases in direct relation to staff turnover, so a culture that aggressively advocates retention programming, is worth its weight in gold. A culture of retention is sensitive to providing personal gratification to staff through self-expression, having a voice, and at least some control over one’s destiny. Without these motivators, staff performance levels are guaranteed to decrease, eventually causing either a voluntary, or involuntary separation from the business. With retention programming, comes monitoring staff turnover. To calculate your staff turnover, divide the number of staff members who have left, by the number of staff members employed during that same timeframe, and multiply by 100. For example: From January 1 to June 30 you had 40 staff members, and 5 left. The formula would be 5 ÷ 40 = .125 x 100% = 12.5% turnover. Get to know your turnover rates and see the importance of a culture built on retention.
A culture that fosters personal and professional development, including in-house career advancement via succession planning for potential managers, and internships for hands-on spa professionals, is a philosophy that ranks in the top tier for employees from industries of all descriptions, around the world. I once heard a Spa Owner say ”This staff training thing is killing me”. I was dumbfounded and speechless at the time, but since then I’ve heard an even better one: “If you think training them and watching them leave is difficult, try not training them and watching them stay”. Developing an in-house culture that is steeped in higher education can help create jobs, fill them, and keep them.
Competition is absolutely pushing us to innovate, and now is the time to weave innovation into your company culture. We all see things differently and good ideas can come from anywhere. Today, leaders need a collective support system of innovators who are encouraged to think more independently and creatively. You need to encourage wild ideas without judgment and persuade staff to question how things are done. Compel staff to tune into what’s trending and to build on those ideas in a bigger and better way. As the leader, ask your staff clear, specific, value driven questions, on how to improve in a certain area. Focus on your strongest team innovators and appoint them as project managers, because we know their voices can build upon new ideas and participation, exponentially. Innovation means taking risks and making mistakes, but if you aren’t jumping on this trend, you can be sure your staff are gradually losing their motivation, and will eventually lose their loyalty.
The fear that comes with transparency, is that you as the leader may feel that you will have to admit to some level of failure. But a culture of transparent truth cultivates respect and trust, and can be pivotal in improving staff morale and boosting management support. Staff who are in the know, feel important and are therefore more accepting of authority, more tolerant, agreeable and even-handed. This kind of ‘pitched-in’ work environment is less judgmental and dramatic, and therefore more productive. Opening your books and your communication, means opening new doors.
5. Fun Factor
Happiness can be a business model! Have you ever asked your employees if they had fun today?… or are you afraid to ask that question? With spas now employing more of the younger generations, the importance of changing a fearful culture, seated in counter-productivity and boredom, is more pressing than ever. Providing a wonderful experience for your staff requires you taking the time to learn about your employees, to find out what interests them and what they consider to be fun. Often it’s a combination of crazy ideas mixed with diverse work experiences…outlets and inlets.
So here we have created the ideal spa culture. It’s one that works hard every day to keep its staff; who fosters their expertise through education; nurtures their creative minds; involves them in the business; and encourages them to have fun while they’re doing it.
I don’t want to sound naïve… I know how much work this is. But only by you starting something, can it be the start of something good.
What are the new drivers you will inject into your spa culture?