When growing your organization you seek greatness, not mediocrity. You hope to recruit ingenuity, not bland worker bees. You desire to empower inspirational leaders, not just autocratic managers.
In growing companies the natural leaders are often appointed as managers without any official introduction to leadership styles, motivation techniques, or communication methods. This works great when a company is still in its infancy stage, but how do you maintain the culture at your company as growth increases and the need for qualified managers becomes exponential?
As you are probably aware, the attitude of a team is generally a reflection of the attitude of its leaders. Some people naturally gravitate towards fostering optimistic and trusting relationships, but other people, who may be brilliant in a business sense, simply aren’t aware of the concrete benefits of slight personality tweaks. You want these people in management positions due to their in depth knowledge, but you also want to protect the culture at your company, which is invariably a reflection of your attitude and beliefs.
My recommendation is to tackle this scenario in two ways: 1. Formal leadership training conducted by a third party. 2. Internal leadership training designed by current leaders that have a solid understanding of the company culture that you wish to encourage.
Formal leadership training covers the topics that might be acquired in a college level leadership class. This will help your leaders determine their personal leadership style and will aid them in determining the different communication styles that are helpful when managing a varied group of employees.
There are also tried and tested techniques for inspiring and motivating employees, encouraging teamwork, and how to provide feedback in a constructive way. For these areas there is really no need to attempt to reinvent the wheel when experts have been studying these topics for decades.
The second level of training provides the opportunity for you to personalize the employee experience at your company. If there are any “hard lines” that you would not accept as behavior then it should be covered in this personalized training. As an example, I believe that yelling or expressing temper in a work environment is never productive, so I might emphasize that there is never a scenario where this is accepted at my company. There is generally a lot of focus on the customer experience within an organization, but I believe that clearly defining the employee experience holds just as much weight.
It is important to remember that the attitude of your managers reflects your attitude. The attitude of teams reflects their leaders and managers. And the customer experience often reflects the attitude of your employees collectively. The end result is the result of the path taken so there really aren’t any major shortcuts if you wish to protect and foster your company culture.
Thank you for reading and please let me know if you have other ideas that will protect the company culture as it grows.