Do you have a sticky organization? Or is it more like Teflon? Do your employees feel a sense of belonging and ownership? Do they take pride in their work? Dr. Dave Weiman simplifies what it means to have a sticky culture and some warning signs to avoid in your business. Stick around!
Key Talking Points
- What do we mean by “sticky”? A place beyond just where someone works- they feel connected to the place. It would be very difficult for another shop to pull them away. They value the place much more than just the salary.
- What are some of the elements of a sticky organization? Shared values. Trust. An “ownership” culture where people feel a proprietary interest in the shop. Compelling goals that are achievable but might be a stretch. A sense that “what we have here is special.” Team members feel like you listen and respond to them. Selective about who you bring on, and the existing team members know that. Telling stories about prior events or successes that support the can-do culture. Personal connections (the leader takes a personal interest in the team members). A sense of having a future there. The camaraderie that’s a mix of professional and personal. A true sense of belonging. (Can include a common “language” or inside jokes/terms that help create a culture.
- How would you know if your place is not “sticky”? Turnover. People don’t go the extra mile. Customers are not treated well as a function of employees not caring much. Conflict and spats over seemingly small things. Lack of accountability. Low energy/enthusiasm.
- Mistakes- They follow what they’ve heard other companies do or something they read that involves a significant culture change without considering the thoughts and ideas of their team members first. Making the place about the owner instead of the team. Few avenues for getting ahead/getting promoted. Blame. Not getting involved when there’s a problem. No pride in the facility itself (the shop is dirty and disorganized).
- How to approach creating a sticky culture. Be clear about the definition. Enlist help from the team members. Listen and respond. Take a genuine personal interest in team members. Create a “feedback” culture. Make pathways to higher-level roles very clear. Reward behavior that shows a genuine focus on customers — can be even small things like a convenience store gift card. Clean and well-organized workplace. Be aware of your competitors and what they do to keep (or lose) employees.
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