I realize the title of the blog may be a little aggressive, especially considering the overall tone of 99% of the other postings on this site, but as you’ll read in this blog – it not only fits…it’s appropriate.

If you work for, manage, own, and/or operate a company that is having trouble attracting quality employees, or keeping them once you do hire them; this is for you.

I can sum it up in one word: culture.

Culture is the absolute most powerful aspect of any organization. Culture is about behavior. It’s the personality of the organization, and people do what people see.

A mentor of mine said that culture eats vision for lunch. He meant, if you don’t have a culture that is truly conducive to growth and success, the quality and clarity of your vision is moot. If you don’t have the buy-in of the people that are responsible for executing your vision, you’re going to fail. John Maxwell says it best:

“The leader finds the dream and then the people. The people find the leader and then the dream.” (21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership)

People don’t go along with people they don’t get along with. The good news is that it’s not difficult to develop a culture truly conducive to success for everyone involved! It’s important to understand a couple things, first, though. For instance, most people don’t believe in themselves. Too many people believe they’re destined to fail. Not only that, most people also lack someone in their life that has faith in them. Then they come to work for a company that constantly reminds them of both of those self-limiting beliefs. Again, I say, there’s an easy fix to this.

One of my favorite quotes:

“People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” – John C. Maxwell

In most companies, it’s just easier to fire someone than it is to train, coach, develop, and equip them. It’s a sad fact that 95% of “leaders” never develop another leader. I use quotations because the entire purpose behind leadership is to develop other leaders. If you’re not adding value to people, you’re not a leader…you’re a boss. They’re not following you because they want to go wherever you go and charge the hill for you, they’re following you because at the moment you’re the means in which they pay their bills. Trust me when I say the moment something else comes along, they’re gone. Focus on growing people, and your business will grow faster automatically.

Here are 5 things you can do to immediately improve (or create) a culture that people will want to be a part of:

  1. Value people. People want to know that what they’re doing matters and that someone actually cares. 
  2. Think of new ways to add value to people. Believe in them before they succeed. It’s easy to have faith in people that are already successful, but it’s much more valuable when you’re able to show people you believe in them BEFORE they’ve “proven themselves” 
  3. Look for ways to add to value to people. Emphasize their strengths. Find reasons to congratulate and offer praise. 
  4. Do things to add value to people. When you congratulate your people – do so publicly. Any reprimands should always happen in private, but the opposite is true for praise and recognition. 
  5. Encourage others to add value to people. This is what causes a culture to permeate an entire building and company. When you add value to people, offer praise and congratulations publicly, and then encourage everyone to do the same thing…it starts to catch on. Instead of gossip and backbiting, your team members are encouraging, empowering, and lifting each other! 

You probably picked up on the pattern there, and it likely seems elementary at best. The fact is…hardly anyone actually does this. It’s impossible to sustain growth without equipping and developing people. Take the time and do the little things that show people you care. It’s really that important.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Richard Branson:

“Invest in and train your people so that they could walk away from your company and be total rockstars elsewhere in the industry…but treat them so well that they’d never consider it.”