I believe that sometimes, sadly, a workplace can feel a bit like an adult day care.
In this episode, I’ll show you how you can stop the behaviors that negate your ability to safely lead at your bank, and keep you awake at night.
If you’re the kind of leader:
- Who feels you have a good culture, but there are just a few people who “stir the pot” and bring in their drama—whining, complaining, game playing and other destructive behaviors—and it stomps on your soul when those things happen because you can see how it takes away your ability to lead a good culture, hang tight because I’ll show you how you can take back your peace of mind.
- Or maybe you’re the kind of leader who reports that your culture is near perfect and those behaviors hardly happen— hallelujah, that’s fabulous! You’re going to love some ideas to make sure that no one destructive person can destroy the great culture you’ve created.
- Or if you are disheartened because you’ve seen the figures about how those behaviors cause disengagement and what that does to your ability to grow profit AND have a good night’s sleep, I’m REALLY here for you today because life is too short to have someone take your energy away. NOBODY gets to take your energy.
If you look at Gallup’s statistics, you know that EVERY business is facing challenges in having the culture they want. So you’re not alone.
Now, I’m going to give you a four-step approach that will make your results dramatically different in a few weeks and give you the ability to exhale deeply, knowing you are safe when it comes to workplace drama.
Step 1: Fluffy approaches to improving culture (such as bringing in a motivational speaker that makes the “motivated” happier for a few days) do nothing to stop the destructive behaviors that hurt the energy of everyone in the workplace.
You need to understand that in the absence of formalized “agreements” and the education to get people to immediately and sustainably live those agreements, the “false attempts” often actually make the culture worse because they think “management doesn’t get it.”
Step 2: Instead of just hoping the culture changes, you want to set some solid “non-negotiables”—people need to know what gets them OFF the bus. With more than one in four people receiving treatment for substance abuse each year, combined with many people who just have “issues,” there are quite a few BAD THINGS that can happen when you bring people’s challenged selves and put the pressure of outcomes on them.
Be careful in drafting these so they truly are non-negotiables—you have to be willing to enforce them or they aren’t non-negotiables at all, are they?
Step 3: As opposed to the “keg of dynamite” approach of drafting non-negotiables and then telling the team, release them ONLY after the team has just had some HUGE successes AND improvement in engagement so they will be received well, and people will be thrilled to see their workplace is going to be protected.
Let’s face it, it crushes their hearts to be around gossip too—nobody’s safe around people who are “indirect” and “inauthentic” communicators. The problem is, even the gossipers don’t want to gossip—they are often unaware what gossip is and that their little transgressions are mean, cruel, and destructive to having a safe environment.
Step 4: Don’t even THINK of doing this the way that most initiatives are handled. This needs to be done correctly from the introduction, to the interweaving of many cultural tools to make this stick and make it real. Also, take care, because a misstep can make this disengaging instead of engaging—and THAT would be a mess.
Let’s repeat those four steps for clarity:
- Don’t even think of a fluffy, rah-rah approach because it will do more harm than good.
- Set the non-negotiables.
- Time the release perfectly so you already make some traction and they are seeing the benefits of those improvements in the culture already.
- Build the carefully woven assemblage of systems to make sure this isn’t just another “this too shall pass” but that it is sustainable and never goes away.
I remember the days when restaurants had no-smoking sections. The problem was that you were choking on the smoke that spewed in from the smoking section. When gossip and other pot-stirring, crazy-making, adult day care behaviors get into your culture, NOBODY is safe, and you’ll NEVER be a high performer.
You deserve to have peace in your soul—which is what comes when you are clear about your lines in the sand about what you expect in your workplace.
Make sure you tune in next time where I’ll show you how to create a system for an ever-improving culture score and build a workplace people love to be in.