Leaders who want to improve their company’s culture can start by following five basic steps, says John Felkins, director of EntreLeadership All Access at Nashville-based Ramsey Solutions. The same rules apply to producers seeking to engage their farm team in the mission and objectives of the operation.
1. Fix Your Foundation. Examine and articulate core values, beliefs and mission to your team, then make those focus areas a reality with solid operating principles. “Go and look at those roots and see what you can do to make them healthier,” Felkins says.
2. Fix Your Hiring. Ensure that the majority of your turnover happens during the hiring process as you sort job candidates, not after they’re already onboard. “If you hire hard, you can lead easy,” he says. “If you hire easy and lead hard, you’re going to be leading an adult day care.”
3. Fix Your Communication. Pick a spot on your weekly calendar, block out all business commitments and speak candidly to your team about the business at a dedicated time and place.
4. Fix Your Attitude. Give team members grace, write thank-you notes to employees on a regular basis and be enthusiastic and public about successes. “People want acceptance, approval, appreciation, attention and affection,” he says.
5. Fix Your Leadership. Particularly for rapidly growing organizations, executives must learn to get out of the way and expand through delegation.