An essential step to a strong culture is eliminating barriers that come between people. There are many companies that create a tier system, dividing management and executives from front-line workers, which leads to a class system in the workplace. That’s a bad idea. The people at the top of the organization need to spend time with all the people working for them, no matter what level. Be humble, and involve everyone. It’s easy to get carried away with yourself when you experience success, but the more transparency you have, the better. An open doors policy and a willingness to talk to employees and customers will make a big difference in the long run.
As a business owner, you can’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Take a job and do it—solve the problems that need solving. As the leader, you have to help others succeed, but it’s not enough to just direct people all day; you have to learn by doing. The best business people never needed consultants who had never worked in their industry to come in and tell them what to do and how to run more efficiently; they talked to their peers who had experience and understood what they were doing and what they needed. Learn by doing, and learn from others who do, too.
Give Employees a Sense of Ownership
The best team members are the ones who are invested in the success of the team. They have a sense of ownership in their job and the company. Fred Hassan used the analogy that they should feel like ambassadors of the organization, not just shop stewards. Identify your people who are fully on board with your mission and who believe in what you’re doing. Those are the people who have that sense of ownership.