Businesses thrive and grow when their culture is centered around behaviors that lead to success such as positive synergy, self-motivated professional improvements by staff and individual and team achievements acknowledged and celebrated by leaders. What are you doing right now to encourage and motivate your staff? Team leaders should keep leadership skills sharp as they are essential when cultivating an atmosphere of success. It’s hard work and can be uncomfortable at times, but the long-term results are invaluable.

Over the next few weeks, give some serious thought to your company’s culture –Develop plans of action and start to implement them. Here are eight things that any leader can do to create an environment where staff can thrive and be successful.

  1. Define Responsibilities
    It’s difficult to hit a moving target. That’s why people perform better when they have clear, accurate, and up to date job descriptions. Also, document six month goals for each employee – these should be in line with the aforementioned job description. Make sure expectations are clear and concise. The more job descriptions, goals, and expectations are defined – the higher the probability that an employee will be successful at achieving them.
  2. Provide feedback on responsibilities and goals
    Communication is the key to understanding. You need to meet with your staff and provide verbal feedback and direction on job performance and goals.Regular weekly meetings are most effective and especially so, when you choose just one or two items to review per week. Be careful not to assess current performance against outdated goals. If the business changes, goals will need to be reassessed and adjusted.Every six months, provide a quality review. What does that mean? At six month intervals, point out where you want more focus in the coming six months. Then use the weekly meetings to ensure you and your employees get there. No feedback slows and often times reverses growth and forward momentum.
  3. Hold the organization and yourself accountable
    Keep your team informed regarding how the company is performing to the overall plan. Make sure they understand how their job responsibilities and goals fit into the achievement of the company plan. Emphasize that all employees – including you – are accountable for achieving the goals and objectives. Share your own goals and how you are meeting them. Be brave and share both your successes and failures. This will go a long way toward building trust. It’s easier to trust someone who is as human as you are – remember no one is perfect.Post key goals and achievements of those goals – both individual and company – where everyone can see. Do so in multiple places, if necessary.Finally, always recognize success. Whether companywide or personal successes, be sure to give recognition when goals are achieved and expectations are met – and especially when they are exceeded.
  4. Reward over-achievement
    It’s a fortunate business owner, who has overachievers on their staff; however, they may lose their enthusiasm without recognition. Have an incentive program for those who overachieve at an individual, group, and company-wide level. Be creative with your recognition, as people are motivated by different things. Some suggestions are cash, trips, gift cards, or paid time off.Public recognition to employees, vendors, and customers goes a long way toward making overachievers feel appreciated. It can also become contagious. When your staff sees you recognizing top achievers, they may feel motivated to overachieve themselves.
  5. Change if necessary
    You cannot fit a square peg into a round hole. Trust me, I’ve tried it – won’t work. If you’ve placed the wrong person in a job, try to find a more appropriate position for them. Make sure you communicate what is not working – giving them an opportunity to first turn things around.If there is nowhere else to place them, or if they cannot make the appropriate changes, prolonging the inevitable will only hurt the organization. Remember, square pegs do not fit into round holes.
  6. Create a fun accountable culture
    You must have fun. No one wants to work in an environment where there is no enjoyment; however, there has to be fun with accountability. This creates enthusiasm, which leads to overachievement.When employees know they’re accountable, they tend to want to be successful. When they succeed, they may find their work more enjoyable and a fun culture may begin to evolve.You can do your part in promoting the culture. Take strolls through the office and be positive, personable, and concerned about your staff – in an upbeat way.
  7. Try outside of the box ideas
    Be creative and coax your staff to do the same. Do not be afraid of failure. Most organizations grow stale because they are afraid to change and try new things. You will fail on occasion, but the key is to learn and grow from those times – improving as you go. Give recognition and reward to those that take an outside of the box approach and have a positive impact. Encouraging creativity is one of the fastest ways to achieving your goals as a company.
  8. Give back to the community
    Nothing brings an organization together as a team more thoroughly, than working toward a common goal and helping others. Charitable events are crucial to making your team feel they are working towards a greater good. Contribute to local charitable events. Create teamwork within your company by organizing to support local charitable events.Not only is this great for public relations and building your customer base, it gets your people thinking creatively, working together, and having fun.