In any organization, culture is like the air we breathe: it permeates everything. At its best, culture can be a breath of fresh air with beliefs, attitudes and values that move a workforce to do great things. At its worst, it can be stagnant and gloomy, leading to high burnout and unengaged employees.
Whatever type of culture you have in your business, understand that as a leader, that culture begins with you.
You hold the keys to your culture—for better or worse. By taking the right steps, you can define it, shape it, and mold it into a force that can help your business accomplish nearly anything. That process begins with a surprisingly simple truth: at the heart of every great organization is a culture of productivity.
When we say a “culture of productivity,” we are referring to an organization that thrives when both personal and professional goals are met. Employees are excited to come to work in these businesses because the company’s vision helps them grow both personally and professionally. It’s a culture that drives success from the ground up.
At its core the employees and employers at these places are embracing The ONE Thing process. Working the power of The ONE Thing into your business’ culture is unexpectedly simple, and it all begins with bringing the organization’s goals into focus.
Share Your Vision and Get the Buy-in From Your Team
When you clarify the direction of your business with the Focusing Question, you gain a very clear sense of your business’ objectives and the steps that need to be taken in order to achieve success. Start by asking yourself, “What’s the ONE Thing I can do in my business such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” If you still need help, use our goal-setting guide.
The clarity you unearth doesn’t need to be kept secret. In fact, it’s a best practice to share your vision and goals with the rest of your team. Bring everyone together in a room and flesh it out. Run through it and let your employees challenge it. The highest form of organizational goal setting is actually gaining buy-in from your team. When everyone is in agreement with the direction of the company, everyone in the organization, from top to bottom, can take ownership of the outcomes.
Most importantly, when everyone has bought in, they can begin to see where they fit in the puzzle, and can bring their own goals in alignment with the organization’s.
Start Your Week Off with a 4-1-1
Everyone in the organization, from top to bottom, should have their own goals written down and be held accountable to them. That’s where your weekly 4-1-1 meetings come into play.
4-1-1 stands for four weeks, one month and one year of goals. Beginning with their annual goals, employees will outline what they want to achieve on both a professional and personal basis. From there, they’ll determine what they need to achieve monthly in order to stay on track to meet their annual goals. Once this is complete, they’ll be able to drill down to what they have to do each week to achieve their monthly goals.
This simple format, clearly laid out on a single piece of paper, enables everyone to remain focused on their responsibilities within the organization.
At the start of each week, managers should meet with their team members and hold them accountable to meeting the goals on their 4-1-1. This accountability measure is crucial for forming a productivity-minded and focus-oriented culture. Not only does it keep everyone focused, but it also gives your staff an opportunity to get help from you when necessary. As an added bonus, weekly 4-1-1 meetings allow you to stay informed on the progress of important initiatives and milestones—which can in turn, keep you accountable to the organization’s goals.
Invest in Your Employee’s Personal Lives
A big part of your weekly 4-1-1 meetings are going to be dedicated to the personal lives of your team members. There’s no getting around it, our personal and professional lives are intertwined. If something is lacking in our personal lives, it often shows at work. The opposite is true when something is amiss professionally. This push-pull relationship needs our attention and focus in order for our organization to run smoothly.
During your 4-1-1 meetings, start off by focusing on a person’s personal goals. Explore them with your employees and hold them accountable to meeting them.
Like we talk about in The ONE Thing, there are seven buckets to everyone’s life – spiritual, physical, health, personal, key relationships, job, business and financial. Show your employees that their goals in each area of life are important to you. When a person is able to fill the buckets that matter most to them, they are simply happier. This translates to more engaged employees and greater opportunity for retention.
Be Conscious of Who You Hire
A company’s culture is first and foremost determined by the people they work with. When we work with people both share similar attitudes and values that support our culture, each team member shines. That’s why it’s so important to incorporate your ONE Thing centered culture into your hiring process.
When interviewing a candidate, ask them a few ONE Thing related questions. Ask them what they really want out of life and if they’re willing, run through the seven buckets of a person’s life with them. Explore different ways to help them fill each bucket and see if you’re a right fit for one another. Show them how you hold your employees accountable to achieving their goals and see if that’s something that would energize them.
It may go without saying, but true talent is attracted to employers who are willing to invest their time and energy in their own success—not ones who shy away from it.
Give the Employees in Your Business a Copy of the Book
We could have put this up front in the article, but then it would have sounded like a plug—and it’s not. If you expect a team to be able to handle a play when it’s called, you have to give them the playbook.
When steering your culture toward a place where productivity lives and thrives, you should absolutely gift everyone a copy of The ONE Thing. Doing so puts the power of real change in the hands of those who make your business thrive. It will also help everyone see eye-to-eye with what you’re trying to accomplish, making the transition smoother.
If you’ve brought The ONE Thing into your company’s culture, share your thoughts and experiences with us on our Facebook page!