Business culture has shifted in light of new challenges, from the COVID-19 pandemic to hiring difficulties and changes in daily operations. As a small business owner, I recognize the importance of deciding how we’ll do business and the way we treat our team, the people who make our work possible each day.
While the past 18 months have put nearly every industry to the test, we must acknowledge the vital role of softer skills that ultimately contribute to demonstrable strength, perhaps now more than ever.
The same principles we uphold as Rotarians hold true for life in our communities, including in the workplace.
The Four-Way Test, with its familiar line, “Will it be beneficial to all concerned?” is an excellent litmus test for corporate policy. It is a tried-and-true method to create ways of doing business that reflect best practices that benefit your employees and your clients. Building a strong team depends on equipping all members with what they need, including fair workplace rules, equitable standards and open communication.
As business leaders, we can sometimes lose sight that people are our first priority. People thrive when their needs are met, including through recognition. More than just checking boxes or getting through the day, a culture of positivity builds on itself. Every person deserves to feel valued and appreciated. Be the supervisor who praises a job well done, offers a kind word or handles issues discreetly.
Encourage employees to step up when possible. One of my favorite responses to hear in a team meeting is “I don’t know but I can figure it out.” Part of strengthening your group dynamic involves expanding skills, which boosts confidence and solves problems. It will most certainly be beneficial to share knowledge, create back-up plans and enhance capabilities both internally and with the ability to provide services.
When you invest in people, return on that investment often comes in the form of better work and a better work environment.
Consider how you can apply Rotary’s lessons in your workplace. If you have thoughts to share, please come find me and introduce yourself at the next Rotary meeting. I look forward to goodwill and new friendships.