Creating a Culture of Accountability
One of the biggest issues growing businesses run into is how to foster a growth-oriented culture. As the founder of the business, you are usually the beacon for change. This means growing into the type of leader you have always admired. Although it can be hard to do, there are a lot of methods for success.
I always say that culture flows from the top down. This means that as a leader, you set the tone and pace. Although some people have a natural skill set that lends itself to leadership, if you have no training or previous experience with it, you’re likely going to need to develop the skills to lead great teams. But don’t fret! Below I will list a few tips for success that I have seen in my own business as well as others. As a business grows bigger, you begin to trade small business problems for big business ones, such as HR issues, lack of motivation and engagement from the team, and a lack of delegation or leverage to get things done. Establishing a culture of accountability can solve these problems and is almost every small business owner’s dream.
Building a healthy, growth-oriented culture begins with you. When you determine your own roles and priorities, set the pace, give effective feedback, communicate your vision, and learn to delegate work well, you lay the foundation for a thriving business mindset throughout your company.
Here are some specific tips that can help you hit the ground running:
- Articulate your goals and vision often, appealing to each team member in the way they learn best. This could look like using a whiteboard to showcase goals for visual learners, sending out summary or reminder emails, or giving a speech for audible learners. Typically, combining all three during a meeting works best.
- Give constant constructive feedback regularly and immediately. This sets the tone for a culture of continuous improvement. When you don’t create a space for feedback immediately after a project deadline is met, you miss the window for applicable change and whatever you have to say may not be received as well later down the line. Giving feedback can be a difficult skill to learn. These are some useful methods for giving feedback:
- Use 2 positives for every negative comment
- Use fact-based language instead of opinion
- Plan what you want to say beforehand
- Being a leader, you have two main roles:
Setting the pace can look like shifting plans when needed, establishing checkpoints and milestones, and holding open conversations to improve communication.
Delegating is not easy, but when you can keep your eyes on the long-term vision, you stay in a strategic position to further direct and grow your business. These 6 steps can help with delegating:
- Pause – consider the outcome you want
- Outline the task – make the project into manageable, bite-sized chunks
- Communicate a delivery date
- Designate checkpoints
- Define important criteria for the project – keep all teammates on the same page
- Give feedback!