In your quest to be the absolute best tire/auto service business you can possibly be, you can have a beautiful facility, state-of-the-art equipment and all the amenities to enrich your customer’s experience, but if don’t have a great, “Winning Team” culture, then you still don’t have a truly great company.
With that in mind, here are my great eight practices for creating a “Winning Team” corporate culture to support your world-class sales and customer service objectives:
- Disengaged Employees Do Not Create Engaged Customers.
While this is more of an affirmation than a practice, it’s really important you keep this fact at the forefront while creating a “winning team” corporate culture. If your employees are displeased at work, it’s a sure bet that some of that displeasure is spilling over into their customer interactions. All of the following practices foster and build employee engagement.
- Set the Bar.
Have you documented your core values, so your employees know clearly what your organization stands for? That’s a great first step. Next, is setting standards of performance so employees know what is expected and then establishing the best practices required to achieve them. Remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish. Communicating your organization’s commitment to excellence through values and best practices ensures everyone is on the same page and that there is no confusion with your “winning team” culture mission.
- Demonstrate Care.
A winning team culture can only survive and thrive in a caring and supportive environment. When employees feel like machines, not human beings, they become emotionally detached from the business and tend to go through the motions to get through their workdays.
To build a winning team culture, managers should always treat their team employees exceedingly well. Do you treat your employees in a manner that is consistent with the way you want them to treat customers? Most managers do not, yet they expect their personnel to excel when it comes to positive customer interactions. Managers should initiate contact with team members on a regular basis, both formally and informally. Taking time with employees to show an interest in their work, listening to their issues and experiences demonstrates that you value their contribution and builds morale and motivation.
- Communicate Well.
Can you hear me now? Too often, employees don’t feel like they have a true voice in the company, that no one is really listening and that their opinions don’t matter. Winning team cultures encourage information sharing and promote an environment of open communication where employees are comfortable contributing their feedback and ideas.
- Live “Winning Team” Every Day.
Creating a winning team culture is not something that happens at the corporate headquarters behind closed doors. It’s in the stores, the service areas, the warehouse and everywhere else employees interact with customers and each other. Managers need to be physically – and mentally – present in the workplace to consistently communicate the winning team message with employees, reinforce a commitment to excellence and promote continuous improvement for individuals and the company as a whole.
- Be a Champion Cheerleader.
Employee recognition is an essential ingredient for your winning team culture recipe. It’s amazing what can be achieved when people feel appreciated. Recognition and praise go a long way toward building positive team spirit and morale.
Employees want to know they are making a difference in a company that is making a difference. Managers should always seek out opportunities to acknowledge both individual and team efforts and celebrate jobs well done. Make saying “thank you” a habit and always let employees know when they have performed well. This reinforces proper behaviors, builds personal relationships, and strengthens the culture.
- Encourage Growth.
The old adage fits here, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” It’s the same with employees and corporate cultures; they must move forward, or they will deteriorate over time. Managers need to make progress a priority. Whenever possible, take the opportunity to encourage the next phase of employee and team growth. Engagement and productivity improve when employees know how they are doing and what they can expect in the future.
- Have Fun.
Okay, I admit it… this is my favorite one. Having fun at work is a business strategy. It gets back to practice No. 1: Disengaged employees don’t create engaged customers. When employees enjoy their work (have fun), they are more engaged and productive – producing better results for themselves, customers and the business! This is the main reason why so many market-leading companies are also considered to be the best places to work.