We’ve heard stories of the business owner who spends their days behind their office door making decisions in solitude. Tales of owners who have no contact with employees and only interacting with their team to shame them on mistakes.
What about the business culture of an owner who is all talk and no action? Making promises he or she can’t keep and hiding endless fractures in the business. Falsely pretending to be under control when reality is the business is on the edge of shut down.
It’s possible that before you were a business owner, you were someone else’s employee. Maybe the owners above are the reason you stopped working for someone else.
These leaders leave a toxic wake behind them. And if you’ve been an employee in a negative work environment you’ve felt these ugly truths.
Employees in a revolving door work culture:
- struggle to make connections or feel valued
- feel discounted in job and role
- experience chronic frustration
- stay confused by the hypocrisy of leadership
- become resentful
- express disappointment and negativity
- choose isolation from team and leader to avoid discomfort
Can you relate?
Now you’re leading your own team. Have you considered how your employees are feeling in the work culture you’ve created? Most owners don’t realize how critical culture is to the sustainability and growth of their business.
Being a genuine leader holds a lot of weight with employees when practiced consistently. When you successfully combine authenticity, vulnerability, and transparency the result is employee loyalty.
So how do you do that?
- Above all, be authentic.
Know who you are, be true to your company’s vision and mission, and share it with your team. An insincere leader lacks a foundation for employees to connect to. When an owner isn’t walking the walk, employees have no problem walking out the door.
- Tell your story.
Lead from your human side. Share with your staff what inspired you to start your business in the first place. Describe your purpose that drives you every day. Hearing the ups and downs of your journey gives them something to stand for. If they believe in your story, they will fight for it when it struggles and be your proudest promoter when it soars.
- Don’t hide from your employees.
They can feel when you’re in a bad day. Be transparent during the tough times but be professional. It’s important your staff sees you stumble sometimes. Just make sure you do it without making them your stress and negativity dumping ground.
Small business employees thrive on purposeful contributions. They crave being part of something bigger than themselves. You do too, or you wouldn’t be a small business owner.
Your “Do It Today” Take Away:
Show your employees that sincere leaders are real people who know how much their team matters for success. Your authenticity will speak volumes for the culture of your business as will their loyalty. Onward!