Communication

Why Your Ping Pong Tables Aren’t Working

5 Minute Read

Let’s get real about corporate culture

You have no idea why your culture sucks. It just does. You bought the ping-pong tables. You started Happy Hour Fridays. You even do the obligatory birthday cakes for your employees. The problem is that none of this has made a difference; your organization still seems lackluster.

People just don’t click. They can’t communicate. Your turnover rates are on the rise; and the employees you do keep don’t seem like they want to be there. Getting people to work together, collaborate, and have a normal conversation is like pulling teeth. And those words you had so beautifully hung on the wall seem meaningless.

Here are some signs that your corporate culture is out of control:

  • People don’t want to work for you (or your company).
  • Team members are working against each other.
  • There is drama between departments, divisions, or locations.
  • Individuals talk about each other; you may even see some bullying.
  • Leaders are going in circles about the same issues; things feel stagnant.
  • Leaders and employees don’t trust each other and there are cycles of collusion.
  • Ideas are unremarkable because people are holding back.
  • Employees aren’t being heard; and your organization has lost its edge.
  • People aren’t productive, wasting valuable time and money.

 

All you want is for people to trust each other, support each other, and actually enjoy working together. You need to find out why your culture is the way it is; and you need to do it quickly.

It might not be your people. 

Your decline in culture can stem from many issues. Sometimes the things you would consider to be positive changes can actually be your problem. And because they’re “good” things, they might not even hit your radar. Has your company recently gone through rapid growth? Did you have a change in company leadership? Did you recently update or implement a new process? Has an influential person either joined or left the organization? A ping-pong table isn’t going to fix how people deal with change, or each other, for that matter.

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“You have to find the root cause in order to actually correct a corporate culture problem.”

While no company is perfect, high performing organizations have a clear understanding of where they are going and everyone understands how they support the effort to get there. People believe that their co-workers’ intentions are good and give them the benefit of the doubt even when things don’t go well.

Here are some things you can do to take back control of your culture:

Get people excited again.

We know; that’s easier said than done. But when people are excited, they talk to each other. They share stories. And they’re more engaged. You must encourage people to use their voice. You have to give them authority to make decisions and take ownership of their work. Most importantly, you need to involve them in the important decisions and make it okay for people to talk about their concerns. Show them how they contribute and allow them to be a part of it. Trust them to do the job that they were hired for.

Stop addressing symptoms.

 You have to find the root cause in order to actually correct a corporate culture problem. Sometimes you can do that by having 1:1s with employees; other times they might feel more comfortable with an anonymous survey. Growth and change is scary, and not everyone is open to talking about their fears. That can cause them to disengage. Stay aware, watch for signs, and start doing a little digging. You need to gather some data and get rid of the “gut check,” communicate the plan to the employees, and then act on it.

Change the way you think about work.

 An article by Business Insider detailed the findings that Microsoft saw by switching to a 4-day workweek. Productivity increased by 40%. While this is an extreme example for some companies, it took someone with an open mind to initiate such a change. Be fearless. Other things they tried were reducing meetings to a 30-minute limit and encouraging remote communication. The bottom line is that they changed the way “they’ve always done it,” and inspired their people with options and flexibility.

Being an employer of choice requires senior leaders to work purposefully on the culture of their company. Remarkable leaders address more than just the symptoms of problems; they collaborate with others to get to the root cause and then take action. Employees are invited and encouraged to use their voice and become unified. People are highly productive and still have fun!

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“You have to find the root cause in order to actually correct a corporate culture problem.”

Without data you’re making decisions in the dark. For quick decisions, you often rely on your gut instinct. But when it comes to decisions that can change the future of your business, you need hard data. It’s time to stop your people from going rogue, and solve the culture problem once and for all.

revSCAN Organizational Health Assessment

People deserve to work in a company that has a clear direction and a culture to support it. But you first have to start by knowing what your organizational health actually is! For a limited time, you can get the data you need for FREE, and get your culture back on track. 

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Giving Feedback: Say What You Mean!

Think of all the words in the English language that can be used in different ways. Then add all the new “slang” words that keep popping up. And don’t get us started with social abbreviations and emojis. LOL! 😊 Giving feedback isn’t as simple as it used to be. What means something to you may mean something completely different to another. It’s time to get back to the basics. People, from Boomers to Gen Xers, use so many words incorrectly that our culture and the way we communicate can be challenging to understand. And speaker and comedian, Jill Shargaa, believes that we’re taking the meaning out of some very powerful words.

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The Results: Chatterkick X Revela Remote Work And Flexibility Survey

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You Started Strong. Don’t Let Up.

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We’re all about six weeks into this pandemic. Some a little longer, some a little less. What uprooted and affected our entire world has now become what we consider normal…for now. In the beginning, when people started working virtually or rotating their shifts at work, we all tended to be more intentional about connecting with our teams. Having daily huddles, weekly (or more frequent) team meetings, happy hours, and individual check-ins. But now that some time has passed, are we really still being as intentional as we were before?

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How to Keep Remote Employees Engaged

4 Minute Read

Telecommuting…sounds like something from the future. However, it is one of the most challenging issues for businesses today. Employees want flexible work schedules and work hours. And many companies are trying to make it a priority and allow employees to work remotely. Some have even gone as far as hiring full remote teams that work in different states across the country.

Having remote employees can be a benefit to both the employee and the company. The employee finds harmony by being able to have a professional career, as well as more time for activities outside of work. They have the choice to work for an organization halfway across the country, giving them unlimited possibilities. The company can benefit from this as well. It reduces overhead costs and they are able to have access to more talent that otherwise may not have been an option to them. And technology has given us this alternative; it’s a beautiful thing. But as with all new things, there are some obstacles to overcome, such as how to keep remote employees engaged.

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#AskRevela – Toxic Boss

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Let us be your leadership “Google.” Ask Revela!

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Leading with Compassion: A Requirement of Leaders Today

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The word compassion holds many meanings, and it’s hard to define. Here’s what we know. Compassion consists of three main elements: recognizing or noticing when others are struggling, understanding and feeling for the person that is struggling, and responding or having the motivation to act and help relieve the struggle. Compassion takes empathy one step further with that final element: having the motivation to act.

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Transforming the Employee Evaluation

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As a supervisor, giving an employee evaluation can be dreadful. You start by staring at yet another blank form. You go through each performance category, carefully marking your choice of below average, average, or above average. And when done, you recheck your responses, making sure that the report is “balanced.” Too many low marks, and your employee might be upset. Too many high and there is nowhere to aspire. What is the answer? Rank the employee in the middle…the sweet spot! Not hanging back, not showing off. The solution is average.

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Managers vs. Leaders – BORRRRING!!

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Let’s guess what you’re thinking. Probably something along the lines of: “Another article about what it means to be a leader, even if you don’t manage anyone.” And you’ll probably move on or delete this as your eyes roll to the back of your head. But wait! Keep reading…

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How to hold people accountable without ruining relationships.

4 Minute Read

Picture this scenario: People at work are unengaged. You can feel your direct reports whispering about you around the water cooler. Sometimes you feel walked on. And your team thinks that they can get away with anything…because you won’t do anything about it. Does any of this sound familiar?


Having crucial conversations with your team is hard. We know our employees have good intentions. But sometimes, they make mistakes, or we need to correct performance issues. And holding them accountable for missing the mark can be extremely uncomfortable. You don’t want to hurt feelings and you don’t want to create a combative environment. But issues arise when we, as managers, are scared to ask our teams to take responsibility for their actions. Here are some quick dos and don’ts to keep in mind.

DO: Foster communication.

Before you even try to hold people accountable for their actions and goals, you need to create an environment that encourages communication. Find out something about your team members: their hobbies, their interests, their family, their values. Create a base level of trust.

  • DON’T: Be their best friend. We get it. It is fun to have friends at work! And it shows that you care about your team. But there is a line. It becomes difficult when you must go from friend to manager and actually hold your team accountable.

 

DO: Set clear expectations.

The first step is to ensure that your employees know exactly what success looks like. What is the outcome you’re expecting? How should it be accomplished? How will we know that it was accomplished? Work to create alignment and focus within the team.

  • DON’T: Expect your team to know everything. Let your team know that it is okay to ask questions. And sometimes people don’t have questions until they get into the weeds of the project.

 

DO: Make it measurable.

In order to set a clear goal, it must be measurable. If it isn’t measurable, how will you ever know it is finished? Think about these questions: How Much? How Many? Who is involved? How long will it take? What is the desired outcome?

  • DON’T: Be vague. Or create goals that require interpretation. Your opinion or perspective might be different from your employee’s.

 

DO: Explain the potential consequences.

If the job doesn’t get done correctly or on time, how does that impact your clients? Your team? Your company as a whole? What does that mean for the person or people who didn’t get the job done correctly? Set the precedent upfront that you are fully expecting to hold people accountable.

  • DON’T: Make accountability taboo. Why is it even taboo anyway? Start the conversation, create a discussion, respond to concerns, and know when to draw the hard line.

 

DO: Train, coach, and be available.

You can’t just give your team a project and then cross your fingers and hope that it gets done correctly and on time. You need to ask the questions to see if your team has the skills to get the job done. And if not, you need to train them. You will also need to coach your team and encourage problem-solving. Start by asking questions like: “What have you tried so far?”, “What has or hasn’t worked?”, “What could you do to fix that?” Be available when they need you, but don’t provide all the answers.

  • DON’T: Micromanage. Is there anything worse than your boss standing over your shoulder watching your every move? You feel stuck, like you’re doing something wrong and second-guessing yourself at every turn. Do you think your employees feel any different? It is okay to let them make mistakes because mistakes lead to coaching moments, which leads to a more independent workforce.

 

DO: Give consistent feedback.

Be specific and give feedback in multiple avenues. Consistent feedback sounds scary. Who has time for that?! You do. Feedback does not need to be a formalized “sit–down” anymore. Stop by their desk, send a text or email, have a video conference or give them a quick call. Be specific in your feedback. What was done correctly?  What wasn’t what you were expecting? And how can they get back on track?

  • DON’T: Only focus on the negative. When we do this, we start keeping score. And we become that manager that no one wants to hear from.

 

By remembering these simple actions, you can create a relationship with your team that allows them to know that you are there for them; that you want them to succeed; that you will give them the tools to do so; and how uncorrected poor performance will impact the team and the organization. At the end of the day, “I tried” isn’t always the best business model. Results must still be achieved. And everybody wants to be a part of those results. How can you set the stage for your team to be successful?

Watch this video on accountability to find out how to hold people accountable!