By David Finkel
One of the best ways to create a company culture has to do with rewarding behaviour within your team to encourage more of the same.
As a business coach for more than 25 years, I have helped a lot of business owners create company cultures that not only help shape their business for years to come, but can actually help increase their profits and bottom line. And in the past, I have talked about company culture and shared ways that you can help shape the behaviours of your team slowly over time to build a solid foundation. But did you know that there are many instances where you may actually be rewarding the wrong behaviours accidentally? And that simple mistake can really set you back in terms of growth and development.
Behaved Priorities Get Rewarded Over Time
One of the best ways to create a company culture has to do with rewarding behaviour within your team to encourage more of the same. I recently met with a business owner who was struggling with responsiveness in his team members. And he came to me with two examples of how others in his team handled responses in their Slack channel.
Paula was hyper-responsive to getting back to others on the team about any questions that they might have. She answered emails and Slack messages within seconds, and was always available to help in any way that she could.
And then he had Daniel. Daniel would always respond, but it might take him a few hours to get back to others in the Slack channel. And emails might be answered a few times a day, but when compared to Paula, there was a distinct difference in terms of responsiveness.
So in his mind, Paula was the one that needed to be rewarded for her behaviour in order to encourage others like Daniel to follow suit.
The Unspoken Question
But we were missing a crucial part of the equation. What was Daniel doing during his radio silence? Was he taking a nap under his desk? Or was he meeting with an important client that would increase the company’s revenue next quarter? Was he watching cat videos on his phone? Or was he one of the company’s top programmers who was solving a difficult coding issue that would help streamline the website’s performance and help customers check out more easily?
Think about that. If this business owner were to reward pure responsiveness, or in this case hyper responsiveness, that could actually do a lot of damage within his business. What if Daniel stopped taking those client calls in order to sit in front of his screen watching for Slack messages? What if everyone on your team stopped doing high-value tasks because they were conditioned to believe that hyperresponsiveness was more important?
Putting It All Together
Every behaviour we reward and encourage has the potential for unwanted consequences. So taking a moment to think through all the possible outcomes before committing to something within your company culture will go a long way to help you build a robust culture that can withstand the test of time.
Feature Image Credit: Inc./Getty