Last Friday night while sitting at the final performance of the 91st season of the outdoor summer music festival at the Redlands Bowl, I marveled at the talent and expertise of the artists on stage. We had come to hear the Redlands Symphony Orchestra perform directed by Frank Fetta and with guest pianist Rufus Choi. As I observed the people around me, I noted the wide range of age, ethnic background, and lifestyle, and how most were rapt with attention for the performers.
The skill was incredible. Somewhere I heard that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in a trade or field. Any time my husband or I see someone who, with dedication and persistence, has put forth enough effort to truly master something, we’ll lean over to the other and say, “that’s ten thousand hours.” On this Friday night the weather was balmy, the stars twinkled, the fireworks exploded in beautiful precision with the music, and we listened to experts perform their craft. Despite the wide differences in the audience members, for a moment we were bonded together in the culture and awe of the moments.
As I sat there, I began to consider how a culture can either pull people together or drive them apart. This is especially true of an office/business culture. As eTop Technology has grown and we have brought more people on to our team, creating a business culture has become more and more important. Following are a few things that we have been reminded of again and again as we morph our company into what we want it to be:
- Employees and coworkers note the way you respond to difficult situations and emulate what you do. Whether that be loudly verbalizing your frustrations or maintaining your cool, people see the way you handle bad. If you want your employees to respond in a cool, collected manner, you have show them how. Lead by example.
- If you are an expert in your field you don’t need to advertise to your fellow workers. They see what kind of work performance you have. Actions speak louder than words. If you do a slapped together job, your employees will perform only to that level. Create a culture of excellence.
- People are more productive and happier in a positive work environment. Whether that means music, coffee, or a “hey, how’s the family” from the boss, do what it takes to make your environment better. Happy, productive people stick around. They will help your business grow.
- Communication is key to a good business culture. Communication should travel both up and down the command chain. If no one knows what’s going on, nothing gets done. Listen to what your coworkers and employees are saying as well as telling them what you need done. People respond to a supervisor that not only listens but actually hears what they have to say. Make pathways for open communication.
- Make a workable space where people feel like they are contributing. We have gotten some excellent ideas from asking our employees what they think a good solution would be. Tap into their hidden talents and ideas and then make sure to thank them and tell them how effective their idea was. Let people know they are part of your team.
If you create a culture in your business where people thrive, they feel heard, they know they are contributing, and they know what’s going on, they will work hard to help your business grow beyond your expectations. If you have that culture on the inside of your business, people will notice. Potential customers will notice. They will wonder what makes you great. They will tell other people about you. They will be able to say “that’s ten thousand hours.”