You’ve come a long way from making that first cut of fabric to gaining loyal customers who have propelled your ideas into a growing business. Now you’re ready to expand even more; but before you cross the thresholds of more retail stores and reach millions of customers who will live comfortably in your brand, it’s time to look at your internal culture and assess whether your crew of creatives are poised to grow with your company. You know you may work with the best people, who are all here for the same reason, but like family, sometimes the lines of communication get tangled or personalities flare up. Just like family, everyone needs to pull together when the going gets tough. Rather than get stumped or spend sleepless nights writing frantic notes in your business planner, sometimes you need to take a step back and breathe. Let us get your company in shape to move forward so you can settle back into your business and doing what you love.
At Democratique, we help our member brands achieve operational excellence. You can follow our expertise to allow your employees to freely collaborate and sustain your business.
1. Communication and Expectations
Be honest and communicate with your employees. Hold an open dialogue. Establish some ground rules first. Then listen to their concerns. We suggest having everyone write down their daily tasks and what they need to do their jobs with the greatest efficiency. Take these suggestions into consideration when making sure team roles are clearly defined. Set expectations for everyone to follow in a professional and supportive manner.
If anyone is unwilling to cooperate, then you must decide to let them go. Everyone must believe in and uphold your company values for your business to grow.
2. Spend Time in Their Shoes
It’s easy to set expectations before knowing if they’re realistic or not. Spend a day or two with your employees at their work. Based on your observations and feedback from your employees, see if there are any parts of your business that could be restructured or updated. Then design a plan to reach greater efficiency and productivity.
3. Take Action
Now’s the time to implement change. Communicate the new plan to your employees and give it some time. Observe and communicate often with your employees. Any issues or challenges that come up are opportunities to tweak the plan for the long-term.
4. Stay Connected
To keep employees motivated and happy, we suggest an ongoing recognition program. Based on quarterly performance, employees can be rewarded with gift cards or other incentives. And don’t underestimate the value of a personal thank-you.
Moving forward, you want everyone to be happy. Happy people are more productive. Not to mention, they make the work life better. When there’s a lot to do to advance your business, making people happy can take you a long way. It can remind you why you got started in the first place.