No matter what industry you’re in, running a business is about building relationships. Once you’ve hired a team of committed people, the next challenge you’re going to face is building a strong company culture.
Creating a company culture you can be proud of begins with fostering strong relationships between all team members, including yourself. Strong relationships are built on communication and trust.
You’ve probably got the basics covered like holding regular meetings to encourage communication and maintaining an open-door policy to develop trust. These are a good start, and there are a few more things you can do:
1. Share company data openly where appropriate
Sometimes company data isn’t appropriate to share with certain team members, but often data is withheld for no good reason. Employees want to know what’s really going on, and sometimes it seems like letting them in on those details might affect their performance. However, statistics show that keeping employees in the dark creates distrust, and distrust leads to disengagement.
Statistics from GeckoBoard show 76% of employees don’t trust bosses who withhold company data, and 50% say sharing that information has a significantly positive impact on productivity and motivation.
Nobody likes to be left out in the dark, especially employees. They don’t just show up for a paycheck, they want to know their work makes a difference and many are willing to help in trying times. Unless you’re dealing with trade secrets or data that happens to be a security matter, sharing company data has the potential to strengthen team engagement, commitment, and loyalty.
2. Charter a plane for important meetings
Finding ways to eliminate inconvenience and stress for your team is one of the best ways to strengthen your relationship. A big source of stress for many business professionals is catching flights on commercial airlines to meet up with clients. Everything about the process is stressful, from finding a ride to and from the airport, to letting go of the stressful experience on board.
Margaret King, director for the Center for Cultural Studies & Analysis says “Airplanes are configured for rage. Designers just didn’t do the math on the personal space as part of the human factors involved on board.”
It’s true, and the amount of stress people experience just from having to fly regularly is astronomical. Chartering a private plane eliminates all of that stress.
When you and your team need to fly across the country to meet with clients, it’s not worth the stress and inconvenience you’ll get by flying on a commercial airline. Even flying first class isn’t always the smoothest experience; you’re still subject to TSA security lines, random bag searches, and long lines at the baggage counter. Also, new regulations might ban you from bringing your laptop on board depending on your destination.
Most haven’t had the pleasure of flying on a private chartered jet, but doing so avoids the erratic experience of flying commercial airlines. For example, you won’t have to deal with the back of your seat being kicked, crying babies, or being squished next to your neighbor. Even if you can take your laptop on board a commercial flight, you won’t have the space to work with your team if you want to conduct business in flight. You might not even be sitting near your team.
With a chartered jet, your team won’t feel stressed out upon arrival from cramped quarters. They’ll be fresh and ready to do business when they step off the plane. Plus, the VIP service and level of privacy provided by private jets is unbeatable.
A private jet will also take your team directly to your destination without any layovers or transfer inconveniences.
3. Ask for honest feedback with the right intentions
The best question you could ever ask a team member is, “what do you think?” An open-ended question like that is the key to generating conversation that makes your team feel appreciated. Everybody on your team has something to share, they’re just waiting for the opportunity. However, sometimes getting honest feedback can be like pulling teeth.
Most people don’t want to offload a bunch of complaints on their boss, but if you’re the boss, you should want to hear it all. Just as constructive feedback helps individuals grow, so it goes for the business itself.
Not everyone feels comfortable sharing in a group setting. Be mindful of those who don’t share in a group, or say they don’t have anything to contribute. You may want to approach them individually and give them the opportunity to share privately. They’ll be elated that you’re paying attention enough to know they really do have something to say and that you want to hear it.