Your branding strategy can be as powerful as Thor’s hammer, but it is nothing without a thriving company culture.
The most established companies can be toppled when their culture is weak, and the most innovative startups can fizzle out if they don’t have a clear brand identity.
Together, both elements need to fill the bill to have resounding success.
And ever since the pandemic placed a firm grip around society’s throat, this notion has never been more relevant.
An organization’s culture will always be its beating heart, but due to a shift in the sentiment of the general public, it has become the lifeblood. Workers are raising their standards on what they expect from their working environment — whether it’s good company culture, a higher salary, better benefits, or the flexibility to work from home. In short, more motivation, and less demotivation and antimotivation.
The question is: How can you ensure that your leadership and culture are strong enough to weather any storm?
In this article, we’ll go over the correlation between culture and motivation, the leader’s purpose, and why culture is the strategy for reaching true success.
Correlation Between Culture and Motivation
There is a pattern that’s been discovered that no one else has seen before. It exposes the universal truths of our leadership and culture. This is the correlation between culture and motivation.
But what does that mean?
Roy H. Williams, the renowned Wizard of Ads™ has uncovered these universal truths, and here is everything you need to know:
Three internal motivators can improve your leadership and culture, taking your employees from apathetically doing the bare minimum, to going above and beyond with sheer enthusiasm. These internal motivators are:
People buy your product when it tells them something about who they are, what they believe in, what they stand for, and what they stand against. The same goes for employees when deciding where to work.
If you’re not giving your employees a sense of identity at your company, they’re going to find it elsewhere.
Your employees want to live a life of meaning, of purpose. They want to matter, to contribute to something bigger than themselves — to make a ding in the universe.
Take Wikipedia for example, the people who work for them don’t do it for the money, they volunteer simply because they believe in the cause.
As humans, we crave adventure. We are drawn towards the call of the wild, to step into the darkness with whatever trials and tribulations that come with it.
Your employees are the same. They want challenges that test their grit, that make them feel alive so they gain a sense of pride and accomplishment.
This mastery will feed their confidence, which, in turn, feeds competence — the second thing that your customers are looking for when selecting a solution provider.
Think of external motivators as the heroine of motivation: employers who lean on them too readily or sadly, disingenuously, doing what the latest book tells them to do.
To exercise great leadership and culture, consider these key principles.
Compensation is where 99 percent of companies fixate their efforts, and within that compensation, employees value three things: time, money, and energy.
Money is a renewable resource, time, however, is not. And energy is the time after work to enjoy family and fun (or gulp down a bunch of calories and fall asleep drooling on the couch).
Out of the three, it’s easy to see that time is the most valuable form of compensation, as it is a non-renewable resource.
Unfortunately, in most cases, the worst the work culture the more your company has to pay. To boost employee morale, consider showing them that you value their time.
Promotions are where many great employees go to fail. It is easy for them to get drunk on the delusion that they now call all the shots, which makes sense in our world where the majority of us live in survival mode.
Ultimately, we all have a grasp for belonging in this dog-eat-dog world of one-upmanship, and it takes the rare purity of a hobbit to deflect power’s seduction.
When top talent is promoted, they must be taught how to be adequate leaders, whether it’s through mentorships, training, or coaching.
When aligned with genuine gratitude, praise is another powerful motivator.
Praise is often well-intended, but occasionally manipulative. Be sure you pay attention to how you use praise with your employees. You can implement praise by the use of scoreboards, public accolades, Google reviews, or bonuses.
Now let’s get into what festers toxic leadership and culture. I’m sure you’ve heard the quote “people don’t quit jobs, they quit bad bosses” right? Here are three demotivators that make that quote entirely relevant:
Your employees can sniff out insincerity like a basset hound.
The moment they detect any kind of insincere praise, support, or feedback from an executive, you not only lose the employee’s respect but also the rest of the team’s.
Micromanagers fixate on the minutia of other employees’ work because they are afraid they will lose their own rank and position in the tribe.
Little do they know, their actions are further increasing the risk of failure by driving away otherwise great employees.
To reduce frustration and discomfort, it’s important to layer in internal motivators. When employees are satisfied, they’ll more likely do more than what is asked of them.
This is a consistent undercurrent of employers who put a heavy weight on goals, KPIs, and sales quotas, to then fire the employee with the worst result at the end of the month.
Fun fact: your employees can’t control the KPIs that you’ve created out of thin air. What they do have control over are their actions and their behaviors.
When you can mathematically motivate your employees by expanding the definition of previously misunderstood results-based punishment, you will create healthier a leadership and culture that keeps your best players around.
These are tools weaponized by the lazy and the ignorant, what plagues great leadership and culture, otherwise known as the three evils:
This is the easiest way to control someone, by instilling a sense of fear in them. It makes your employees feel like they are replaceable, and that you are threatening their job security.
When you create a hostile work environment, employees are breaking their backs to prove themselves constantly, which leads to burnout.
Making employees feel bad about themselves so that they will work harder to please you is another evil no-no as a manager.
When employees feel like they are not good enough, it leads to them feeling unworthy and unimportant, which then leads to them resenting you and finding work elsewhere.
Sometimes managers may try to use guilt as a means of control.
It puts employees on this nightmarish merry-go-round of questioning their productivity levels, then working harder to the point of burnout, and then criticizing themselves when they don’t have the will to continue.
This can spike stress levels and cause them to be less engaged in their work, which can lead to poor leadership and culture, as well as low productivity and high turnover.
These incendiary bombs drop daily in businesses to kill culture and gain compliance. But compliance only produces defiance. And defiance leads to disengagement, dissent, and a drop in productivity and morale.
Sure, you get selfish instant gratification, but that is a short-term mindset. Soon enough, you’ll lose forward momentum, and worst case, your top talent will leave and become both your competition and your worst nightmare.
Why Culture is Motivation
When you can put the right principles, processes, policies, procedures, people, and performance metrics in place to elevate the culture, you can build a happy, healthy, wealthy culture.
It feeds a world-class buying experience that your customers want to be a part of.
The good news is that culture can be deliberately created and cultivated, no matter what the state or size of your business is. You’re in charge! It’s up to you as the leader or owner of the company to ensure your culture supports success.
So, how do you go about creating such a culture?
Happy: Gratitude is the secret to happiness. When you harness the raw power of gratitude and serve it up authentically every day, your employees will be happier, and that happiness will spill into every interaction they have with your customers.
When your employees aren’t happy, that means that they are feeling underappreciated. This can be remedied by making sure that your employees know sincerely just how much you appreciate them.
Gratitude has a way of helping us realize what we have as well. If you’re employees are coming across as entitled, it is more often a plea for help in recognizing all the effort everyone makes on a daily basis to run a successful and ambitious business.
Healthy: Mental health is what makes up a healthy team culture. A mentally healthy workplace is one in which employees have a good work/life balance, feel supported, and can openly talk about any issues they’re facing.
However, when you neglect the internal motivators, it’s easy to let the antimotivators take the main stage. This is because internal motivators are unsuspecting and never show up on a P&L.
Antimotivators, on the other hand, provide instant gratification which ultimately leads to weaponized fear, shame, and guilt.
Wealthy: A wealthy culture radiates a sense of abundance. When thinking abundantly, your team will be in thriving mode.
But, when your employees are surrounded by penny pinchers and misers, they have no choice but to be in survival mode.
Lacking the internal motivators — identity, purpose, and adventure — will leave employees with empty souls that are just in it for the cold hard cash.
What is a Leader’s Purpose?
Leaders need to have the discipline to take care of their business, and discipline requires committing to a bigger purpose: to protect and defend a happy, healthy, wealthy culture.
Not following your bigger purpose can sacrifice both your own and your team’s happiness and lifestyle… your health, and your wealth.
When you have happy, healthy, wealthy cultural leadership, your team will deliver a world-class buying experience.
At its core, leading with purpose means being dedicated to achieving excellence in everything you do.
Whether you are managing projects or working directly with clients, putting others first and focusing on meeting their needs using the internal and external motivators will help you create a strong foundation for success.
Culture is the Strategy
As we talk about the buying experience, it is important you understand that the buying experience dictates your story — your brand story that is.
The better the story you tell about your company, the better your advertisements will be. This effectively allows you to climb the ladder to exponential, profitable growth.
However, business owners don’t necessarily buy growth, they buy options, and exponential profitable growth affords them the options they require to attain true freedom.
As a business owner, freedom should be your number one aspiration. Therefore, motivation is culture and culture is the means of freedom.
“Culture doesn’t eat strategy for breakfast. Culture is the strategy.”
– Ryan Chute
At Wizard of Sales®, we’ve got you covered. We are experts in sales culture and can help you create a strategy that will create a cultural framework that aligns with your core values. Book a demo with us today to take your business to the next level!
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