As Australia slowly begins its march out of strict lockdown, it’s time for business leaders to refocus their energies on rebuilding their team’s culture from the ground up. Businesses need to keep their teams as connected and motivated as possible, even if the majority of them are continuing to work from home.
Connect with your staff virtually, remind everyone to still have fun and continue to work hard because the business is continuing to push forward and will come out stronger. With a sense of certainty and positivity from their leader, it’ll be easier for staff to quieten the feelings of anxiety and get on with doing great work.
My agency, King Kong, is achieving this through daily chats and video meetings on Google Hangouts, and we even recreated Friday drinks by all having a huge video chat with everyone in the company. It’s a great opportunity to blow off some steam and feel connected.
If your business is starting to return to an office-based setup, then double down on celebrating successes and maintaining a positive atmosphere. I encourage my team to celebrate all their wins, big or small. We sound the gong when a sale is made, or ring the brass bell when we go live on a campaign/project or get our client a lead. As you can imagine, our office is constantly buzzing.
I’m always encouraging our team to be innovative and to change the game, and those types of successes deserve recognition. We run competitions with prizes within each team to encourage innovation and are rolling out a rewards scheme that puts the power of recognition to the team instead of the managers.
On the other hand, if your business is remaining primarily WFH for the foreseeable future, consider how to work these kinds of short, snappy, fun celebrations into a digital format.
Don’t be afraid to make new hires
In order to grow your business post-crisis, business leaders shouldn’t be afraid of making new hires. Without a foundation of talented and reliable people supporting you, it will be very difficult to scale and pursue every opportunity presented.
If your team is dysfunctional, your growth will happen on shaky territory, putting everything at risk. This is especially true during a challenging economic climate, when every wrong decision can have serious ramifications for your business.
While having money doesn’t automatically mean team members are loyal and committed, having the means to hire talent with the right skills is a good start. Skills and experience may be the elements you look for initially, but the real clincher is whether the person has the right attitude. Shortlist by capability, but hire by commitment, because you want someone who is prepared to work hard for the right reasons.
Maintaining and respecting people’s need to focus is an important part of building a strong business culture – whether they’re working from home or not. Chat is a very inefficient way to communicate, and it’s a great way to get yourself out of the zone of deep work.
Interruptions all day long can really take your team out of their zone of concentration, which can be frustrating and ultimately begin to destroy your company’s culture. Ensure that deep work can still be executed across your organization by limiting meetings to video calls and trying to reduce chat where possible.
As a leader, you need to make sure you’re giving yourself the permission to jump off chat and not be responsive to everyone to everyone at all times, as true leadership can only come from those periods of intensive, concentrated work.
My Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are reserved for deep work. In a nutshell, deep work is distraction – free concentration, focusing on activities that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. Deep work and open door policies do not mix, so if you dream of achieving the deep work nirvana, you must learn to not only close the door, but lock it firmly shut.
That being said, engaging in deep work for most of the day doesn’t mean you can’t find time for meetings with your team too. Simply block out shorter thirty minute chunks in the morning and afternoon for meetings. That way, you’re still accessible without having your entire day sucked away.
Use a calendar app your entire team can access, so everyone’s on the same page and understands how precious your time is. Only then will they use it more wisely.
With this structure in place, I have been able to grow my business into the fastest growing digital marketing agency in Australia. Our success can be explained in one word: focus.
Sabri Suby is the founder of Australia’s fastest-growing digital marketing agency, King Kong, and author of international bestseller Sell Like Crazy. Having originally founded King Kong in 2014 from his bedroom, Sabri has bootstrapped the company since day one and in under five years has successfully built a team of 63 specialists and a company valued at $30million with a growth rate of 312 per cent. As a pioneer in the digital marketing arena, his business has impacted more than 250,000 businesses in 42 different countries and has generated in excess of $1.3 billion in sales for him and his clients.