Recently I took a week off with my partner to refresh and reset and was delighted to have possibly one of the greatest customer experiences ever at an eco-resort in Byron in Bay.
We only stayed there for 2 days, so for me to say this shows the impact that a happy team culture can make. Travelling a lot with my work, I rarely see this, and you can pick up from a mile away a negative, sober culture even when you are not fully immersed in the day to day of the staff. It’s refreshing to see people loving what they do and who they do it with.
Something so often missed when organisations put progress before people.
People before progress, always
On arrival, we were greeted with what I call “authentic happiness” and an excitement for us to experience a resort that the reception team were clearly proud of. From a great conversation on where to go and what to do, in between sips of lemon iced tea, to how the place was founded and built, I could clearly feel such a positive energy and commitment from the staff within the first 10 minutes of arriving.
From reception, a gorgeous girl Layla picked us up in a buggy and dropped us to our room, which was stand-alone pod beautifully positioned in the rainforest. Without us asking, she openly told us she loved working at the resort and that all the staff are like one happy family. It really showed, and it wasn’t just talk, and within 2 hours the waiter at the Mexican themed pool said the same thing and that he was looking to leave and travel but why would he when he loved his job and surroundings.
Happy team, happy work-life
A few mojitos later, we enjoyed an amazing dinner and were boarding another buggy to take us back to our room. It was a chilly night, even for a Melbourne person, and all I did was fold my arms, and within 10 seconds from behind, I was cocooned in a beautiful warm blanket for the trip back. Again, the person driving us back openly stated they loved working at the resort and even on her days off, she would stay at the resort with her partner. I told her we had heard from everyone that day how they loved working there and asked her what made it that way.
A few things I am sure we can all relate to:
We get left to do our job
When people are given the freedom to focus on their key area and tasks and monitored from afar, they can learn and grow as they work. Give your team the WHAT but not the HOW let them co-create and own what they do. Let them lead themselves, tap into their strengths then let them take ownership, not just accountability.
The place delivers on what it promises
Working where you are proud of goes a long way, especially when the expectations are exceeded both internally and externally with customers and stakeholders. Build a culture that delivers not only internally but externally also and I believe one is a reflection and result of the other. What do you promise your team? What are they committing to as a team? Check-in, reflect and reset this often, in order to build a Limitless Team.
Everyone has fun
Fun is a key component to life, in and out of work. Who doesn’t like having fun? Does your company culture foster people having fun? Fun doesn’t mean that work isn’t getting done; it’s the way work can be done in a more productive and fulfilling way. When the pressure was on when I worked at MARS Australia, I would tell myself and my team that we were only selling chocolate!
We all know what we have to do
Role clarity is imperative and needs to be refreshed and updated, not left to discuss during Performance Reviews, or what I believe should be called Performance Previews. Knowing what each individual has to do and why is imperative in conjunction with each, remember knowing what each other do. A one-team mentality is vital, and this can’t be achieved if we aren’t aware of what each other do and how we all fit in to achieve one common objective.
How would your team answer, “What makes you love working here?”
Working with thousands of leaders and business owners over the years, the above things are so obvious but often missed. I believe we over-engineer what great looks like and we need to strip back our thinking and therefore our actions and focus on the small things that can make a big difference.