How to create a strong company culture

No matter how big or small your company is you must make sure you have and maintain a strong company culture. You want people to be happy to work for you and you want this to be reflected in their attitude towards clients and consumers.

To help businesses build a strong company culture we have had the team at Credico UK share their top tips:

Assign an owner
It may sound simple, but companies need someone who is directly responsible for culture. Of course this culture cannot be created by just one person, but it can be one person’s role to focus on culture and push everyone else in the right direction – whether they’re hiring candidates or managing the team as it sets its priorities.

Leadership sets tone
Culture is shaped by how your leaders act, so make sure your leadership team embodies the type of company you want to be. Decide what you want to be and what you want your team to represent and make sure your leaders are acting this out too!

Structure says everything
Organisational structure drives culture. Your team needs to know where they go when they need advice or who they report to. This will make them feel comfortable and confident in what they are doing.

Prioritise and focus
You don’t need one person who’s good at everything. You need a team of people who work together and are all good at their respective roles. Decide what will really get things moving for your product and customers, and act as a team.

Always communicate
Communicate your values and culture explicitly and continuously, both internally and externally. Employees must understand your culture and why it’s important. Reward employees who advance your culture and be open and honest with those who don’t.

No matter how big or small your company is you must make sure you have and maintain a strong company culture. You want people to be happy to work for you and you want this to be reflected in their attitude towards clients and consumers.

Top Tips to Motivate a Team

Here at Credico UK we believe that motivation is the key to productivity. When a team is motivated and happy they are likely to work harder and get more done, because they actually want to do it. However, motivation does not always have to be in the form of cash bonuses. Here, we have revealed some top tips to motivate your team:

Share the organisational vision with each member

If everyone is aware of the collective vision, which will lead to prosperity and success for each team member, motivation and enthusiasm will play a strong part in every activity. The team will understand what it is they are working towards and will therefore have more motivation to achieve these clear goals.

Communicate with staff

You won’t know your teams ideas or concerns if you don’t constantly communicate with them. Use each opportunity to interact with them and you will discover hundreds of new ways of organising your activities more successfully.

Make people feel appreciated

People need to feel appreciated and very often appreciation feels like a greater reward than money. Show your team sincere gratitude for the unique contribution each one makes to the business.

Support new ideas

Give people the chance to be innovative and you will be surprised by how great their ideas are. Show these ideas support and encourage that suggestion are made, even if you think the idea is silly, acknowledge the fact they contributed and don’t dishearten them. A company can only move forward when it has original ideas.

Give challenging tasks

People will never improve or grow if they continue doing what they have always done. This can be very boring and lead to a drop in productivity. Let them develop new skills by giving them challenging tasks. At the same time make sure the tasks are achievable and within the person’s interests.

Encourage creativity

Supervising doesn’t mean controlling each and every step. Give the team their task, tell them what needs to be achieved and then let them think of their own ways to achieve it. This encourages creativity and shows the team that you trust their judgement, which can be extremely motivating.

Give each one opportunities to grow

If people know they are going to be doing the same thing, the same way all the time, they will definitely lose the motivation to put their maximum effort into their work. They should be sure that hard work and dedication to the business will lead to new personal and professional achievements.

Create healthy competition

For this purpose it can be beneficial to use the classic rewards system. People contribute their efforts and ideas to the maximum when they know that outstanding excellence will lead to generous rewards.

Celebrate each success

Even the smallest achievements are worthy of celebrating. The road to success consists of hundreds of small steps. Reward and celebrate every goal achieved. Prove to the team that their efforts are helping to make important steps forward.

Create and maintain team spirit

Having a team is like an extended family – they probably see the people they work with more than their own families – where mutual support and trust are the most important values. Organise team activities both during work hours and after. Creating and maintaining a powerful team spirit in the workplace will lead to more success.

Establishing your business’ core values

Establishing your business’ core values

Most entrepreneurs start a business because they feel there is a problem that needs solving and that they have or could create the solution to that problem. But to connect with consumers businesses need more than just a fix to a problem, they must have values. A business’ core values is what attracts loyal customers, as they feel they can relate to the business and that the business stands for something they respect and agree with. This is also important for developing a strong company culture – you can attract and maintain top talent if you have strong core values that they agree with.

Here, we have revealed what you should consider when establishing your company’s core values:

  1. Clear values should define the business and guide behaviour.
  2. As the company grows these founding beliefs will need to be made more formal and explicit.
  3. Try to avoid writing these values down using generic words and phrases (like “integrity”), use your own unique voice. This makes the values more relatable and reinforces whatever is unique about the culture.
  4. Involve everyone within the company in the creation and codification of the values. A business owner should lead but not dictate. This is continuous process, as there are always more things that can be done to make sure the values are being stuck to and are effective.
  5. Always reinforce the values – repeat, reward and recognise. For example an example of recognition, the CEO could pick one value a month and the company votes for one person who best characterises that value.
  6. Good, practiced values can help make difficult decisions. Especially decisions where numbers and analysis alone can’t give you the answer.
  7. Lead by example. If the CEO and leaders do not follow the values then they will not stick with everyone else.
  8. Be ready to be tested. Employees should – and will – call you out based on your values. While this can be a bit painful, this is a good sign because it means the values have really taken hold at the root level and are being used multi-directionally.
  9. Values should make you and everyone else in the firm proud to work there.
  10. Always stick to your core values, and be honest about them! Consumers will appreciate the transparency.

Credico’s 5 top tips to improve productivity

5 top tips to improve productivity

We know that in a fast-paced business world, people always want to accomplish more with their days. So how can you be more productive? We’ve released our top tips for improving your own productivity.

Arrive early, stay later
If your day is constantly disrupted by rush hour traffic, get up early and beat it. This will not only leave you in a better mood for the rest of the day but also means that you have more time to get things done. The same goes for the end of the work day. Your ability to save these extra hours will help increase your productivity levels.

Plan each day the night before
This can be a total game changer for most people. This could be as simple as preparing your lunch the night before, putting your clothes out ready, or leaving your briefcase by the front door. Or you could take the time before you go to bed the night before to create your to-do list and prioritise it. This will give you a head start the next day. Our top tip is to put a star next to the most important tasks on your to do list, reminding you that these are the tasks that need to be done to push you forward with achieving big goals.

Leave the office for lunch
Something so small can have a hugely powerful effect on how you work for the remainder of your day. Leaving the work environment for lunch can ease stress levels, refresh your creativity and help you to re-focus.

Minimise distractions
Distractions are everywhere. If you work from a computer, as most people do, there is always the temptation to check social media, or surf the internet, or check your emails every 5 minutes. Eliminate these distractions and allow set times for checking your emails. You could even go as far as hanging a do not disturb sign on your door during really important tasks, so that co-workers know not to bother you.

Keep your goals in sight at all times
After setting extremely big and exciting goals that you want to accomplish, keep them in sight at all times. You could even write your goals down and carry them with you so that you see them at random points throughout the day. This way when you glance at your goals your motivation levels will likely increase.

The importance of a positive attitude

At Credico UK we believe that a positive attitude can go a long way at work and can not only make the atmosphere a lot better for everyone involved but can help people push towards success. Being positive gives people the motivation to keep that positivity going.

We have outlined the main reasons why people need to be positive at work and the benefits of this:

Less Stress

It’s healthier for you and everyone around you. Stress can bring about a whole world of problems such as insomnia, fatigue, and loss of concentration and even some more serious ailments like severe depression and high blood pressure. Staying positive is a way to reduce these pains.

Happy Peers

Your stress levels can affect everyone around you, whether you are so scattered you can’t organise your thoughts enough to send a coherent email, or you lash out in frustration at a startled co-worker. Improving your disposition will have a ripple effect that positively influences everyone you come in contact with.

Job Security

A bad attitude (and subsequent side effects) can get you fired, so take it down a notch, take a deep breath, and maybe take a break! An employee who gets the ball rolling and keeps everyone on track is a much better asset.

Boundaries

Positivity is required to enjoy life. But you will have to take steps to get to your happy place. Most of us don’t get what we want all the time but you can’t focus on the negative. Keep in mind that you work to make money. You are not obligated to do anything other than the services you were hired to do. Set your limits and it may help you keep a level head in the workplace.

Control

You control your life, your path and your decisions. Do what makes you happy and positive and you will find that you enjoy life a lot more and feel more in control of what happens next.

Getting the best out of your staff

At Credico UK we believe that it is important to encourage and treat staff well. This not only motivates staff to do a good job but happy staff often leads to happy customers. This is often referred to as “The Trickle Down Effect”, a good manager treats his/her staff well, meaning that staff are content and want to do a good job, meaning they provide the best service possible to their customers, meaning customers leave happy and return again and again.

We also believe that cementing good relationships with your clients and customers is highly important in business and we believe that the two – forging long-lasting relationships and getting the best out of staff – go hand in hand. So we are offering ways to motivate and get the most out of your employees:

Treat everyone as an individual
Respect that different employees have different needs. Get to know each member of staff and show you understand them by being flexible to their personal situations. For example, if an employee is in a long distance relationship, you may want to let them leave early on Friday afternoons. As a result, they’ll be more inclined to put extra hours in during the week to keep on top of their workload.

Praise good work and offer feedback
Public praise – congratulating someone in front of everyone – can be a huge motivator. Regular feedback and encouragement makes employees feel positive and they are likely to invest this positive energy into your business.

Lead by example
A productive team needs a productive leader. A good leader should embody the company’s brand and be true to its ethics, otherwise how can you expect employees to do this? It is equally important that employees see you putting in as much energy as them – if not more. A good leader must lead by example, by demonstrating the behaviours that are expected of staff. Be excited by new challenges and show real enthusiasm for projects.

Encourage people to take a break
Everyone needs a break in order to operate at their full potential. Approach people who haven’t used their holiday entitlement and encourage them to get away. This will also prove to employees that you care about their wellbeing.

Give ownership to your team
While new employees will need clear instructions and guidance, once they have learnt the ropes, let go of the reins. Leave them to be led by their own initiative and congratulate them for doing so. By giving this ownership to a team they will feel trusted and motivated to prove that that trust was rightfully placed.

 

Are you a leader or a follower?

Do you see yourself as a leader or a follower? You could argue that one is far better than the other but in actual fact; successful leaders need to be just as capable of following if needs be. In order to become a leader it helps to have the respect of others and being a team player and working in a cooperative environment can help you gain that respect. If you’re confident in yourself and your own capabilities, those around you will naturally view you as the right person to take charge. In order to understand your full leadership potential it is important to be able to take a honest look at your own personal attributes to discover what you can do improve your leadership capabilities, by being brave and taking a moment to analyse yourself means that even those among us who aren’t natural born leaders can learn the skills required to influence others to follow their lead.

If you instantly know how to solve a problem and approach tricky situations with ease, chances are you have natural leader qualities. Whereas, if you prefer to take direction or like to validate an idea before implementing it, you probably display more ‘follower’ traits. Both are equally important as in business one simply can’t exist without the other. However if you feel you have the hidden potential to become a successful leader there are a few specific traits that are essential. A good leader has the ability to see everything that’s happening around them and respond quickly, from noticing patterns to potential threats, a good leader will foresee possible issues and already have a strategy in place if the issue does eventually arise.

So how do you express your budding leadership potential to your fellow colleagues? Well, there are few simple changes you can make to your everyday working practices in order to encourage people to start following you.

It may seem obvious but improving communication between yourself and colleagues is a great way to improve your leadership skills. By letting others have their say even if you don’t agree, and asking relevant questions will help to make others believe in you and feel that their opinions are valued. However communication shouldn’t just be limited to ‘work talk’. It may seem like a contradiction when talking about becoming a leader, but having an informal connection and sharing with colleagues on subjects besides work matters makes for a happier and more content work relationship.

Remembering everyone likes to be appreciated is also an important aspect in showing your leadership potential. if you’ve ever been praised for something you worked really hard on you probably know how rewarding this can feel. By praising someone you’re not asserting any authority; however you are letting that person know that you’ve noticed their effort, which is an important trait in a leader.

Whilst it’s important to notice how others are working, it’s just as important to recognise your own faults, an apology is not a weakness, and by acknowledging and taking responsibility for your own mistakes means that colleagues are far more likely to respect you than if you try to ignore it.

Lastly, understanding the goals of your fellow colleagues is paramount in gaining the respect needed to be a great leader. If you know what others goals are, you can figure out ways to help them achieve them. This in turn will make others keener to help you out when you need them.

By incorporating these simple ideas into your day to day working practice could be the first step towards unlocking your leadership capabilities. However the important thing to remember is to be a leader you really have to want it, if your hearts only half in it chances are you will fall at the first challenge you find yourself facing. Remember to honestly asses your strengths and weaknesses and only move forward if you feel you have the attributes to do so.

4 LEADERSHIP MYTHS

As an entrepreneur, leadership skills are essential. When we think of the traits of a leader, I’m sure we all think the same. Leaders need to be able to lead a team, use their initiative and make quick decisions. We all have our idea of what makes a good leader, however, new research online suggests that you can’t believe everything you read. Check out these 4 lies about leadership:

  1. “All managers are leaders”

Just because you’ve earned a management position, it doesn’t mean you are automatically a leader. Management is a subset of leadership, not its equivalent. Some people reach management because they are good at setting up, hiring people and maintaining the company’s systems and processes. It is only when they can help drive the business forward and bring out the best in people, they become a leader.

  1. “People are born leaders”

Leadership does require a certain type of person, but these leadership skills can still be learnt. Becoming a good leader requires a strong focus on developing your behaviour and characteristics. There is no time for studying their biological background.

  1. ‘Leaders always have the right answers’

Leadership is about asking the right questions and knowing where to go for the best answers. It’s about being able to use your initiative and think on your feet. These are skills that contribute to becoming an excellent leader.

  1. ‘Leadership is about ambition’

There is nothing wrong with having ambition in business. It’s having the ability to bring those ambitions into reality that’s important for a leader. Leadership is all about the greater good. You know you’re an effective leader when your clients, customers and colleagues are also better off!

 

How many of these lies did you originally believe? Are you surprised by the outcome?

It’s a fact that anyone can be a leader if they set their mind to it. Leadership is all about having the ability to implement the strategies you think are best and to make decisions quickly and efficiently. The only way you’re going to get better is to put your leadership skills into action!

 

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