Creating a Culture
By Jodie Goodchild, Operations Manager
MarketMakers have an industry leading culture which I believe has been integral to our success and an important factor to any business regardless of industry – if you get the culture right, the rest will fall into place.
When I think about the attributes of MarketMakers and what’s stuck out for me personally over the last 12 years of working here, I would say that this is it. What’s a credit to MarketMakers history is that our culture is like a tradition that has been passed down over the last 14 years that the business has been established. As junior staff have progressed through our 8 Tier structure and had opportunity to grow and lead teams, we have had these values instilled upon us to take forward into our new roles as business leaders. I guess you could say the knighting we get when we step up through our progression structure also includes taking an oath as our promise to continue the MarketMakers culture into our business units!
We don’t have a hierarchy at MarketMakers and our Senior Management team are always keen to stress that the success and growth of MarketMakers isn’t down to one individual but everyone together working as one. Every single employee here at MarketMakers embrace our culture by living and breathing our core values. By doing so, we have created a great working environment and a fantastic culture.
Firstly, I guess you should ask yourself “What is a culture?” my opinion is that it allows everyone to work towards the same goals (typically aligned to those of the business). Having instilled culture upon various business units over the years at MarketMakers – I have added below some tips and hints for things that I feel could support in creating the best possible culture;
Share your vision, set a shining example and always have clear expectations
- Share your goals/visions with your teams (managers and staff) – don’t rely on others to do this for you.
- You should be seen as the leader of the unit by your staff.
- Don’t be seen as someone that is unapproachable or not accessible.
- Set an example – be on time, dress smart, be approachable, do as you want others to do!
- Set clear expectations so everyone understands what is and isn’t acceptable.
Lead by example and get stuck in – roll your sleeves up and show the team you are one of them!
- Having been in my agents shoes (I was a dialler for 5 years!), I feel it’s important to show them that I haven’t forgotten where I came from nor have I lost the skills I learnt whilst dialling. If the results are down, I offer support, guidance and coaching SBS as well as rolling my sleeves up and getting stuck in – this demonstrates that you are one team.
- For me this is something I do as much as possible. It’s a great way to gain respect from your employees as you are demonstrating that you can complete the job that you are expecting them to do (it makes it fun for them too!)
Get to know the team
- As a rule, I will always ensure that I know 5 facts about each member of my staff. At present I have around 58 employees that work with me and I know each and every one of their names (Forename and surname) as well as being able to have a detailed conversation with them in relation to their performance etc.
- My desk is in amongst my team and they know that they can approach me with questions and queries and I will always support them, again demonstrating that we are ‘One Team’.
- Make time for ‘floor walking’ each day and putting time aside in my diary to check in with each team in my unit. I will ask how they are getting on and give a well done to those that are over performing and tips to those that are seeking some guidance.
Be a leader and lead the team to success
- Regularly I will hold department meetings where all of the staff will gather together to discuss performance and where we are in terms of our monthly objectives.
Recognition is key
- Whilst reviewing the previous weeks results on a Monday, I will always take time to email/go and speak F2F to staff who have made progress with their results/delivered over and above targets. A well done and thank you for hard work is worth so much more to some employees over financial incentives.
The odd free coffee or cookies here and there goes down a treat too! Or just making the team teas and coffees – that one’s free!
Have ‘Great Times’
- I have always ensured that we inject a bit of daily fun into the department. We work really hard and sometimes it’s nice to have a break from the serious and enjoy a little game here and there!
- Something my team like me to do is to ‘swap roles’ for an hour – I will often swap with an agent for an hour where I will dial for them and they will be the ‘Operations Manager’– this always boosts morale.
If culture is something you are interested in and want to read more about, a good book I once read that was recommended to me by our Commercial Operations Director, Clare Pugh, is called ‘Tribal Leadership’ by Dave Logan, Halee Fischer-Wright and John King.
If you’ve not read the book, it’s highly recommended!