It is lonely at the top. That’s a fact borne out in my work with senior leaders. The higher up the organization you go, the fewer peers you have. The people giving you advice have their own agendas, not nefarious…
I was working recently with a wonderful group of tech professionals. They are a rapidly growing team here in Washington, D.C., and one of the things that they were talking about was how do they take care of their team culture and morale as they grow.
They’re in the client service business. In other words they’re serving demanding clients who want response 24/7.
How do they balance being responsive to the clients and yet taking care of themselves individually but also as a group? That was something that they were wondering about.
I asked them what they thought were the most important things about their own team culture? It turned out they had a really strong and favorable feeling about their current corporate culture and they wanted to maintain it.
They thought there were three things that were really important to them
- The first thing was Caring. Caring for each other, caring for the clients also, but really, taking care of each other. Knowing what was going on with each other and being very understanding. Caring for each other is something they focus on.
- The second C, was the importance of Communication. Communicating frequently with each other, particularly for those colleagues who are working remotely on clients sites, but also staying in touch, circulating information, making sure people were aware of developments as they happened.
- The third thing was about Control. One of the things that came up in our discussion was the sense that they had of having actually quite a strong amount of control over their work, over their environment, which sounds counterintuitive right. If they’re at the beck and call of clients, how do they have so much control? Well, they have quite a bit of flexibility. For example, if they need to work from home, or if they have worked all weekend at a client’s site, they have quite a bit of control and autonomy about how they organize their work and how they get the job done.
They say these three behaviors are demonstrated by their leader, the president of the company. Their team culture is set from the top and the culture drives the morale.
I hope this is helpful and if you have some suggestions on what you think is important in maintaining morale while delivering 24/7 customer service, please write or comment.
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