If you have read this far, you know a lot about what great companies do. You also have plenty of ideas which you have hopefully tried for yourself and are beginning to see some results from your endeavours. And this in turn will inspire you to keep going.
But to garner the positive results described in Chapter 1 you need others to join in. So now is the time to begin using your influence with your manager or your senior team. The first task is to convince them that this is not just a touchy-feely ‘nice to have' but that it is also about making money. The second is to convince others that work-life can be better than it is presently, that it must get better for the sake of the business, and that you are committed to creating change.
Organisations are made up of people, and people are always resistant to change. Some resist for 10 seconds then get on with it, others can hold out for a really long time. You have to persuade them this is for the best and encourage them to take on - or even relish - the challenges.
Depending on the type of culture you have already, you will be pushing uphill or on an open door. The first part of this chapter looks at how to proceed when the senior team are open to suggestion and the second half suggests what you can do if you are on your own.
Regardless of what actions you decide to take, your own behaviour is a powerful tool for promoting change. Do not talk one way and behave in another. From this moment on, be a great company manager. Identify your principles, understand the behaviours that demonstrate them and let that guide your actions. When you fail, acknowledge it, take the learning and begin again. If you are consistent in your valuing of people, you will make an impact.
There are many ways to take the first steps:
approach the senior team
invite the HR department to act as enabler of the great company culture
build critical mass from your present position
work with your own team
plough a lone furrow.