Let me start answering that question by asking another question: Why do we do what we do?
We do what we do (ie. work at the Bank) because we all have goals and interests that we want to achieve and enjoy. So if you want to create a positive culture, start by helping others achieve their WHY – ie. help others achieve their goals and interests. Edgar Schein, an MIT professor, was one of the first to study and write about organizational culture. Put simply, he said that the culture of your organization (Bank) can be described as “the way you do things”.
Having worked in/for a number of financial institutions over the past 30 years, I have noticed the Banks that exude the most positivity are those that enthusiastically help others with the “way they do things”. The best way to do that is to create a COACHING process at your Bank where you can help Staff AND Clients achieve their goals and interests.
I have asked MANY bankers across the globe to describe what a positive work culture looks like …. and I typically get the following responses:
“We work well together”
“We all get along”
“We help each other”
“We aim to be the best we can be”
“We look for ways to help each other stay positive”
“We enjoy what we do”
A collaborative and supportive work environment will always produce these positive statements. All of these bankers most likely receive consistent coaching from their Leaders, in team meetings and through formal external programs. They also consistently coach their customers on better ways to do their banking and/or achieve their financial goals.
Don’t we all want to work in a positive environment where we can say that “the way we do things at our bank is through continuous learning, coaching and support that helps our staff and our customers achieve their personal goals”.
Now that sounds like a culture I would like to work in. And it all starts by implementing a simple and consistent coaching process.