How Can A New Manager Change the Culture of a Business?
Q: What do you suggest when coming into a new job, and having to evaluate the staff and help implement a culture change?
A: So Adam, I usually come in like a bear. I’ll put my procedures in and I will say, "This is what we're doing, and this is how we do it." And then the employee's are like, "Well, Jane didn't do that." And I'm like, "Do I look like Jane?" And I would just be really hard, and I would be able to say, "No. This is what we do."
As I have gotten older though, I think it's a good idea that you take a week and just see what's happening and try to find one running buddy. Somebody who understands your concept of good service. Someone who understands your ideas of how things should be run. Who comes to you and pretty much you're like, "Yes, this guy gets it." Or, "that gal gets it." And then you can build from there
The challenge you run into - and I can tell you I've done it many times - is that when you come in like a bear, you can lose an awful lot of people quickly, and now you're working two or three shifts. You're cutting your nose off to spite your face, as my mom used to say.
The story that made my brand 25 years ago, was a makeover of Polly's Gourmet Coffee in Long Beach. I went in there and I came in there so strong, his customers called me El Diablo because they were convinced that I was going to ruin his business. We lost 11 of the 12 employees within 30 days. Having said that, sales rose 11%. So, I absolutely believe it was the right thing to do, and being a good guy probably wouldn't have made that difference because that culture needed a shock.
I'm a big advocate for once you get your plan, stand by it and be rigorous about it, and know that some people are going to leave. But, first off, the first thing you do when you go in there is just start hiring, because you could hire someone and get them trained on your way before they start quitting on you.
I've just revamped my SalesRX sales page, also my speaking page, and my blogs, and a lot of other things too. I have to constantly be looking at, “how do I upgrade my website and my offering?” So, I'll go and I'll work with a speech coach, I'll end up working on marketing, I'll do whatever it is because I can't afford to be left behind.
In fact, yesterday I was listed as one of the top five retail voices on LinkedIn across the world, and that doesn't come from, "Oh, well, I'll do it someday." It's constantly making sure that I'm up to speed and I'm trying different things. The first thing you could do is to buy a copy of my book, The Retail Doctor's Guide To Growing Your Business here for about That's $20. It contains an awful lot of the advice I've used for all kinds of companies from top Fortune 100 companies all the way down to mom and pops just like you to answer all of that and build a system of excellence in your organization.