Create team culture with these four tips
“Good people attract good people. Build a culture that’s true to your beliefs and you’ll end up with a team that shares the same values.”
When Ken Maclennan took the reins of Loan Market Western Australia, he had a key ambition in mind: create the right culture and build the business off the back of it.
“When I took on the role of state director in 2007, we spent a lot of time establishing a culture that we wanted all our brokers to share.
“It meant that we lost some brokers in the process who simply didn’t share the same vision, but whilst we were weaker on numbers, we became stronger in culture. This put us in a better position to bring on like-minded brokers who would thrive in the environment we created,” Ken explains.
When you drill down into how this culture-centric principle can be applied to a broker’s individual business, Ken suggests there are four tactics that can help get the most out of your team members.
Be true to yourself
"When you join a franchise group like Loan Market - or any aggregator for that matter - you need to align your values with the values of the group. But above and beyond that, you should develop your own individual culture within your business that’s true to your beliefs. Be clear on what that is when you’re recruiting for team members and you’re more likely to find employees that are going to thrive in the environment you’ve created."
"Whether it’s Friday drinks, sharing lunch together, or ten-pin bowling. Find out what your team like to do and make sure you do it regularly. Throwing a non-work activity into the mix at least once a month is great not only for the culture, it's also a way to get to know one another and make sure you all like each other."
"Don’t rely on your aggregator to throw parties on your behalf. Of course, when there’s a group Christmas party, conference or awards night, you should get involved, but make sure you celebrate your individual wins as a team too. Even if you commit to one thing a year - let’s say a Christmas party - it give the team something to look forward to and is a great way to create motivation for the coming year."
Lead by example
"If there are certain attributes you want in your employees, have those attributes yourself. If you expect your team to be calm and controlled under pressure, don’t lose your cool when you’re feeling the pressure yourself. Be the person you want your team to be. If they believe in your leadership, they’ll follow your example."
For Ken, his recruitment principles have paid off with Loan Market Western Australia harbouring a culture of collaboration.
"Our brokers work together, not against each other. They share knowledge with one another to help each other improve.
“And whenever our brokers are planning to recruit, I always encourage them to bring their prospects to one of our group functions, such as our monthly professional development days, to see how they’ll fit in with our broader group culture,” Ken said.