12 Things We Have Learned in 12 Years: Part 2

by | Jan 23, 2023

12 Things We Have Learned in 12 Years Part 2

Newsletter Pro is continuing with our 12th-anniversary celebration by counting down our top 12 strategies and tips for success.

Since launching NLP in 2011, we’ve grown into a premier newsletter company focused on helping small businesses grow. 

And we’re not stopping. Over a decade later, we have many new projects brewing. 

We always want to recognize and include you, our customers, in our growth and success. We couldn’t do it without you. Here we go with the countdown: Tips #8-5. 

8.) We’re More Than The Sum Of Our Parts

In today’s competitive work environment, company culture matters more than ever. Company culture is the foundation that builds solid, amicable employee relations across the board, which equates to a happier, more satisfied team and higher productivity. 

NLP is all-inclusive on every level. Our respect and affection for each other are genuine. We boast diverse teams of talented people from all ages and backgrounds. That’s a mix of all kinds of work experience, ideas, and opinions under the same roof. Good things can happen when so many personalities mesh together, but there can also be clashes. 

We’re proud of the positive company culture we have here at NLP. With 12 years under our belt, which included the challenges of the pandemic, you can bet this didn’t happen overnight. With trial and error and outstanding leadership, we’ve fine-tuned some of the critical elements of a company culture that fosters respect, productivity, integrity, and company loyalty. 

No matter what industry you represent, we hope you’ll take some of what we’ve learned and apply it to your company culture. Here are a few lessons and practices we’ve implemented in our 12 years of business at NLP. 

  • Organizational Health

How is the organizational health of your business? What does that mean? Simply put, organizational culture is the path to getting things done. The organizational health of your business combines the core values, mission, and beliefs of your business and your expectations of your company team(s).

Make it a point to clearly define all of the above upon hiring new employees and periodically throughout their employment. There should be no room for ambiguity. It doesn’t mean that your company is shoving things down people’s throats or that employees don’t get it the first time. 

Keeping your company’s mission and culture at the forefront always ensures that everyone stays on the same page with the same goal in mind. This is one way to maintain the course if anyone goes into the weeds with a bad attitude or loses focus of the company’s best interest. 

  • Importance of teamwork

All for one and one for all. At NLP, we believe wholeheartedly in the power of teamwork. Our business would not fly without solid teams and strong employee relations. We know that no business can work at its peak without the backing of solid teams. It’s no surprise that statistics show employees who work as a team get more work done faster and more efficiently than employees who work solo. Teammates help keep each other accountable and, with the right company culture, build loyal work relationships and friendships.

In today’s post-pandemic digital world, where many teams work remotely with each other, teamwork is more important (and trickier) than ever. 

At NLP, we promote positive teamwork, whether it’s in-house or with our remote teams across the country. How do we do it? With our excellent leaders at the helm, we make every meeting a team meeting. We open the lines of communication. Everyone is welcomed and listened to equally. There are no stupid questions. (Maybe stupid jokes, as team meetings should also include some good humor). And here’s more.

  • No backstabbing or pitting employees against each other 

NLP prides itself on its diverse team of managers, editors, writers, and designers sprinkled throughout the country from all walks of life. We make it clear within our company that no one person or position is more important, and no one’s time is more valuable than another.

Inevitably, there will be disagreements, and personalities will occasionally clash. These situations should be brought to light and nipped in the bud ASAP so that productivity stays up and bad attitudes are kept at bay. NLP does not tolerate gossiping, backstabbing, bullying, and rudeness (or other forms of disrespect).

NLP fosters an environment of respect and positivity. Toxic people who taint the work environment with negativity of any form will be reprimanded or weeded out, if necessary.

  • Share ideas

At NLP, we pride ourselves on being open-minded and listening to everyone’s thoughts and ideas regardless of their role on a designated team or within the company. With technology bringing teams together from across the country and from all walks of life, it’s worth listening to what everyone has to say. Everyone deserves the respect and satisfaction of being heard. Plus, the value gleaned from the input and ideas of others is golden.

NLP is much more than the sum of our parts. Teamwork matters. The best teams come from a solid company culture based on respect and mutual understanding. We are better and more effective thanks to the outstanding team we’ve built at NLP.  

7.) Great Teams Need Great Leaders

No business can have great teams without great leaders. It’s next to impossible to have one without the other. At NLP, we learned that the best way to have great leaders who build great teams is to let them do their job. As a business owner who hires department heads, supervisors, etc., you may be tempted to micromanage them. But there’s a reason you hired them: because you trust them to help lead your company.

  • Let leaders lead

You intentionally hired talented, qualified people to lead certain aspects of your company. While the leaders you’ve chosen still need your guidance, encouragement, and feedback — you need to step back and let them step up to do the job you hired them to do. Instead of constantly delegating — empower your leaders. While your leaders should always respect the chain of command, giving leeway to lead with your blessing helps build better teams and stronger leaders. 

  • Leadership autonomy

For some business owners, handing over autonomy to their leaders is easier said than done. How much autonomy should you give them? At NLP, we believe in autonomy but stress that it is not unbridled freedom. It’s more like giving your leaders the latitude to make decisions with the tools and guidelines you’ve given them to succeed. 

  • Listen to your leaders

Communication, transparency, and clearly defined company goals are what it takes to make autonomy successful. As a CEO or business owner, NLP recommends holding leadership meetings with “all hands on deck.” Not to micromanage but to share ideas and keep everyone on the right path toward the company’s common goals and objectives. 

Letting leaders lead doesn’t come easily to every CEO or business owner. Sometimes it’s tough relinquishing power. However, once you’ve established trust and confidence in your leaders, you’ll have less stress and more time to focus on other aspects of your business or personal life. 

6.) Stars Shine Brighter When They Are Visible

At NLP, we believe that employee appreciation is one of the most important elements of building an amazing company culture. Everyone, no matter their position, finds satisfaction in knowing they matter in their place of employment. It’s been proven that recognizing employees boosts morale and inspires them to excel even further. Praising and rewarding your employees also spills over into their personal lives. Workers will be happier and more productive at home and in their communities when things are going well at work.  

At NLP, employee recognition is essential to our company culture. We believe every employee should be recognized for a job well done (whether in the spotlight daily or working diligently behind the scenes). Someone who is a spokesperson for your company and is seen frequently on social media or in the community may receive much recognition and feedback simply because they are more visible. The HR person who fields everyone’s questions, from insurance to vacation requests, deserves recognition. How about the cleaning person who keeps your office tidy and sanitized even after the pandemic? 

A job well done deserves to be recognized, no matter how big or small.

At NLP, we never miss an opportunity to make a big ta-doo over one of our outstanding team players at NLP. And we have a blast doing it! 

Here are a few things we do to spotlight our shining stars:

  • Standing ovations

Once a week, during NLP’s team huddles, someone is recognized for stepping up throughout the past work week. This person is nominated by their colleagues. We call this a “standing ovation.” It could be someone filling in for a coworker who’s out sick or volunteering at a company-related charity event. Maybe it’s someone who took some extra time out of their busy day to help a struggling newbie. We’re all thankful for those coworkers who go above and beyond the call of duty without being asked. That extra pat on the back goes a long way in promoting good morale and inspiring everyone on the team to do better.

  • Pro of the Month

Once a month, NLP honors an employee who went even a bit further than those who received a standing ovation. The Pro of the Month is someone who is just that — a pro. Someone who truly excels at what they do and has proven it in a big way. For example, an NLP Pro of the Month could be someone in the sales department who saved some major contracts that were on the verge of not renewing. Or maybe someone in IT worked overtime to remedy computer issues that were dragging the company down. 

At NLP, we love recognizing our employees through Standing Ovations and Pro of the Month. It shows we take pride in our team. Employee recognition generates a lot of smiles, laughs, and camaraderie. It’s easy to reward your employees in various ways and doesn’t need to take up a lot of time or money. The reward you receive in return will pay off tenfold. 

5.) Invest In Teams That Know How To Surf And Swim

Investing in the right employees and teaming them up with the right people is invaluable to your business. NLP, and other companies across the country need versatile teams that can surf and swim without sinking. So what exactly does it mean to invest in teams “that know how to surf and swim?” When one thinks of surfing, riding the wave is likely what comes to mind. (And well, maybe beaches, sunshine, and bikinis, too). But for this purpose, we’ll focus on riding the wave. 

  • Surfing

Surfing in business equates to gracefully riding the high waves of business and not losing focus or getting overwhelmed. (Another way of putting it: Shoot while the ducks are flying). The holiday season is a peak time of year when employees from many industries need to ride that wave with grace and tenacity. Frontline retail workers need to polish up their customer service and sales skills. Those who work behind the scenes in places that do high-volume online sales will need to hustle to process orders faster and more efficiently than at any other time of year.

  • Swimming

You want your teams to be not only good surfers but good swimmers, too. You can’t have one without the other. When work is intense (in other words — it’s high surf), you want a team that can keep moving and pushes through barriers when the going gets tough. Real-life examples include U.S. Postal Service and FedEx workers during the holiday season. These workers must know how to expertly surf and swim throughout the holidays to deliver the high volume of mail and packages with the season.

Every industry experiences its peaks and valleys. Preparing your teams for both helps your business run more smoothly and efficiently all year long.

Whether you’re just starting out or a veteran in your industry, we hope that the insight we’ve shared in these four tips has resonated with you at some level. Join us next week, where we’ll conclude our 12th-anniversary celebration with our final four business recommendations.

If you want to learn more about the history of Newsletter Pro and how we’ve grown over the years, you can fill out the form below to claim your free copy of our founder’s book, The Ultimate Guide to Newsletter.

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