Every single one of us can get caught up in dealing with the day to day requests and problems that pop up. Sometimes it seems like that is all we do. As the leaders in our company, it is important to keep an eye out for 7 problems that may seem small at first, but can have big impacts on the overall health of the company and long term success. Some might seem pretty obvious, but others are sign of potentially much larger problems. We also cover 4 ways to make sure you are cultivating a culture in your company that is focused on quality improvement.

1. Your business image is slipping in the eyes of customers.

Customer feedback, online reviews and poor customer service is often rationalized as unreasonable expectations or one or two hard-to-please individuals. In fact, you need to carve out time every day for improving customer relationships. More happy customers are a major key to success.

2. You see more personal people conflicts in your team.

Healthy debates and differences of opinion are good and lead to needed change. But any time you see personal verbal attacks or lack of engagement, you need to drop all else and get to the bottom of the issue. Healthy team culture is another key driver for growth and winning.

3. Major vendor or partner relationships are suffering.

Businesses succeed or fail based on good people relationships, more than great processes. Your job as a business leader is to get the right people in place early and provide ongoing communication and oversight, rather than trying to run all the relationships yourself of a growing business.

4. You can’t find the time for coaching and mentoring.

Even the busiest leaders find time for management by walking around, and actually listening to their people.

5. Meetings with your team seem to be non-productive.

If your team is not fully engaged, you need to take the lead in inciting participation, through positive motivation, better listening, or proactively asking for feedback. Positive team collaboration is a culture that you must foster to increase productivity and the ability to change with the market.

6. Top employees are leaving for better opportunities.

Employees sometimes leave if they are not satisfied with you, rather than a salary level or role definition. Your challenge is to proactively build a caring and positive relationship with key individuals, and show them that you are providing the career development they crave.

7. You see evidence of ethical compromises in the team.

Every business owner and entrepreneur has to be the role model for trust, a good moral compass, and ethics. You need to make sure you are sending the right signals, and you must communicate and act decisively to eliminate transgressions in this regard. Nothing can be a higher priority.

To help cultivate that winning culture that is focused on quality improvement, try these 4 steps:

1. Value developing solutions more than determining blame. People have an incredibly good sense of whether they are more likely to win in an organization by coming up with a great solution, or if they are more likely to lose by making a mistake.

2. Support others in finding their own solutions–but don’t find solutions for them.

3. Stay curious about why mistakes happen and why other people decide differently than we do.

4. Don’t celebrate heroes who save seemingly hopeless situations more loudly than those who achieve their goals without difficulties and escalations.

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