Design Your Culture
This month we challenged you to take a walk around your business and note what you see, feel, hear, smell and experience. What did you like about your current culture? What didn't you like? Does your business feel relaxed? Or, does it feel formal? Are your values and core beliefs incorporated into your culture?
Culture Values Statement
At BBG, we encourage every business to have a Culture Values Statement. This is a written description of the attitudes, behaviors, and qualities that you value in your workplace by which their presence creates a productive workplace environment for your employees to achieve success.
If you don't have a Culture Values Statement, you can start by writing down what you want and don't want. Review what you wrote from our challenges this month. Then, take a piece of paper or start a new document on your computer. Make two columns: title one column "Keep" and the other column "Change." Start jotting down the culture items you want to keep in your business and the ones you want to change. For example, if you don't like that everyone comes to work 10 minutes late, add "starting late" to the "Change" column. If your team has a genuine interest for your customers, write "customer care" in the "Keep" column.
- Dress code
- Work week - Schedules
- Problem solving
- Communication within and outside the business
- Physical environment of your business
- Intangibles of your business: energy, communication, respect, trust
- How mistakes are handled
- Clear vision, defined goals, and purpose of one's position
- Openness to creativity and ideas
- Learning, training and development
- Work/life balance
- Celebrate success
- Collaborative or independent work
Your workplace culture may include several tangible areas like written policies, how technology is used, and the physical layout of a building. A business that is one large open space for everyone to work usually has a workplace culture of collaboration and transparency. Workplace culture also has intangible components like respectfulness toward each other, trust, and employee satisfaction.
To summarize this month's discussion on workplace culture, it is important to be purposeful in designing your workplace culture and not just let it happen. Once you've defined the workplace culture your business needs, make it tangible by putting it in writing so you can talk about it with your employees. If you need to create or change your workplace culture do it simply at first and keep adding to it. Making sure along the way it matches how you want everyone (employees, vendors, customers, community) to experience your business.