By Aimee Woodall
If you haven’t already planned for this in your first quarter, now is the time to resolve to create culture. Before you make any other changes to your company, you need to figure out who you are, what you stand for, and how people can participate in it. That might sound like a tall order, and it just might be, but it takes a lot of thought, evaluation, and consideration to figure out what’s most important and creating culture is the most important work you can do.
Don’t let that hard work part scare you off. You probably already have enough on your plate but creating your unique culture is a natural process of paying attention to how you operate and you are probably already doing it and didn’t even know it!
Going into your second quarter, it’s a good time to write down all the ways you’re going to be a better, tougher, and stronger business owner than you were in your first quarter. Start building your culture from the inside out, starting with these three tips.
- Know yourself.
To find your culture, you have to start with yourself. As a business owner, your company is an extension of YOU, so it makes sense that your culture is something that has a lot in common with your values and your personality. Identify ways that you can translate your quirks and superpowers into making people feel welcome, valued, and part of a bigger story.
- Show what makes you unique.
Step one had you diving deep into knowing what makes you special; step two is grabbing a bullhorn and shouting those truths from the rooftops. You have to be ambassador number one for your culture and demonstrate it to your employees, customers, and community. You can do that by establishing special terminology, rituals, team huddles, high fives, or other things that people can relate to.
For example, take a moment to be grateful for the small things and celebrate these tiny victories with your team. You can do it each Friday and call it Champagne Friday. It’s important to notice and appreciate the hard work your team does each week. Not only should they be aware of how proud you are of them, they need to be proud of themselves.
- Invite people to participate.
Like Champagne Friday, you have to have an element of participation in your culture no matter where they encounter it. Invite people in so they can be part of the experience by sharing your culture internally as part of your recruitment and ongoing efforts. Roll out your culture externally by sharing photos, quotes, or other elements of your culture on your website and social media.
By creating a culture, you create something people can relate to. You give them information about who you are and how you operate, offering a human side to your business and a story for people to follow along with. Your culture is your strongest asset as a business owner. It markets you; it guides you; it compels you to look closely at what makes you unique, and it shows that to the world. Instead of resolving to work for one hour each day on your networking skills, do this instead.
Aimee Woodall is the owner of the Black Sheep Agency, a Houston-based strategic brand shop specializing in cause-driven marketing, public relations, social media, and community outreach. You can contact Amy by phone at 832-971-7725, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website at www.theblacksheepagency.com.