Scott touched on it and really hammered it home. Culture is NOT an Accident. It’s fought for, cultivated, intentional, curated, and tangible. 

About a year ago, we were looking to expand our coaching staff and I stuck my neck out for a buddy. He began the interview process, which is lengthy, sat in on some coaching calls and team meetings, went through our Vision Story and I’ll never forget when he called me and said, “Y’alls culture is ridiculous. I can literally feel it when I’m on the phone with anyone at BoP.” 

Now the point of that is not to brag on us. We do have a great team, but it’s to say that culture should be felt by all who come in contact with you. It should be what you hear when you’re standing in line at a restaurant and overhear someone mention your business. It’s that feeling all your employees have when they step inside your building. And it’s the feeling left for your clients after they work with you.

Now, we’ve spoken about what Culture is a ton, but I want to clear up, before this next bit, what Culture is NOT.

Culture is NOT:

100% 5-star reviews

Lead Well.

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That’s external. There are too many miserable people out there who go out of their way to nitpick every little thing and have nothing better to do with their days than tell the world about only getting two pumps of peppermint in their coffee instead of the 3 they ordered. You can’t measure culture solely off of what reviews are.

Culture is NOT:

More vacation days

Yes, that’s a part of it. Right, we rest AFTER we’re exhausted. We take turns running and running and running until we hit empty and then foolishly try to figure out a way to get back to a full tank. In reality, we run from ½ a tank to Empty all day instead of being proactive and RUnning between full and ½ a tank. Culture is proactive!

Culture is NOT:

A finished product. It’s not an arrival. There’s no app that you can type in the destination and arrive. No, it’s fluid. It’s constantly shifting. As soon as a new project starts, you know what, you have to fight to protect it. As soon as a new client shows up, you have to lean on it. 

But the moment you think you have arrived, you’re one step away from the culture you worked so hard to build crumbling and falling apart. 

So today…we’re going to answer some questions internally. I’m going to ask you all to be honest. If you have a great culture? YES!!! Awesome, what are the little tweaks to make it better.

If you have a crappy culture? Be honest. Forget people’s birthdays? Work too many hours? Burn out your team? Are y’all angry at each other? Do you shout back and forth? Do you do the least amount of work possible? Do people sulk around when asked to help? 

I don’t know, but it starts with being honest. So let’s have an open conversation.

Before we dive into questions for you I want to highlight something we’ve built that I’d like for us all to build before the end of the year. We call it our Culture Calendar.

We’ve realized that without writing it down, planning it out, and being highly intentional, our culture fails. 

-Team Meetings

-Retreats

-Birthdays

-Onboarding/continued learning calls

-Vision days quarterly

EVERYTHING WE FEEL WE NEED TO DO TO BUILD THE CULTURE WE WANT

So what needs to go on your culture calendar.

I’m going to go quickly through these questions. There’s no way to digest all of these questions in the 10 min we have, so write them down and maybe use your team meetings to ask one question a week for 6 weeks. Tackle them together and build the culture you want to be a part of. I’ll give you about 2 minutes to chat amongst your team, but come back to these questions, as we have, and figure out how to implement in your business!

     1. What is our culture today?

     2. How would our last 5 clients describe working with us??

     3. What do we do year-round to ensure we’re building a positive culture that people want to be a part of?

               a. Again, look back at our content calendar…

               b. Team Meetings, Retreats, Onboarding meetings, Trainings, Production meetings, etc…

     4. What else could we do?

     5. Is there anything pulling us away or distracting us from the culture we want?

     6. Is there another business culture out there we would like to be more like, what about it are we drawn to, who do we need to ask about it?

These questions matter. They help build your culture into something you can be proud of. So take time with your team outside this meeting to dive in. I think you’ll be glad a year from now when people are sticking around a long time and feel valued in being a part of your team.

Thomas Joyner is a business coach in the Lowcountry of South Carolina specializing in liberating business owners from chaos. He is a weekly contributor to The Business on Purpose podcast and can be found at mybusinessonpurpose.com