— December 19, 2017
A strong company culture is always a priority for any successful business owner. That priority is something my team has always focused on, and it began to show throughout the community. Within one year, my agency, Loud Rumor, was announced as the winner for three awards: the 2017 BBB Torch Award for Ethics, #1 in the Micro division of the Phoenix Business Journal’s Best Places to Work, and #1 Ad Agency by AZ Ranking. Below are factors that helped my team build a recognized culture that stands out:
1. RECRUIT A-PLAYERS/SET EXPECTATIONS
Fill your team with people who not only work hard, but who care about the business just as much as you do.
For us, this starts with the interview process.
Once someone applies, my team looks at their resume and (if it’s promising) does a 15-20 minute phone screening to find out their basic qualifications. If they seem like a good candidate, they take a DISC personality assessment. The results show whether or not they have character qualities needed for the role.
After that is the in-person interview. Here’s where the expectations are set for their role, what it means to be successful in the job they’re applying for, company values that must be followed, and more. Once you set these in the interview stage, it’s easy to talk about them again down the road.
2. IDENTIFY QUARTERLY GOALS
Once you have a team of A-players who have a clear understanding of the expectations set by your business, involve them in your company goals.
As the owner, set quarterly numbers that you want to hit. For us, these include:
- Monthly recurring revenue goal
- Number of testimonials from clients
- Newsletter subscribers
Share these numbers with your team at the beginning of each quarter. Be clear when these numbers need to be hit, how each person can help, and what the reward will be. If our team hits our quarterly goals, we like to celebrate!
A team that openly knows numbers like these is more inclined to adapt an “entreployee” mindset and help crush the goals.
3. INVEST IN YOUR EMPLOYEES
The more you invest in your employees, the more they provide value to your company.
Here’s an example of how we do that at our agency.
In the morning, everyone on the team writes a few of their personal or professional goals down on a sticky note that we then tape to a wall in our conference room. At the end of the day, we write those goals down and tape it to the wall … again. That’s how we “clock in” and “clock out.”
This way we’re constantly reminded of the goals we want to accomplish. We then have team meetings to share what we’ve done that week to work toward one of those goals, and this holds everyone accountable.
Another way to invest in employees is to recognize an “MVP” and “Most Improved Player” each month. I take the MVP out to a nice dinner, and the Most Improved Player gets a VISA gift card. This shows that hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.
4. HOST INTERNAL EDUCATION MEETINGS
Each month, we have a 1-hour educational meeting where everyone on the team shares one new thing they learned that provides value to the rest of the team. This forces us to stay on top of industry trends.
A few ways we provide everyone with continued education are:
- Our in-office library with books on marketing, sales, mindset, leadership, and more.
- Tickets to conferences, where they get to hear from industry experts.
- Purchased online courses that team members can take.
- Hired coaches/mentors.
5. IDENTIFY YOUR CORE VALUES
If your company doesn’t already have its core values outlined, think about what’s important to your company and share those values with your employees. We have a large canvas on display in the office with our core values written on them, and every team member is expected to live by them:
Display your core values in a unique way throughout the office for your employees, customers, partners, and anyone else who comes in to see.
6. APPLY FOR AWARDS
Take the time to research awards and apply to ones that your company is well-qualified for. Designate one person on your team to manage this project; it should be someone who knows your company like the back of their hand, and who you feel confident representing your brand.
Then, when you get nominated for awards, celebrate that accomplishment with your team. And if you go on a step further to win the award, celebrate again.
Before applying for any award, be ready to talk about/provide the following:
- Your purpose, mission, goals, and messaging
- Your story as the founder
- Your resume (this is required for certain awards like the BBB Ethics)
- Your headshot
- What sets you apart as a business
- Your company’s involvement in the community
- Your company’s numbers from previous years
- How your business makes a difference
Note that some applications require a fee, especially if they’re national. But if you focus on local awards, they’re usually free.
These awards build credibility and show potential customers that you’re an awesome business to work with, and it’s a great feeling when you and your team get recognized for all that you do.