I recently sat down with a panel of business professionals on the Social Geek Podcast to discuss building a great culture in a company or small business. Joining me were Derrick Ableman, marketing manager of Northeast Color, Liz Solar, voice actor and host of the Embark podcast, and Heather Anderson, Vice president of operations at Eulerity. By Jack Monson
I recently sat down with a panel of business professionals on the Social Geek Podcast to discuss building a great culture in a company or small business. Joining me were Derrick Ableman, marketing manager of Northeast Color, Liz Solar, voice actor and host of the Embark podcast, and Heather Anderson, Vice president of operations at Eulerity. These leaders from very different backgrounds and industries shared their ideas on how to create a great culture and, more importantly, how to change a toxic culture. Here are a few key points to consider for your business:
Culture Is Critical
How important is culture? Anderson said nothing is more important, even having a great product. Strong marketing matters, but without starting with the right culture, your story will never be compelling enough to stand out.
Start While Building Your Team
Attracting and retaining the right team members is the best place to start. Ableman said that sharing your core values internally with those team members is where culture is created. Building that culture should include activities outside of day-to-day tasks and possibly include some form of community service. Solar adds that the activities should be meaningful, intentional and help develop relationships between team members. It’s this enthusiasm for your organization and team that will spread into the consumers’ world and view of your company.
Just Do It. Or Are You Just Saying It?
Solar also discussed being intentional about putting your core values forward, and not just saying so. It’s nice to have your slogan on company merch and your core values on the wall but, unfortunately, too many brands just check those boxes and stop there.
Anderson concludes that a company is actually built on the behaviors modeled on those core values, not just the words. And an organization needs to frequently recheck itself:
- Do these core values still accurately reflect your current team?
- Do the values still resonate, and do you hold them to still be true?
- Are you reinforcing the culture in every meeting and conversation?
Ableman shared the importance of realizing that culture and values are not just the responsibility of the business owner and not only practiced by the sales or customer service teams. Every person in the organization needs to understand how their work and actions affect customers and how everyone’s devotion to the culture impacts many other people.
Jack Monson is the host of Social Geek, home of the No. 1 podcasts in franchising and the consigliere at Eulerity. Monson has been working with franchisees and small businesses in marketing for 15 years. firstname.lastname@example.org, socialgeekradio.com, eulerity.com