Building a Business Culture that Works

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08/12/2015

“Business culture” is one of those catch phrases I frequently hear tossed about – one that has been considered
by bloggers and explored in depth by some highly respected business writers. With all that has been published on the subject  – The question around here has been, “What the heck is our office culture – do we even have one?”
Although hard to define – after some reflection: I believe “Yes, of course, we have an office culture.” From my perspective – it comes down to our values as a company and the character with which our team upholds our day-to-day business. The Moery Company is comprised of a small group of solid folks who are dedicated to the success of our firm, our clients and to each other. Collaboration and integrity are among our most important values – and, frankly – as a team – we are “all in.”
We frequently talk about our mission, and meet daily on timely business issues. To reach our individual as well as collective goals, each member of the team is assured a voice and their feedback is essential.
With our company values in mind – here are a few strategies, which keep our goals for growth – realistic, measurable, and attainable:

  1. Daily “Pep Rally.” We bring the team together every day to get a boost, an update and thought of encouragement.  Believe me, some days I don’t want to do it, either.  However, my experience is your team probably feeds off your daily burst of energy.  Give them some!
  2. Total Transparency. I’m sure there are business gurus who will say this is just a terrible idea.  However, my books are pretty open and are discussed on a regular basis.  I want my team to know how we’re doing and the context for some of my decisions.  If you’re afraid to show your employees what’s under the hood, then you don’t trust them or you’re afraid what people will think.  In either case, something needs to change.
  3. Weekly one-on one-meetings. This 30-minute meeting with each direct report was learned by the Manager Tools blog.  It’s an extremely powerful tool that enables you to cluster “Hey, what about this?” topics, which can cause time-consuming interruptions.  A simple agenda: 10 minutes for me, 10 minutes for you, 10 minutes for agreed-upon action items.
  4. Workplace Flexibility. This may not be a popular notion among old school business men and women; but, I’ve found allowing my staff more flexibility with the environment in which they work has enhanced their productivity and is highly appreciated. They know what is expected of them and whether that business is conducted here at 105 Oronoco Street or at their home office – I know the job is getting done and getting done well.

I’m sure other actions play into a successful business culture, but for us, these strategies help reinforce a culture of collaboration, ongoing feedback, regular communication, mutual respect and trust.

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