At the heart of every great company is a strong culture. It’s what drives employees to do their best work and helps companies attract and retain top talent. We even go as far as ranking the best businesses, the most influential being Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. What would being on that list mean for you and your business?
If you’re looking to improve your company culture, here are some tips to get you started. Use these tips to improve your company culture by creating a more positive, productive, and enjoyable workplace for everyone.
Define company culture and what it means to your employees
List your core values in your manual
Come up with a cultural ‘tagline’ for quick reference
Make sure your core values and tagline are visible in your business
Clearly lay out company goals and employee contributions to said goals
Every business is different in some ways, and it’s important to make sure the entire team is on the same page. There are a few things you can do to make your values clear.
Making sure that new employees know what to expect during the interview process will help keep your turnover rates down. Employee retention begins at your first interview.
Connect people to your core values
While it is important to list your core values in your manual, you might consider how you list them. Simply saying you want a focus-driven, hardworking team won’t relay much to your employees. Saying things like, “We look for team members who are customer-focused; who are willing to go the extra mile for our customers and our business.”
You don’t want to just list character traits, you want to give examples of how traits benefit your business. You want people to see themselves adding to your team, and know exactly how they can do that.
Foster a sense of ownership and responsibility for the company’s success
Take the chip off your shoulder and realize that while you might be the owner, none of this is possible without your employees. Make sure that they know that too, that they have a sense of importance and urgency to their tasks. If everyone isn’t contributing to their fullest potential then your business won’t be successful and that will hurt your employees.
Of course, you don’t want to scare your employees or add extra stress to their tasks, but just make sure they know their importance to you and your business.
Build strong employee relationships
As a business owner, it might seem hard to keep up with your business, customers, and employees. But, we promise you that this is a way to improve your company culture.
Plan monthly, quarterly, or yearly outings as a team. Schedule one-on-ones with each team member. Spend time working on employee engagement and building trust with your employees. Simple monthly meetings can go a long way to ensuring your employees feel respected and listened to by their leadership.
Get a calendar to put as many important dates as possible. Put all the birthdays you can, and not just your employees, try to figure out their kids’ birthdays and anniversaries are great to remember too. Get a bunch of gift cards and a set of blank cards to keep in your office.
You don’t have to go all out, a $10 coffee shop gift card and a happy birthday card can go a long way.
Let employees make choices, have freedom, and express themselves
More and more you are seeing people leave jobs because they are just simply not happy. For some, being happy with your day-to-day job, the company you work for, and the people you work for is more important than pay. Having a work environment that people feel comfortable in is so important. You want people to feel like they have some control over can help overall job happiness tremendously.
Allow people the freedom to decorate their desks or offices. Promote office creativity, let people have a say in the design aspect of the office, and have space for people to relax at work.
Reconsider your policies against tattoos, dyed hair, facial piercings, and other things deemed “unprofessional” by previous generations. Your claim could be for hygiene issues not to have visible piercings, but dyed hair and tattoos won’t hurt the quality of your product. Things are changing, and is it really necessary to stifle creativity at your company?
Promote work/life balance
The next generation of employees is not interested in spending all of their time working or thinking about work, and they will not settle on that. Time off, flexible work hours, paid maternity leave, a hybrid work environment, benefits and bonuses are just some of the ways to promote a steady work/life balance. Respect your employees’ lives outside of the office and we promise you will get more out of them in the office.
Encourage employee recognition
We know that in bigger corporations and businesses it can be hard to ensure employee recognition. There are quite a few ways you can be more consistent with your recognition:
Regular weekly, monthly, or quarterly rewards
Bonuses or incentives
Regularly thank your team in creative ways
Provide ways for your management and team leadership to recognize and reward their specific departments
Setting aside money in the budget for these things can go a long way. It can be as simple as providing breakfast once a month to ensure everyone feels recognized. You can also go all out and organize competitions to reward the hardest workers. There are several ways to recognize your team’s continuous good work and to foster even more hard work from your team.
Lead by example
All of these tips have a chance for you, as a business owner or corporate leader, you can take part in improving company culture. If you are doing these things, then you are showing your employees just how important they are to you. You can create a strong company culture by following these tips yourself.
For many people, the way we work has drastically changed over the last five years. Working from home doesn’t mean you won’t have workplace stress, in fact, it can be more difficult to handle. Workplace stress from home can be different and new, meaning you might need new ways to cope with your stress. Some things that can increase your stress that might be new include:
Poor communication among the work-from-home team
Personal life things distracting you from work or making it difficult to work from home
Changes in practices or procedures can be harder to handle
Less in-person tech and leadership support
The last two are big ones because according to Upworks Future Workplace Reports 67% of businesses reported major changes in how they operate since their transition to remote work. Business leaders need to take steps to ensure employees have the support they need to be successful at home, but, you still need ways to cope with stressful situations.
1. Watch your Favorite Feel-Good Movie
Pop some popcorn and turn on your favorite movie, it’s time for a movie night. This is one of my favorites because it can be as simple as a laptop flick in bed to an elaborate fort and movies. You’re never too old to build a couch fort, especially in the times of COVID.
Order one of those projectors from Amazon and really enjoy the whole experience. Turn your phone off and just get lost in your favorite story. We used to turn our phones off when we went into movie theaters, why should watching movies at home be any different? The best part about watching movies at home is pausing them for bathroom and snack breaks.
Just because we’re in the middle of a pandemic, doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the experience of seeing a new movie. Bring that experience home in the best way possible with snacks, comfy pj’s, and total control over your viewing experience.
2. Get Creative
Most people found out they do in fact have hidden creative talent while in quarantine. If you didn’t use the quarantine to find a new hobby, that’s okay, it’s not too late. Finding a creative way to express yourself can not only be enjoyable, but rewarding. The great thing about art is it’s completely subjective, if you like it that’s all that matters.
Order a paint by numbers on Amazon, or maybe a cross stitch kit. Look up how to make your own jewelry or maybe start a bullet journal. There are so many ways to get creative at home, the possibilities are really endless. Getting creative also doesn’t stop at material forms of art.
I learned how to play a few songs on a ukulele one week in quarantine. Stop by a thrift store or an old music consignment store and try to find a used instrument. Your neighbors might not be too pleased, but you’ll have a blast.
Start that home project you’ve been wanting to do, pick out a new backsplash, change the shower tiles, or redecorate your space.
Getting creative allows you to focus on the process of what you’re doing, and enjoy a reward. You get a tangible reward when you finish your project, and it’ll be something you made!
3. Cook some Comfort Food
Cooking is similar to creative outlets in the sense that you not only enjoy the process but an immediate reward. Cooking a go-to comfort food you know won’t mess up and will taste delicious is a safe bet. But, trying a new recipe or mastering a more difficult one can be more rewarding.
Depending on why you’re trying to relax, just day-to-day time to yourself or a significant stressor, you can have the perfect meal for your needs. If you struggle with making time to cook every day, or finding the motivation to cook, then try meal prepping for relaxation. Spend part of a day cooking food so you have leftovers ready for busy or stressful nights.
Baking can also be a rewarding experience because you can share your sweet treats. Finding ways to handle workplace stress while working remotely can take many shapes and forms.
4. Read a Book
Disappear into a make-believe world with a good book. We are strong supporters of adults reading any and everything. Please avoid overindulging in self-help books, they are only good in moderation. You need to allow yourself time to relax and unwind.
Start thinking of books like you do your favorite TV shows. You can read books over again, just like you watch your comfort shows over again. You can also have comfort books and go-to reads for different moods.
Reading doesn’t have to be boring or serious, you can read whatever your heart desires. Find a book on a topic you’ve always wanted to learn about or pick up the book your favorite movie is based on. The possibilities are endless.
5. Play a Game
This one can mean a variety of things. You might immediately think of video games, which can definitely be stress-relieving, but we mean any game. If you’re not home alone, play a board game or a video game with your housemate(s).
If you are athletic or enjoyed sports when you were younger, find locals playing near you. You can easily find groups on Facebook that you might be able to join. It might take some time and effort to find a local league to play in, but if you enjoyed a sport, it might be worth it!
6. Practice Self Care
At the end of the day, the best way to relax while working remotely is to just do whatever you need to do. The tips before might help you as more of a distraction, but self-care is pure relaxation. Self-care will help you relax your mind and body and can help keep stress levels down.
Take a hot bath, complete with Epsom salt and candles. Put on a face mask and lotion up while you listen to your favorite music. Self-care can be whatever you make it, whatever you need. Just spend time taking care of yourself.
If you need help keeping your remote team on track, check out our services and tools. Workplace stress can create an unhappy and unproductive team, if you need help getting your team back on track or building strong company culture, reach out to us.
Staying organized goes beyond labeling and using your calendar. There is a clear correlation between staying organized and being productive. Creating a daily routine is only part of the struggle, you need to have an organizing system in place to make achieving challenging tasks possible. Making sure your organization system is in check will help improve time management, relieve stress, and help you achieve your goals.
Keep reading to learn how to improve your organization skills.
Purge your belongings – get rid of anything you don’t need or use
Your first step needs to be a deep clean. You want to start with a clean slate, so get rid of anything you don’t need. You also want to make sure all of your surfaces are clean. Starting off like this will make the organizing process so much easier.
Create a designated space for everything
Once you get rid of all of the clutter, you can start to see where you might put everything. Start figuring out where everything will go before you start the next steps. Going into this with a game plan will help you avoid frustration and get this done quickly!
Invest in organizers and containers that make it easy to keep things tidy
People’s brains work differently, so pick the containers, folders, and tools that you like and think will make this process easiest for you. I personally
Create a filing system that you will actually use
A big reason why systems and procedures get ignored (besides pure laziness) is because of time. You want to make sure that your procedures and systems are efficient, and sometimes that means you will have to adjust them and fix them as time goes on. This applies to organizing as well. Don’t forget that you can always update your systems and organization methods, this is all about what works best for you.
Label everything so you don’t have to guess what’s inside each container or basket
Investing in a label maker is a game-changer for organizing. Label everything, use containers, baskets, folders, binders, anything that you can’t immediately see what’s inside should be labeled.
Keep a calendar or planner handy so you can stay organized day-to-day
I’m a strong believer in paper and digital calendars, but I use them separately. I don’t put everything on my paper calendar, but everything goes on my phone calendar. I’ve even created a color code system on my phone email to make finding events easier.
I have my work email and my personal email set up with their individual calendars and specific colors for different types of events. I can quickly find events and see what I have on my schedule. If I see blue I know I have a training call, if I see red I know I have an important deadline.
Develop a routine and stick to it
Being consistent is the only way this work. Once you continuously use your systems and routines, they will be fully efficient. Once you start staying organized you might see improvements in your work and you might experience less work-related stress.
Stay positive and motivated
If things start to get cluttered again, don’t be hard on yourself. Things happen, if you get off track or things get messy, just clean up and start again.
It might also be helpful to fill your life with like-minded people. There are plenty of organizing accounts on social media to follow, books to read, and friends to make with similar goals.
As a business owner, it’s important to be aware of the most common mistakes that can impact your bottom line. From not setting realistic goals to not investing in marketing, here are some of the most common missteps to avoid. By being aware of these mistakes, you can work to correct them and improve your business’ performance.
Not tracking expenses and income
It’s hard to make informed business decisions if you don’t have accurate numbers. Every single movement of funds, in or out, needs to be tracked. If you are struggling to keep your books up to date, it might be time to hire a bookkeeper. This might be one of the most common business mistakes, but it can also be the most detrimental.
Not setting SMART goals
What is your end goal for your business, and how will you know when you’ve reached it? We know that setting goals can be challenging. Goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. We actually wrote a blog about how to set SMART goals and how to see them through.
Ignoring customer feedback
Brushing off customer feedback that doesn’t seem important can be really easy, but it’s not helping your business achieve its goals. Even if a customer is wrong, they might still have a valid point that can help improve your business. You might also come across as disrespectful to customers who give feedback without realizing it. You can avoid miscommunication and show you’re listing by:
Avoid smirking or laughing while receiving feedback.
Even if you don’t plan to do anything with it, write it down, and make it known you’re taking them seriously.
Try to make amends as best you can, without going overboard, offer an apology and maybe a coupon or small free gift.
Try to use please, thank you, and only favorable terms when talking with customers about their concerns.
If a customer begins to be rude, politely turn them over to a manager, human resources, or whoever is best equipped to handle serious customer complaints and issues.
Following these tips could mean the difference between a customer just having a bad day, and a customer never returning to your business.
Poor time management skills
We know how difficult it can be to try to fit everything you need into your already hectic schedule. But, poor time management skills can lead to bigger issues in other areas. For example, if you don’t plan things properly and you miss the deadline for payroll, what will happen to your employees?
Underestimating the competition
There are always new businesses opening, and closing, so don’t get complacent. Market research is an ongoing ordeal. You need to be doing regular competitor research to stay up to date. You want to know EXACTLY what your competition is doing so you can better handle your response.
Not keeping up with technology
We know how comfortable it can be to use the same cash register that you got 20 years ago but please, try and get more up-to-date technology in your business. For one, your younger employees, who will hopefully be working with you for a long time, will want updated tech that they are familiar with. Your customer base will also appreciate seeing that you only want the best for your business and customers.
Not creating an online presence
It is 2022, if you don’t have social media accounts for your business you are slacking. Start by looking at your competitor’s social media accounts. Review the top of your niche on social media, and try to find local competition online. You want to see what. the best and the average business is doing well on their social media accounts, don’t copy them, but use them as a guideline.
Not investing in marketing
Unfortunately, this is a pay-to-play world, and we’re all just living in it. This doesn’t mean that you have to spend thousands of dollars on making video ads, but spending $20-$100 on paid ads on Facebook and Instagram could get you more traffic.
Running your own business has its ups and downs, but avoiding some of these common mistakes can help make things easier. For any more of your business needs reach out to us.
As a business owner, you are always looking for ways to improve your company. You want to find new ways to make money, be more efficient, and to better serve your customers. But how do you know which way to go? The answer may be in the 12 Driving Forces.
In order to achieve success in business, it’s important to understand and use the 12 Driving Forces. Each of these forces is a powerful tool that can help you gain insights into your own work ethic and reach your goals. By understanding and using them, you can create a successful business plan and achieve your desired results.
What are the 12 Driving Forces? And how can they help you achieve success in business? In this post, we’ll break them all down for you, so you can start using them to your advantage. By understanding what these forces are and how they work, you can harness their power and use it to achieve your goals. Keep reading to learn how to start the process for yourself!
What are the 12 Driving Forces and what do they mean for business owners?
We all have motivations that drive our actions, both personally and professionally. And while we may not be consciously aware of them, these driving forces can have a big impact on the way we conduct business. So what are the 12 Driving Forces, and what do they mean for business owners?
Knowledge represents the instinctive or intellectual aspects of thinking. This driving force is all about understanding your product or service and being able to explain it to others. For business owners, this driving force can be harnessed to constantly seek out new ways to improve their products, services, and processes.
This is the selfless or resourceful side of thinking. This driving force is about making sure that your product or service is useful to others and that you are using all of your resources wisely. For business owners, this driving force can be harnessed to create products and services that solve real problems for their customers. On the other hand, a more resourceful employee will always be taking steps to improve things right now, with what you have.
Surroundings represent the objective or harmonious aspects of thinking. This driving force is about creating a supportive environment for your business and maintaining positive relationships with those around you. This driving force can be harnessed to create a workplace that is safe and comfortable for employees and customers alike.
Others represent the intentional or altruistic side of thinking. This driving force is about considering the needs of others and acting in a way that benefits them as well as yourself. More intentional actions will be more selfless, while altruistic actions will be driven more by reward and benefit. More altruistic employees might need rewards for a job well done.
Collaborative or commanding actions of employees at any level can affect the success of any business. As a business owner, do you ask for feedback and assign tasks based on preferences? Or, are you more commanding in deleting tasks?
You can be either more receptive or structured in following a set system or process. These actions can determine the success of businesses. For example, it’s important to have employees who can follow rules and your company systems, but you also need more innovative minds.
How do I start using the TTI Success Insights and the 12 Driving Forces?
The 12 Driving Forces are a set of universal principles that can help you achieve success in any business venture. By understanding and applying these forces, you can create a powerful engine that will drive your business toward its goals.
The first step will be to have your entire team take the DISC assessment and then debrief each other. Your TTISI coordinator will help you start this process.
Once the training and debriefing on the driving force’s report is finished, you can start utilizing the concepts. For example, you can use the results to coordinate teams and set tasks. You can use this assessment as part of your hiring process as well.
Using these concepts is an ongoing process. Leadership should continue to meet with staff, one-on-one and as a team to discuss the ongoing use of these insights.
How can you continue to develop and grow your business using the 12 Driving Forces as your guide?
As we stated in the last section, using these processes will be an ongoing project. We have some tips to help you integrate the 12 driving forces into your long-term plans.
Assigning groups and teams to complete tasks by using the 12 driving forces to balance out different driving forces. For example, it will benefit your team more to have both sides of the driving forces represented. You don’t want two instinctive teammates working together, you’d want a teammate that leans more towards instinctive working with someone who leans towards intellectual to get the most out of their combined skills.
You can use these results to make training more effective. A section of the results of the Success Insights will go over your learning style and provide tips for you to better comprehend training. As a leader, you should make sure you’re gearing your pieces of training in a way that your employees will better retain the information. Not everyone has the same way of learning, you need to be cautious of that.
These results will also tell you more about how your employees prefer and accept constructive criticism and praise. Some people prefer you to just lay out the truth, tell them what they’re doing wrong and they’ll fix it. Others need a little more compassion when taking criticism and some need help making changes, while others can make changes on their own. On the other hand, some people enjoy public praise, while others would prefer a private email.
Knowing which Driving Forces are most important to your business can help you focus your efforts on the right areas. It can also help you avoid wasting time and resources on areas that are not as important. So take a look at the TTI Success Insights and see how you can take your business to the next level.