Our recent post on investing in people made us think about the importance of creating a good company culture, in which both the business and employees thrive.
The open and supportive nature of the company David’s daughter works for also propelled us to engage in our own discussion on what brand values we’d like to propagate. We sat down and had a think about the key traits we want our company to embody, and why it’s so important to convey core values and a mission that everyone can get on board with.
Regular, Empathetic and Non-Judgemental Communication
Whether your business employs 100+ staff, or it is just you on your own, good communication is at the cornerstone of every successful organisation. Do your buying and e-com departments communicate? Have you let your supplier know about a setback? Has your operations team spoken to marketing about whether their strategy can realistically be carried out? We’ve seen so many mistakes happen because of a breakdown in communication.
However talking alone is not enough. Your employees will not speak up if they are afraid of looking stupid, or if there is a blame culture where mistakes are hidden rather than explored. It is important your staff feels nurtured and supported, and that they are given regular feedback. Have constructive criticism to deliver? Counter it with a positive. Have you made a mistake? Be honest and open up.
It’s just as important to praise and acknowledge good work as it is to offer constructive feedback. Another tip is to ensure you are aware of your employees’ workload. We recommend regular check-ins to ensure nobody is feeling swamped or overwhelmed. Weekly team meetings and fortnightly one-on-ones tend to work well. Not only does this foster good connection between team members, but it is a platform upon which colleagues can raise concerns about workload and priorities can be outlined.
‘It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena…if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly’
It is no surprise that this quotation appears in our core values. As discussed above, a blame culture is toxic. Fear of failure stunts creativity, growth and originality. If someone suggests something in a meeting that does not quite fit the bill, it is important to choose a response carefully. Bravery should always be applauded, and employees will not learn if they are not allowed space to try and fail. Experiment, explore and have fun!
Although there are rules that must be followed in any organisation, it is also important to be flexible. Does an employee want to go down to part time, due to family commitments? Has an employee outgrown their role? Or does an amazing employee need to adjust their working hours, because of a recent change in their life? As you’ll know, here at Add Then Multiply, we value a good work-life balance and believe everyone we work with should have access to this too.
Life is constantly changing and your place of work must adapt. From working remotely, to adjustments in title and pay, it is vital to promote flexibility. In turn, this develops an atmosphere of trust and mutual loyalty which is something we think all companies could benefit from, and something we want to nurture within our business too!
Create a Sense of Community
Finally, work aside, it is vital to create a sense of community within a company. Is there a space for employees to eat lunch together? If not, organise bi-monthly out of office lunches. Have your catch-ups in coffee shops and plan in dinners to celebrate success. If budget is an issue, get everyone to bring in a dish or seek out offers. You’ll be spending over 50% of your waking hours with the people you work with, so it is important to build strong relationships not only based on professional interaction, but mutual respect, collaboration and idea sharing. Embrace the different personalities in your office and most of all have fun. Because all work and no play sounds pretty dull to us!
We hope that sharing our values has encouraged you to implement your own. David, having spent the first 30 years of his career in big corporate companies has learnt a great deal about what works and what doesn’t. You might not get it right the first time but experiment, explore and who knows what you could find.
Until next time!