Creating Your Company Culture

‘Make the wellbeing of your employees a priority.’

In this episode, we talk about how you can create and improve your company culture. Your company culture is made up of the values you share with your organization. It shows in how you interact with your employees as well as your clients.

Hiring an employee with similar values to you is important in creating a company culture. Listen and find out more company culture tips.

Roger: Hello, and welcome to Local SEO today. I’m Roger Murphy.

John: And I’m John Vuong. 

Roger: We want to welcome our listeners today and welcome to our podcast. Today, we want to talk about company culture, which, you know, is important because it is…Every company has one, there are great ones, there are ones that need to be improved and this is really what John ,you and I want to talk about today, which is sort of how to improve the company culture.

Roger: Yeah, it’s definitely something that a lot of big organizations, brands have cultivated and learned over the many, many generations or decades or years in business. But as a business, that is a solopreneur or when you’re a small business owner that has maybe five or 10 employees, it’s good to start harvesting a good company culture because it gives you the ability to really refine your message, your core values, your why, purpose, and really ensuring that everyone who’s a part of this same journey of yours, part of this organization they follow the same kind of values that you have. 

Roger: Exactly. I saw a great definition, John, recently and it was basically company culture is its shared values, its shared attributes and the characteristics of an organization. So, to your point, it’s really about…Yeah, if you’re part of a company, sharing the same values it really helps in many different ways, doesn’t it? 

John: It also helps cultivate good loyal employees, motivates them. Also sharing that you actually care about them, like not only in it for the business purpose which could be for revenue or whatnot but you’re actually trying to harvest them to be a better version of themselves, right? So, it’s much more. So, today we’re going to talk about five ways to improve that and the first thing we’re going to talk about is Making the Well-being of your Employees a Priority. So, that’s a really good topic because if you look at your business, are you a solopreneur? And when you hire the next person, it’s basically an extension to you. They have to know what you believe in, how you transact with customers, how you perceive your business, for them to instill that to the prospects or customers or customer service. So, the wellbeing of your employees are very, very utmost important and I think for that, it’s also meaning that it’s a safe work environment, right? So, safety is important. Making sure that they have the, you know, comfort of being sick or working from home or mental health and understanding like what makes them want to come to work and a desirable work environment.

 Roger: And it’s not necessarily productivity, but it is having the right tools, being set up for success, for sure and yeah, to your point, John, in terms of making sure they feel safe in that environment. So, and I know we’re going to get past all this COVID. It’s going to be with us for a few years but when people get back to business and maybe in physical buildings, you could talk about safe workplace just in terms of safe parking, well-lit, that you you respect that your employees want to feel comfortable and safe when they’re coming to work and when they’re at work. 

John: Exactly, and you have to look at the best interest as if you were that employee, right? And what would you want to make it feel like you want to continue going to that workplace, right? Especially if it’s a physical location. If it’s homebased, it’s a little bit different but if you have a physical office, what would you expect your employees would want to continue being there to feel safe. Is there a security guard?

Roger: And there’s something that, you know, I’ve seen this as well, you could actually do surveys and you can do it, do it anonymously. So, people can put in, whether it’s a, you know, a suggestion box or whatever but you can actually, you know, ask them. What they would like to see more or what could be done to improve? So, if they feel they’re being heard that you can only, John. You can only help, you know, solidify that you’re going to, you’re going to have good long term team members.

John: And again, we’re in the service-based kind of business. Once your staff feel like they’re heard, they’re gonna want to be there longer, right? They feel like you’re actually wanting to take care of them. And very similar to your clients, if they are heard, and you take care of them, guess what’s gonna happen, they’re gonna be way more loyal. 

Roger: And there’s many, many…And people know this. I’m sure you’ve probably heard this before but employees, many of the…When they’re surveyed one of the biggest reasons they stay where they are, is because of fellow employees and it’s like minded people they’re friends with, it’s their social. So, all these things in terms of making sure you’ve got a great culture going. They’ve deemed people feel they’ve got, they’re part of a family, part of a team, and they can express themselves, but they, they feel like, you know, this is a great place to work. 

John: Exactly, and that’s perfect because we’re gonna talk about number two, hire people based on the fit, who fit your culture as opposed to trying to hire for the skill set that you need. We kind of made this mistake when I first started as well. I didn’t know a lot about SEO when I first started this agency but I hired a lot of technical people that wasn’t really in alignment with my values, my culture and I kind of changed the, you know, the whole company culture after making a lot of mistakes early days to really harvest what I believe was a good personality traits that I want to harvest and portray with not just staff but clients.

Roger: Yep. And really it is top down. And I give you a lot of credit, John, because you know,  you and I have been working together. Well, we’ve known each other for over a decade but in this particular company, I think I’m with you. We’ve been working together for five years, but I definitely see and I hear you speak all the time, you know, as owner of the company you speak to the core values, what your values are and you disperse that, you put it into the team, it’s a family, and everyone understands what the culture, what you’re striving for. So, I think that is, you know, all credit to you, that you’ve really mastered it here. So, I think that’s great.

John: I think it’s all about like being naturally harvesting it in your business, right? People can tell, especially if you’re the leader and you’re the owner and you’re hiring for the wrong reasons, right? Or you’re trying to instill things that doesn’t really fit that person. So, when you’re hiring people, it’s so critical to hire slow, ask the right questions, really do the full on reference, check that properly, and really make sure you hire right because the wrong fit in terms of the hiring process it’s very similar to taking on the wrong client. It’s gonna be more of a headache or more nightmarish, it’s gonna give you more stress and cause a lot of friction internally as well. So, understanding like making sure it’s a good fit, and it’s in alignment with what your whole vision and your values are in the company.

Roger: Well put and I know you’ve actually spoken to some of your, you know, directors of hiring in the company. I know you’ve put out to them before, when they do some interviewing, you ask them, “Is this someone you’d want to spend time with?” That’s, you know, a key thing. So, you really want to make sure you’ve got like minded people that have a nice fit, a good…That they’re going to, you know, have a good relationship working together.

John: And usually people gravitate  towards people that are similar to them, right? Mindset wise, hard working, you know, just value wise, right? And families first, you know, their education is probably similar, their profession, the way they are perceived as similar. So, understand that and like you mentioned, it’s like gut check, you know, find out, would you go for coffee lunch, spend a weekend with this kind of person and not get irritated by them? You know? Are they gonna still be your friend at the end of it? 

Roger: Exactly, the next sort of point it should be mentioned is, and I’ve seen this with companies as well, where they’ve got, you know, perks where they think that, you know, because we’ve got a ping pong table available that you can play but they’ve got a real toxic environment where  it’s not fun to work there at all but there’s a table out there, go use it. That is not considered culture…Really is that, you know, that feeling that it comes from top down from you, the owner or from the owner of the company, to let people know, this is what our values are, here’s, you know, here’s how we’re going to bring our product to market, here’s how we’re gonna take care of our clients. That’s the culture, not just a few toys to play with the building.

John: And it’s all different based on the age, right? When you’re starting your career, these might attract you, right? Ping pong table, swimming pool, whatever it may be these little perks but in the grand scheme of things, you’re gonna spend a lot of time there and the people you surround yourself with on a daily basis in meetings, in social circles, coffee, lunch, are they the type of people that you want to spend time with? Are they fun to be around? And do they really help you achieve more? Do they help you progress? Or do they cause you more stress, friction, you know, just aggravation along with it. I know, there’s, you know, we worked together for many years and there’s good people there, and there’s not so good people, it’s how you want to surround your environment and people.

Roger: And that being said, we were working at a big corporation too at the time, so there’s hundreds of people and yeah, you’d really do see, there’s people that you would spend time with and ones that you wouldn’t prefer to spend time with. So, but that idea of, you know, finding like minded people, John, I think it pays dividends for sure.

John: Yeah, definitely. So, the fourth thing that I want to talk about is Engage Your Employees And what I mean by that is really get to know all your employees, not just on a business level but also find out like what’s going on in their life outside of work, like get to know their person, like not too, too personal, but what what are their social interactions? What do they do for fun? Where do they hang out? Like, what are their social circle look like? What are their hobbies? Because for you to do a better job, to help them be the best version of themselves, you need to really understand who you’re dealing with, right? Who is on your team?

Roger: And from the standpoint of getting to know your employees I believe it shows it is almost, John, a sign of respect for your employees, that you as owner or you as their supervisors, you know, superior, their boss or whatever, wanting to understand them, what makes them tick what they’re about. It just makes people feel like you know what, they value me and they want to know about me, the person so that I think that again, I used the term a few minutes ago about paying dividends but I really think that pays dividends, and all of a sudden you’ve got staff that are loyal, they know the culture, they’re not going to leave, they’re being productive. It, you know, it cannot help but help the business to thrive and, and grow so…

John: And then once you personalize and humanize people, then it’s not like a commodity. It’s not like, you know, a thing, right? You need to make sure that you add value in everyone’s lives. Give them things that they want, right? Like, what are their interests, try to customize it so that they can get rewards from it, motivate them, help them achieve more by learning about them, getting to know them and that’s so important and this is what we’ve learned in sales all these years, right? It’s all about…Same thing with staff or employees, right? Like get to know them and once you do, you’re gonna have fun, like life is about social interactions and relationships, right? Get to know people, humanize them. 

Roger: Yep, and then number five that we’re going to talk about, John, fifth point around this culture thing is to Promote the Work-Life Balance. It’s easier said than done and there’s…As we learned in the corporate world, many years ago, they talked about the needs of the business. But the truth is, its needs of the business, but it’s balanced with the needs of the employee, too.

John: Yeah, and I think timing is everything as well, depending on your life stage, you need to understand, you know, there’s employees that will fit you for the right time of their journey as well. And not everyone’s going to be a good fit, right? And it’s okay, but just be honest with them and yourself and find out what is a good medium, right? Like, who would be a perfect persona avatar for your staff, right? Like, these are typically what we’re looking for, this is our ideal, employee persona, personality, and get to, you know, find out like, these are people you’re going to surround yourself with, right? Do you want to talk to them on a regular basis or not?

Roger: Exactly. And, you know, when you’re talking to this Promoting Work Life Balance, you want to find the right people, but obviously you want to lead by example but you want them to obviously work hard, produce, take care of clients but they must take care of themselves at the same time and that’s something where this culture thing where they understand that whether you know, you’ve got you…And it’s funny, too, I should mention, John, a lot of employees, the younger generation I’ve read this, and I’ve heard this over and over. It’s not about the money. Money, yes, is important but it is other things and you really could put it under many parts of the umbrella of being a great culture. And it could have to do with, you know, personal time off to, you know, to go after endeavors and endeavors that are, you know, interesting to them, where they can spend some time but maybe they can manage themselves, or it can be flexible, but it’s all that allow them that work-life balance.

John: Exactly. It’s very similar to like your lifestyle, right? It’s a choice. A lot of people have choices that they have to make, in terms of where they live, how far they need to commute to work, who they surround themselves with. It’s the same thing with work, right? So make it an environment so that your employees actually enjoy the work aspect, and the life aspect of it all, and humanize it all. And so that they actually are embracing it also that they feel like they’re having fun, they’re enjoying the process, enjoying the people they are surrounded by and the work itself has to be enjoyable for them.

Roger: There you go. Well, I think we’ve covered it, John. 

John: Well, thanks a lot. Roger. That was fun. 

Roger: And John, thank you and thanks to our listeners today, you know, local SEO talking about improving culture. You know, we can certainly talk more about it at another time but this is a great starting point and I appreciate your input, John, and we’ll talk again, and thank you for watching local SEO today.

John: Thank you.