Every day you have a business, you’re building it, whether you’re trying to or not. And like any physical structure, your finished product is going to be considerably better when you plan your build. At Point of Rental, we have the opportunity not only to run our own business, but to work with thousands of other entrepreneurs who have built their own successful cultures. These are four tips we’ve learned in our decades of experience:
1. Define your business
Every business has core values that they will attempt to build their business on. At Point of Rental, our core values are Transparency, Honesty, Integrity, Responsibility, and Dedication. The Marine Corps’ core values are Honor, Courage, and Commitment. Your values should define the kind of business you want to run. They’re critical because they lay the foundation for the kind of people you hire, the way your customers are going to feel about your business, and how you’re going to tackle problems you have in the future.
2. Hire according to those definitions
Now that you’ve determined what your business is all about, it’s time to hire people who will help you live up to those values. While it’s important that anyone you hire be able to accomplish the job-related tasks, what’s most important when building a team is team members’ attitudes. When interviewing potential employees, keep your core values in mind and tailor interview questions to answer the question: “Does this person’s values align with our company values?” As the maxim goes, “Hire for attitude, train for skill.”
3. Reinforce team concepts
With a set of values and a team full of eager learners, you’re off to a great start. But building a company culture requires continuous maintenance of those concepts. Team-building activities don’t have to be huge, but they have to be. Ideally, you’ll also build cross-team relationships – when good employees see how the work they do interacts with the work other people in the business do, they’re able to anticipate team needs, see the value of each thing they do, and they’re in a better position to make suggestions that can improve efficiency. At Point of Rental, in addition to larger-scale team celebrations and community work, we do simple things like inter-office competitions or “Take 5” days, where staff members get $5 each to go grab a snack or a lunch, as long as they take a group from different office sections with them and converse. Generating positive conversations between people builds relationships, loyalty, and teamwork.
4.Lead from the top
All of the effort to build a team is useless if you’re not leading it. Ensure that you’re practicing your core values in your own work. Recognize work that emphasizes those values publicly. When you’re focused on the right things, good employees will follow you to the ends of the earth.
When everyone’s on the same page and your team is moving in the right direction, you’ll find yourself in the place you want to be sooner or later.