It is so easy to get caught up in the externals as a business owner setting yearly goals: sales goals, customer satisfaction goals, marketing goals, and on and on the list goes. Sometimes we completely miss the mark on a crucial goal that can make or break how well our business succeeds in a year; our team members.

Our team members are our true bread and butter. How will we achieve happy customers if our team members are not enthusiastic about their work? Consumers can sense tension, and we can all recall an unfriendly employee with another company. Did that impact your experience at the business? I would imagine so. Don’t let that be your business. Unhappy team members = other unmet goals and can lead to higher turnover (and we DEFINITELY don’t have time to train new members all year with the goals we have in mind, right??!)

I grabbed the top four tips to start refining your company culture curtsey of PRSA. While their list focuses on goals for PR agencies to have successful teams, I believe the following four goals translate to all workplaces.

1. Find out and focus on what matters most to your team members.

    a. Every work environment is unique. While some like happy hours, drinks and letting loose, others like adventure and team building. Even others would like one extra vacation day, or the option to work 1 day per week from home (remotely)

    b. Don’t play the guessing game and risk missing the mark on what your team wants. Create and conduct a quick anonymous team member survey asking the following questions as they apply to your business:

          i. What company events do you enjoy?

          ii. What do you wish the company did more of?

          iii. What do you wish the company did less of?

          iv. What is your favorite aspect of the company culture?

          v. How would you change the culture if you had the ability?

2. If you don’t have a culture committee at your business yet, start one this year.

    a. There are a few great reasons to start a culture committee at your business. As a business owner, your time is VERY limited. Finding or carving out the time for you to put together surveys, plan and execute events and meet with team members to get continuous feedback on the culture would distract from other important tasks that you are also responsible for. Also – encouraging a handful of interested team members to lead this, grows leadership within your business structure, and empowers your team! Win – win! Get a small group together and share your goal of improving culture at the company. Empower them to connect with their team members and get feedback on what they want. Give them a budget for planning and executing events and let them lead the charge.

3. Help the culture committee plan events that your team members want.

    a. Once your culture committee has started gathering feedback and insight to what your team members want and don’t want, encourage them to establish a yearlong plan based on their findings. Have them submit the proposed plan and budget to you to make sure that everything lines up.

    b. Be sure the committee is not planning events that the team members dislike. Have the group gather feedback after each event: participation, attendance, overall attitude about the event etc. This can be created as another short survey that goes out after each event with the following:

          i. Did you attend last week’s event (name the event)?

          ii. If no, why not?

          iii. If yes, what was your favorite part of the event?

          iv. Would you like similar events to continue in the future?

          v. If you could change one thing about the event, what would you change      and why?

4. But, do not overdo it.

    a. Be sure to keep your culture committee on target, both with the budget and with a focus on quality, not quantity. Too many events will burn the team out on culture initiatives. Try to tie themes together from your survey, rather than attempting to execute each one as an individual idea.

          i. Ie. Kickball and brews for the folks who want team building and for those who like social hour.


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