Culture has become a hot topic in the field of business leadership as of late – and we’re willing to bet that many businesses have already read, thought, and talked about culture at great length.
So that begs the question: Did all of your reading, thinking and talking about culture leave you feeling … uninspired? We’re not surprised. Because it seems that despite all its buzz, the idea of corporate culture is still ill-defined and poorly understood.
Now, we won’t claim to have a definitive, conclusive take on the subject. We do, however, have access to someone who has forged their own path, and quite successfully, we might add, in order to create and cultivate an arguably amazing culture.
*Get ready because we’re about to name-drop here*
We know people. Like, really experienced people. People like one Mr. Bryan Miles – yes, the Bryan Miles, CEO and Co-Founder of BELAY – and he spilled the tea on what, exactly, is the secret to BELAY’s company culture.
Here are some juicy nugget excerpts from that conversation but for the unedited, not-from-concentrate conversation, click here to download his culture case study.
Bryan on why culture even matters for virtual workplace models:
"... the challenge of cultivating a cohesive company culture when there’s so much distance between your employees ... it can be overcome.
“I believe that if more businesses treated culture and employee wellbeing as key performance metrics – on par with quarterly earnings and profit margins – our entire society would benefit.”
On what culture is – and isn’t:
"It’s about the way your employees view and treat one another. It’s about the ways in which interpersonal conflicts are handled. It’s about how you celebrate successes, and how you overcome failures. It’s about how (and how often) your team communicates.
“We believe that all people should be treated with dignity and respect … and that works as an excellent illustration of what is and isn’t company culture – what defines our culture most is the shared respect, not the shared belief.”
On how to create and cultivate – company culture:
"The most important thing ... is to be intentional. In the simplest terms, all it means is don’t expect culture to create itself. Culture can manifest organically in communities, but in the corporate setting, it requires effort.
"That effort can come in many different forms, but step one should be creating a kind of master document – a cultural manifesto, if you will. [And] that doesn’t mean crib a few vague, tired lines from someone else’s generic mission statement.
“[It] should reflect your organization’s unique goals and priorities. It should also reflect who you want to be as a leader.”
On what other companies are getting wrong about culture:
"There is nothing that will disillusion a team faster than a leader who doesn't practice what they preach. You can’t expect others to do something that you aren’t willing to do yourself.
“Remember that no one forced you to become an entrepreneur. You chose to lead, so do it well.”
On how leaders can lead culture remotely:
"Even in an office setting, leaders need to work hard to overcome the inherent differences in their employees. [So] your job as a leader is to overcome those differences and inspire your team to work towards common goals.
“A leader’s job is essentially the same in a remote setting. The only difference is that the emotional, personal distance between coworkers is amplified by literal, physical distance.”
On how BELAY promotes collaboration:
"We’re happy when we overcommunicate. For us, too much information is just the right amount. And a recent survey of remote workers seems to confirm our experiences. Of the 1,200 plus remote workers polled, 69% said that communication with their employers was lacking.
"The world may be changing rapidly, but we’re still human. We still want to connect in ways that are more personal than via text on a screen. And ironically, modern technology is now working to facilitate that.
“My advice would be to encourage your employees to use video chat whenever possible, even when the phone might seem easier. So, use today’s wealth of high-tech collaboration tools to your advantage. Your culture will thank you for it.”
Can’t get enough of Bryan’s words of wisdom? Dying to know what other secret ingredients he shares about how he and his wife Shannon, CEO and Co-Founder, earned not one but two awards for the amazing culture they’ve fostered at BELAY?
Look. No. Further. Click here to download his culture case study for every last detail and ingredient in their secret sauce today!