What Non-Negotiables Define Your Culture Statement?
Updated: Oct 6, 2021
As business owners we have a lot of responsibility. Not only do we need our business to be successful and profitable to provide for our family, and ourselves but we also have a responsibility toward the welfare of our employees, the community and the environment.
One thing that I am observing when coaching my clients is that a stronger distinction between the company’s interests and the personal interests of the owner needs to be established. Ultimately, for the company to be successful, you need to put its needs and interests before your own interests. If you try to have your company take care of your needs first, the company most likely won’t succeed. But if you first and foremost take care of your company, it will take care of you, your employees and many others as well.
How Do You Take Care Of Your Company First?
Putting the company first, of course, manifests in many different ways. Today lets focus on what is at the very core of our company being successful. But before we dive into the exercise, just a little bit more background.
One of our main jobs as leaders is help our team grow and be inspired every day to provide first class service to the customers we serve. If the culture of our business is one where everyone goes above and beyond what the customers expects then we will have a successful business. But too often we start losing sight of what the simple things are that make our customers so happy. We get distracted by the challenges of the day to day, and possibly the excitement of new, more expansive projects..
Important behaviors and little actions that once where the foundation of our business may have gotten lost, because even though we, as the original founders, practiced them daily, they were not captured and passed on to the expanding team.
The Culture Statement Exercise
So what are the things that you do on a day-to-day basis that determines your culture? What specifically do you do and what don’t you do that makes you and your business unique? What are the very basic things that make your business run and be successful every day?
It’s important to identify these absolutely critical and essential things that you and your team need to do to continue to be successful. There probably are somewhere between five and ten of these things that are at the core of your business. I call these things non-negotiables.
To identify what those non-negotiables are, ask yourself these questions:
How do I expect my customers to be treated?
What impression do I want to give everyone who comes in contact with our company?
What would I simply not tolerate from one of my team members?
What would really set me off and push me over the edge?
What would make me walk someone to the door without a second thought?
Just take 10 minutes right now to complete this exercise. Define your Non-negotiables. List the first 5-10 things that come to mind. Don’t try to make perfect sentences. Just write them as you think and feel them. Once you have them written down, schedule another 30 minutes later this week to refine them into a nice, tight, descriptive set of values for your business. As you notice the questions above are stated in the negative. This is specifically to get in touch with your passion for your business and the services you provide. Once you wrote the answers down you then can formulate them into more positive, inspiring statements.
These are your culture statements. Don’t just rush through the exercise. Make sure you feel good about what you have come up with that that it is exactly what you want it to say. Maybe you want to have someone you trust review them. Then share it with your employees. They will thank you for giving them the clarity of purpose that they have been looking for.