If you grew up playing sports as a kid, you know how meaningful youth sports can be in a child’s life. Brian Litvack, CEO and Co-Founder of LeagueApps, a software to make sports more accessible to young people in local communities, knows firsthand what a difference being part of a team can make.
Team sports can help to instill values such as inclusion, discipline, fairness and teamwork. Brian was inspired by these principles when creating LeagueApps’ company culture. Connecting employees around these tenets has resulted in a brag-worthy culture that’s worth taking a closer look at.
It All Starts By Aligning With Company Values: Being Intentional
Company values, sometimes called core values or corporate values, are a set of beliefs that help employees and employers work together as a team. They can make decision-making easier as all decisions must align with these values.
If your goal is to create a company that is focused on specific core values, you need to make sure that everything that you do works towards pushing your mission. Yes, it’s important to make money — but those financial wins won’t mean anything if your company’s core values aren’t front and center at all times. This requires intentionality from the get-go.
From the hiring funnel to day-to-day tasks, keep those company core values in mind and you’ll see the benefits almost immediately. You’ll attract folks who have the same values and goals, all of which can work to advance your organization.
Connecting With Colleagues Who Share Your Career Passion
When everyone in your organization is focused on the same values, you’ll be better equipped for success. It’s only natural that company leaders and the executive team are all on the same page. If you were able to come together around a common idea in order to create a company, it’s easy to assume that you all have a similar mindset.
Keep this trend going with your employees. Again, when hiring, put your values and mission first. Make it your aim to bring on team members with similar goals. You want your core principles to matter to your employees just as much as they matter to you!
Think of your organization as a community. If you want your community to work together as a group, you need to have a shared vision to work towards.
Types of Digital and Physical Experiences for Employees
There are many ways to make sure that your company’s core values are clear, concise and well-understood by the entire team. One way is to hold meetings with the entire company inside and outside of the office. They can be digital or in person.
Don’t feel tempted to make these all-hands meetings only about business decisions. Create team-building activities, icebreaker games and simple get-to-know-you exercises. It doesn’t have to be cheesy, either. Use this time as an opportunity to talk about your company’s DNA — the company’s mission should always be front and center.
You can also have conversations about whether or not your team feels those core values on a day-to-day basis and what you and your partners can do to improve cohesion. Have the courage to take criticism and be willing to adjust if necessary!
How Driving Corporate Values and Culture Affects Employees
No matter what size your company is and how many employees you have, your corporate values and culture will affect your team. This is why it’s so important to have these core principles front and center from your hiring funnel and beyond. It will ensure that you bring in the right people.
When an employee has been with you for some time and is doing well, recognize their hard work. If you’re in a leadership position, monthly check-in meetings with each employee are definitely worth your time. Ensuring that they are happy, supported, and have the same set of values as the company is essential.
Company Culture Evolves in a Post-Covid World
The global pandemic has affected so much of our lives, especially how we work. Work-life balance, mental health and well-being, and employee satisfaction have become paramount in these difficult times.
While your core company values should serve as the bedrock for your organization, it’s important to be aware that as your company and the world change, your culture will shift as well. Since the debut of the pandemic, values such as inclusivity, safety and the opportunity for hybrid workplaces have become more important.
Give your employees the flexibility to work from home a few days a week or entirely remotely if needed. As long as they are able to complete their tasks it shouldn’t matter where they work. This type of understanding will let your people know that they are appreciated — again, this recognition and flexibility will only contribute to a healthy work environment.
The Biggest Investment of Any Business Is Its People: Leverage That and Make Everyone (Including Alumni) the Star
It’s easy to want to put the spotlight on your customers and clients no matter what industry you’re in. While this is of course a key area to focus on, you’ll only be able to provide the best service if your team members are content and passionate about what they do. The most successful companies appreciate the personal growth of their employees.
Bringing on the right people and giving them the room to grow, even if that means outside of your organization, is essential. Creating new opportunities so they aren’t afraid to advance could mean a greater commitment to your organization and its clear company values.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in a Sports Workplace Environment
Your list of specific core values is a crucial part of creating your company’s culture, but there are some values that should live in every organization. Diversity, equity and inclusion are just a few. When there is a focus on these, you’ll be able to create a better place to work.
It means embracing differences like race, gender, identity, and ethnicity. This could be considered even more important in a sports workplace environment, a place typically reserved for men in the past. Open up your company to people of all genders and the like — it adds a larger perspective which can be helpful for major business decisions.
The Future of Work for Startups
While the tips and tools above can apply to organizations of all sizes, you may be wondering what all of this means for startups. The direct impact of core company values can play an essential role in growth.
Startups can use software companies like LeagueApps as an example. They run on a mix of mission-driven and values-driven concepts and they have been able to grow as a result. If you’re a startup founder, build up your list of core values and make sure that everyone on your team (even if it’s just a few people) knows the values of your community. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how effective a brag-worthy company culture can be toward growing your business.
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