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The Secret to Building a Culture by Design

company culture

You know that you have to design and build your company culture if you want every employee to give their best, because that won’t happen if you allow the culture to develop by default. But culture can’t be something you worked on last year—or last month—and now you’re focusing on something else. If you do that it means you’re back to culture by default rather than by design—and you’re not going to be happy when you discover how quickly your efforts to improve the culture can unravel. Every service business owner should remember Mike Agugliaro’s lesson, “I didn’t get anywhere with my service business until I started focusing on culture.” Ask yourself these three questions to make sure you’re still focusing on building a culture by design.

What are you doing to build up the team this month?

Do you have a motto for this month? What’s everyone pulling together on to improve? A monthly focus is a great way to build up the team. Social activities are also important to give your team members the opportunity to get to know each other better. We know of a service business that encourages everyone to participate in a walkathon to raise money for a local charity. They all raise money and the owner gives prizes to the top three fundraisers at a barbecue he hosts after the walkathon. Doing things together will build your team’s unity.

How are you empowering your employees?

Your business vision becomes reality when you break it down into targets and then break those targets down into KPIs for each department and each employee. When you meet with each employee quarterly, one-on-one, to review and set their KPIs, you give them a track to run on. It’s empowering for an employee to know what they can do to move forward in the company. You can take this one step further by finding out what their personal goal is—perhaps they want a promotion or to learn a new skill. Work with that employee to set a KPI for that too and show them what you’re willing to do to help them with their goal.

What are you doing to be the best boss you can be?

If the boss is constantly a grumpy grizzly, work will become unbearable for team members and they will make it their daily goal just to get through their shift and get out of there. And that will impact the quality of service. Longer term, they’ll be gone as soon as they can find another job.

Your attitude matters. The way you treat your employees is one of the biggest shapers of culture in your workplace. You must be the change you’re wanting to see in the culture. Just as your anger and grumpiness filter down in negative ways, your respect and encouragement of employees will have a positive impact.

At CEO Warrior, we teach that a business leader must champion a painted vision, core values and the company’s brand promise. The strength of your company culture comes from you being able to tell your people ‘Here’s where we’re going,’ ‘Here’s how we’re going to get there,’ and ‘This is what we guarantee our clients.’ When a boss does that, worker after worker will respond, “I’m in and I will follow your lead. We’re going to be the best!”


Nothing is going to get better in your company until you build a better culture. Ask yourself the three questions in this article. Keep asking yourself these questions. Keep working on the culture—building up the team, empowering your employees and being the best boss you can be!

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