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How to create an awesome company culture

Running a trade business is no easy feat. Managing jobs, looking for more work, balancing the books, overseeing the team – it’s hard enough to do these by themselves. But throw in one of your best employees leaving, and you’re up a certain creek without a paddle.

As you’re probably aware, there’s a massive trade shortage at the moment and it’s showing no signs of easing up. That means it’s hard to find excellent talent, and far easier doing all you can to keep your staff happy and in the job.

But what even is a company culture? Let’s find out.

Company culture explained

Company culture is essentially the personality of a business – think of it as a person. What is that person like to work with? How do they help you do your job better? Would you hang out with this person in your spare time? Does this person make you want to come to work every day?

In most cases, the founder of a business sets the company culture – whatever values and ways of thinking an owner has normally transfers from to the company. For instance, if the founder is really particular about workmanship, then it’s likely the business will be as well.

Why you need clear values

Setting values are helpful for both your employees and your customers (current and future). The values you set let your employees know what kind of business they’re joining, and the type of people they can expect to work with. For customers, the values can be the difference when selecting which trade business to move forward with. Check out this article on how to define your values.

Examples of values include:

  • Integrity and honesty
  • Customer-first mindset
  • Workmanship
  • Professional
  • Teamwork
  • Dependable

However, you can’t just go naming your values willy-nilly. If you just pick three or four values that don’t actually match the way you think and operate, your staff will see right through it and won’t stick around.

Getting your working environment right

The environment is a huge part of your culture, and if you can get it right, then your best employees will be more likely to stick with you for longer.

The key to having high staff retention is to have positive and empowering values and culture, rather than negative and oppressing. This is achieved by being quick to recognise great work, being serious about work, and having the odd fun day where you do some cool things completely unrelated to the job.

How this translates into hiring

The Trades Coach Andy Burrows quite rightly says that you need to ensure your employees have the same moral compass as you. After all, your staff represent your business, so you need them to act as you would when you’re not around.

So when you’re in hiring mode, look for people who best match the values that you’ve set for your business. It may mean that you don’t necessarily hire the person with the most experience or the best skills, thankfully these can be gained. Attitude, on the other hand, that’s not going to change too much.

Hiring someone who best fits your company culture will mean that everyone wins. But if you choose someone who grates against your culture, then you’ll likely face productivity issues, or worse, the possibility of having your best workers leave.

What our culture looks like

To put money where our mouth is, we’ve recently renovated our culture at Tradify and distilled it into four key points. A simplified version of them is as follows:

We put tradies first. We care about our customers’ businesses, and everything we do helps build their success.

We think big. We’re on a global mission to disrupt the status quo in the trades industry, and build a better way of doing things.

We hustle. We understand that to lead the pack we need to work harder and smarter than our competitors.

We are kind. We practice humility and spend more time listening than talking. We’re considerate, and don’t let ego influence decisions.

Now it’s your turn
Enough writing, and reading – now it’s time to crack on to making your company culture awesome. Put these tips into action and you’ll be well on your way.

This article was written by Michael Howard from Tradify.

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