Do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions? Most of us do at one point or another, which is why the mindset of ‘living intentionally’ has grown in popularity in the past few years. This practice centers around being present in your life and focusing on your path. In other words, while routines are important in life and work, there is a line between structure and “performing on autopilot.” Considering how much time we spend at work, creating a culture of intention in the work place is just as important.
These intentional living practices are equally powerful in your professional life, especially when it comes to building out your workplace culture. Creating a culture of intention will help everyone stay focused and connected. And according to Forbes, companies with a strong culture have seen a 4x increase in revenue growth. So whether you’re a solopreneur, leading a small team or a large company, this is not an area to ignore! Let’s dive into the most meaningful ways to create and maintain a strong culture of intention:
Define Your Core Values
Company values are a set of principles that explain what matters most to your business and what motivates the work you do. They can be a set of standalone words or a few phrases. What’s important is that they accurately reflect your purpose. When setting your core values, use the important intentional living practice and focus on the “why.” Begin by asking yourself a series of questions, and try to remove success and/or revenue from the answers to get to the real catalysts to your business:
- What is the purpose of your business?
- What’s most important to it? You?
- What part(s) of your work are you most proud of?
- In an ideal world, why are you and the rest of your team excited to come to work?
- What does your most fulfilling future state look like? What sorts of values that you can enact now that align best with this desired state?
Live Your Values
The goal of creating a culture of intention within your professional life is to not simply ‘set and forget’ these values but to live with them at the forefront of your mind every day. Let them guide your actions and reference them often during key decision-making processes. It’s a good idea to make your values visible in your environment. Or, say them to yourself as a mantra if that feels more natural. Leading by example this way will help to get everyone on the same page, rallying around the same goals. It sounds cheesy, but you’ll be amazed at what you and your team can do when you’re all rowing in the same direction.
It’s okay for values to evolve over time but everyone should share a common belief in them (and feel ignited by them!) most of the time. If you feel yourself moving away from your values, ask the “why” questions again! Examine how your answers may have changed. What has changed within yourself, your team and your business as a whole since you set them? What can you do to move back towards your center? Or, is it time to evolve the values with your current climate? Remember to reward yourself and others for living into your core values, and hold yourself and others accountable when you are not living them.
Put People First
Any team in which the members are only out for themselves is a weak one. This makes building a culture of trust, respect and communication vital. Especially in professions surrounding events where there are so many moving parts and you have to rely heavily on your team and your partners for a flawless execution. The important building building blocks of any people-first culture are communication, trust, respect, accountability – and a little bit of fun thrown in there!
Create Channels of Open Communication
Be present for your team. As a leader, it’s your job to to be as available as possible to your team. Let people know that you welcome idea sharing and asking questions. And remember, feedback should flow from both sides. As long as everyone is respectful, you should be able to take feedback as well as dish it out. This will make everyone on your team a better person.
Hold Yourself and Others Accountable
Accountability is another key component of maintaining a culture of intention. Make sure your actions are always working towards meeting objectives. Set this up within your team by first assuring an understanding of roles, duties and your team’s position as it relates to the success of the company. Then, take time to stop, reflect, and ask yourself if you’re still on a fulfilling path. Do the same for the members of your team, and help people get back on their path if they begin to stray.
Have Some Fun
This is a good tip for intentional living in both work and life. It’s just better to focus on the positive! Let people know when they are doing a great job and make sure your team gets out every once in a while to do something fun together. In fact, research on employee engagement in 2018 states that 38% of people say their happiness impacts their performance at work – so all the more incentive to make your company a happy place.
Go On And Grow
If you create a culture of intention – one built on strong values – live through them every day. Cultivate an environment where people are comfortable being ‘present’ and can thrive. You’ll have cultivated an environment where people enjoy themselves, each other and their work. And, one in which your business grows.
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