Whether you employ one or one million, it’s important to understand the benefits of creating a business that thrives on its core values, nurtures talent and fosters creativity.
But how, you ask, is this possible? Our Director of Human Resources, Sandra Nguyen, has the answers to your most heartfelt questions. From creating a positive office culture to balancing work with your personal life, she tackles it all.
Check out Sandra’s thoughts below to discover important ways to inspire customers from the inside out.
As a small business owner, how do you create a company culture?
Truly from the top down! Being able to build trust is an important foundation in developing relationships. Even in difficult situations, being open and honest is the best thing to do and also helps gain trust. Establishing a few simple Core Values that you believe in will help set the tone for what’s expected with every internal/external interaction, as well as define your company culture. Be mindful of wins and try to celebrate as much as possible, but also don’t be afraid to address employees that aren’t following the core values set forth. Give recognition when recognition is due – be genuine.
What’s the best way to keep the creative juices flowing in the office?
The ability to collaborate is key in keeping the creative juices flowing amongst teams. Think about furniture layout as well as team adjacencies – taking the time to plan this in advance will save lots of time in the future. It’s important to have furniture that allows team members to come together at any time during the day to brainstorm and meet (think meeting room but with no walls where it’s nice and open, as well as inviting).
Adding in a few fun, cost effective pieces can help. Here are a couple of examples that we have throughout our Volusion offices: a wall made of foam blocks that invites team members to build, Lego tables and white boards on wheels to have mobile meeting spaces on the fly.
How do I find the balance between work and my personal life?
As a mom of 2 active boys, it’s important that I have a work-life balance. Being efficient and multi-tasking is definitely a few of my strengths which enable me to leave work at work, and focus my attention on the home front once I’m home. You can do the same by looking for ways to gain a efficiencies during your work day, as well as at home.
Most importantly, don’t feel guilty with giving yourself “me” time to recharge – you’ve earned it! I make an effort to schedule a bit of down-time to recharge on a monthly basis. Also, having a great support system in the office as well as at home is tremendous. (Shout out to my fabulous HR and Recruiting team, Volusion as a whole and as well as my family for allowing me to do what I love on a daily basis!)
How do I create a set of core values for my company?
Think about core values as the heart of your company, which in turn makes your company tick. They don’t need to be long and drawn out – I find the simpler ones are better in the long run. Brainstorm and jot down what your values are and what’s important to you. From the list, you can derive a few core values. There are no right or wrong core values, nor a set number that you need to have. Keep in mind that they should be values that you believe in and can hold team members accountable to, as that will be important in maintaining them.
Core values that we live and breathe here at Volusion, as well as hold our team accountable for:
- Deliver WOW experiences!
- Innovate and embrace change
- Keep it simple, get it done
- Rock the golden rule
- Have fun and kick butt!
How can you promote teamwork in the work place?
Teams need to be able to understand the overall goal and outcome they are working towards. Encourage open communication and team meetings to discuss and share. It’s imperative that leaders are open as well – we have an open door policy here at Volusion and encourage our employees to give feedback and suggestions. Most importantly, recognize and celebrate when a team or individual reaches a goal and help them understand how that helped with overall company achievements. Offsite team building opportunities also helps to foster a good working relationship, as we do quarterly ones at Volusion and everyone looks forward to them. Each of the teams has gotten more creative over the years for their offsites, and it’s fun to see what they’re coming up with quarter after quarter.
Have questions about how to create a corporate culture that will flourish at your office? Ask away and we’ll make sure that Sandra gets back to you in the comments sections below.
Sandra Nguyen, Director of Human Resources, has been part of the Volusion team for five years. She began her work in Sales, which allowed her to understand our product. She also worked closely with Volusion CEO, Clay Olivier, on various operational projects, which she considers one of the many perks of working with a small company.
Prior to that, Sandra worked as a Senior Higher Education Account Manager at Apple where she managed Northeast Higher Education accounts and worked with Account Executives to coordinate with pre and post-sales issues.
Some of her accomplishments include obtaining a PHR in 2008, Excellence Award in 2010, Top Workplaces in Austin Awards in 2011 & 2012 and helping to manage the growth at Volusion from 50 to 260+ employees. Most importantly, she’s a proud mother of two boys!