Competition in today’s market is tough. Two keys to startup success are your people and your company’s culture. On June 30th, our founder and CEO, Theresa Horak, spoke to Simone Usselman-Tod of Wild About Wellness about the importance of cultivating team culture in building a strong foundation for business growth.
Wild About Wellness is a community of individuals interested in holistic health and wellness, who hold an online monthly collaborative relationship-building event. The public is welcome, as well as practitioners and coaches, product and service providers. This is a casual and easy-going meetup group, and a great opportunity to meet other like-minded people interested in natural holistic health.
In this 50-minute talk, Theresa shared how she has sought to create a strong culture within her own company, and how you can too!
Six keys to cultivating that community include:
- hiring for fit
- how your own leadership matters
- celebrating the small moments
- leadership development within your team
- community engagement, and
- creating infinite possibilities
Hiring For Fit
Not only does your workplace culture help employees find support, it also establishes a robust foundation for your business’ growth.
Theresa says that for her, hiring is not necessarily looking for the best technical player, but best team player. In order to create a cohesive team, it’s fundamental to hire personalities that have the same compassion both for their team members and to help clients. Yet this does pose challenges when it comes to managing a variety of skill sets, personalities, and experiences. Developing rapport is important when working with such a diverse team, and it is crucial to let mistakes serve as points for growth.
Theresa has focused her efforts on helping newcomers, and has found diverse team experiences to be crucial in developing communication skills within the team. That, together with providing mentorship and transitional guidance to immigrants, fosters a strong sense of family among all members.
When LoAllay was established in 2017, Theresa noted one lesson she learned from growing too fast with her new business: it’s important to learn how to say no. At that point, LoAllay was “mushrooming”, gaining new employees to fit specific client needs. It was important to establish boundaries and support those boundaries with a strong foundation.
It’s often that entrepreneurs have a strong vision yet struggle to juggle all the steps to get there. Leadership is forward-looking: making the right judgement and letting your team empower you.
Celebrating small moments
An essential part of cultivating company culture and wellness is by giving employees a moment and reason to celebrate. LoAllay tackled this throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by having weekly staff meetings and sharing gratitude. This allows employees to celebrate the smaller things and support and motivate each other, as well a s their leaders!
Employee leadership development
Theresa emphasizes that the personal development of the LoAllay team is more important to her than teaching technology or tools. This is because with confidence and the right support, employees see their true value; learning tools become secondary.
One way Theresa has supported employee growth was through “my time” meetings where she would conduct a one-on-one checkup every two months to give team members the space to guide the conversation around their own goals, aspirations, lives, and anything else that they would like to discuss. It’s important to note that this is not a performance review. Rather, it focuses on empowering the employee and guiding their growth and potential.
An essential part of building the culture at LoAllay is that it ripples outwards through the clients, employees, their families, and into the community. Having the right support at the workplace changes the way people show up in other parts of their life.
For example, LoAllay’s network of support showed itself through collectively combating the pandemic in many ways, from supporting each other by dropping off frozen food to running errands for a client in need.
Theresa recounts a particularly fond memory of the LoAllay socially-distanced December event where employees were encouraged to bring their families. She emphasizes how seeing the children make friends with each other solidified the familial nature of LoAllay’s culture. Even now, children are welcome to do their work from the office, and on your next visit, you might just see a member of our family doing online school in the boardroom!
Creating Infinite Possibilities
Many entrepreneurs have a clear dream, but not a clear direction to get there. Moving ideas to the marketplace can be difficult. Theresa started her first business at 19, and has gone through all the ups and downs of entrepreneurship since then. With everything she’s learned over the years, Theresa is dedicated to working with people of all ages and at all points in their entrepreneurial journey to turn their dreams into reality.
After all, being an entrepreneur means being a part of a community. At LoAllay, we can take you from a company of 1 to a company of 10 with an entire team supporting you.