Put your company culture to work

Building a healthy culture is like flossing every day. Whichever employee you don’t want to lose, you and your management team need to take care of and take care of on a daily basis. Culture building is one of the most important skills we teach our clients on their first VIP day (one of Gail Doby’s coaching programs). Cheryl Stauffer, owner of Crimson Design Group, and Christi Barbour, co-owner of Barbour Spangle Design, are two savvy entrepreneurs we’ve had the pleasure of coaching, and you’ll see in the following lessons that they’ve taken culture to a new level. .

Cheryl Stauffer

Crimson Design Group

Born in Paraguay to two Mennonite missionaries, Cheryl Stauffer has long been interested in how our environment influences who we are and who we want to be. Natural beauty shaped Cheryl’s childhood and continues to guide her work as the fearless leader of the Crimson Design Group. In each project, CDG aims to cultivate a sense of awe-inspiring, transporting wonder in spaces designed for everyday living. Through unexpected colors and textures, thoughtful details, and a violation of the general rules, Crimson Design Group creates spaces that serve and delight the people who live in them.

1. What are some of the most impactful things you’ve done to create a successful culture?

We take the time to celebrate what is important in the lives of our employees and all their great victories. It is important to us to value each other’s companionship and well-being by hosting team lunches and team well-being events each month. We cook together and organize fun creative events together.

Once a year, we hold a two-day off-site company retreat for all of our team members to provide feedback on where we need to improve and what we’re doing well, and focusing really about our culture.

We have also defined our core values ​​which define how we select and maintain our members.

2. Why or how do you think a healthy culture has had a positive impact on your team and employees?

It allowed for a relaxed and professional environment. We know how to play hard and work hard. I believe that at the heart of building a good culture is valuing each member of the team, really taking the time to know who they are and who we need them to be at work. We want to be part of their personal and professional development. We have created a family environment here at Crimson.

3. Looking to the future, what are some of your plans to improve your culture?

We really listen to our employees. We did a survey of the company, and the biggest benefit was the addition of health insurance for our team members and therefore we are implementing it this year.

4. If you were a new business owner, how important is having a clearly defined culture?

This is the first thing to focus on. It’s about people, and it’s people who drive your business forward.

Christi Barbour's photo
Christi Barbour

Barbour glitter design

hristi Barbour is the founder and partner of the multi-faceted, award-winning Barbour Spangle design located in High Point, NC. She and her team are ideally located at the intersection of the residential, showroom and commercial design worlds. Their work across all design channels informs their ability to imagine more, source more broadly, and bring better ideas to their clients. Their strong culture and experienced team ensure no one will care more about your project than them.

In the fall of 2021, Barbour assumed the role of Vice Chairman of the High Point Market Authority after serving on the Board and Executive Committee for three years. Christi is the founder of the 501(c)3 nonprofit High Point Discovered, an organization that connects, communicates, and catalyzes growth in the city of High Point.

1. What are some of the most impactful things you’ve done to create a successful culture?

Create a culture that reflects who we collectively are as humans and not an aspiration, which may seem unattainable. Unlike salary, benefits, and promotions, culture has a rather elusive quality that’s in a class of its own. We didn’t intentionally set out to create a culture-driven workplace, but we instinctively knew what we didn’t want, which helped us define the kind of workplace we wanted. So we created a company where we put people first. This mindset has helped us create a culture of success that our team loves.

I would add that our culture is successful because it is part of our daily life. We hire by our culture. We believe you can train someone on your processes and help them develop their skills, but if your employees don’t believe in your culture, you will see an impact in all facets of your operation and relationships. Our employees have experienced our culture before coming to BSD; we’ve just created a work environment where these people thrive and thrive.

2. Why or how do you think a healthy culture has had a positive impact on your team and employees?

Having a strong culture is like having a guide to make all the right decisions. For example, one of our designers recently shared that she knows that when the team makes decisions based on our culture, leadership will always back and support them. In this example, being able to make decisions independently knowing that you will have support is exemplary of how a healthy culture will positively impact your team.

Our culture takes the guesswork out of what we believe in and value. We also hold each other accountable and congratulate each other. And because of what I mentioned before (that we lived and believed in our pre-BSD culture), we feel “safe” – safe to challenge ourselves, safe to grow, safe to create. And that freedom is important in a creative setting.

3. Looking to the future, what are some of your plans to improve your culture?

For me personally, improvement is an endless cycle. There is always something we can learn or do to improve. Communication is essential and involving our team in this communication is very important to us. Just last month, our team was interviewed one-on-one with an external consultant to get insight into what we’re doing well and to solicit ideas for continuous improvement.

We’re also adapting our culture to growth – when it was a 10-person office, it was easier to get everyone’s temperature taken. Like everything, a strong culture must evolve with growth.

4. If you were a new business owner, how important is having a clearly defined culture?

I believe defining the culture you want is just as important as having a business plan or your finances in order. Culture boils down to the values ​​of an organization that are reflected through its employees. And if the people in your organization don’t reflect your same values, it will never be as successful as it could be. Many years ago I read the following quote: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” I would add to that “and who you do it with”.

We are interior designers. But good design isn’t just about making the world more beautiful, it’s about making the world a better place. And that’s exactly what we believe in creating an exceptional work environment.