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Episode 82: Core Values, Culture & Team

What does it mean to have a healthy list of core values within your company? How does culture code extend beyond the fringes of your business? In this episode, Danielle Russell of Builder Funnel gives us her thoughts on quality company culture codes and establishing healthy core values. 

What Do Your Core Values Consist of?

Understanding your company's fundamental truths and direction makes for a healthy road map in establishing core values and a quality culture code. Danielle weighs in on the importance of establishing core values and how they extend further than your own company. "Having a culture that attracts high talent can lead to 33% higher revenue," she says.

Learn all about it here on Builder Funnel Radio.



  • 2:16 Meaning of culture
  • 2:48 Why is culture important?
  • 7:36 What anchors our culture?
  • 15:28 Taking your time while hiring
  • 22:28 Multiple uses for core values
  • 22:52 Incorporating culture into a remote setting
  • 29:48 Insight into company culture
  • 37:56 How have you seen culture evolve?
  • 40:52 Builder Funnel insights
  • 41:48 Challenges when developing culture
  • 46:2 Final thoughts on culture
  • 50:24 Spencer's takeaways



Marketing Case Study

Full Episode Transcription

Note: this podcast was transcribed automatically and may contain minor grammatical errors and missed words.

Spencer Powell 0:08
Welcome to Builder Funnel radio here you'll learn about how to grow your homebuilding remodeling or contracting business. If you're not growing, you're moving backwards. So we want you to always be in growth mode. This podcast has really turned into a movement and community of people who want to grow personally and professionally. Here we bring you some of the best marketing sales and business minds in the industry so you can elevate your business.

Alright, let's dive into the show.

Hey guys, welcome back to builder funnel radio. This is another edition of the groceries and this is episode 82. I'm hosting Danielle Russell or Russell as she's known around here because we actually have three Danielle's on our team but

Danielle has been here, I guess.

I don't know how long have you been here?

Danielle Russell 1:03
It'll be five years this summer, which is a lifetime in marketing agencies. Yeah.

Spencer Powell 1:11
Yeah, yeah, that's definitely I don't know what the average you know, averages but it's definitely a long time. So Danielle runs operations here at builder funnel for us. And today, we wanted to dig into some topics that we're super excited about and super passionate about. But that's namely culture and team culture. And that is definitely a feel like it's a buzzword for sure it gets parked around the web, and you read articles on culture and you read books on culture. And

I know early on my business career, I thought it was just kind of a, I don't know, fluffy word, I guess and kind of pie in the sky ideas and that sort of thing. But yeah, Danielle, what is what does culture mean to you?

Danielle Russell 1:58
Cool. That's a

Really big question. So we'll have to break that down a little bit. But I would say to me, and me personally, I mean, if you google this, I'm sure it'll populate millions, if not more responses of what people think culture means at work. But to me, I would say it's the marriage of the blending of purpose and the workplace and being able to find infusing why we do with what we do. Really.

Spencer Powell 2:30
Yeah, I think I think that's a good way to summarize it, because that's definitely a big question. So we'll, we'll have to break it down into a few more components.

But but maybe let's start with,

with why, you know, why culture? Why is this important? And then we can kind of start breaking down this topic, and we'll talk about some things that we've done here at builder funnel and things that we're still working on. But why you know, if you're a business owner

listening to this.

Danielle Russell 3:02
Why should we even be paying attention to this? There's a million other things to be worried about, you know, why is culture so important? Yeah. Because honestly, if you're not paying attention to it, then it's happening without your guidance. And you might not like the results of that. A big part of how I like to think of it is planning for the future team, app builder funnel and how I see who I want to attract to the team, where I see the company going 10 years from now. And in order to get there, you need to start planning today and start building the culture that will attract those people today. So I actually pulled a bunch of relevant stats from Forbes Business Insider, all kinds of relevant resources about culture. And I'm gonna read some of these off to you because they're very specific.

I 81% of employees would be

willing to work longer hours if they felt their employer was empathetic.

Only one in three us workers say they received recognition for their work within the past seven days.

A whopping 58% of employees have left a job or would consider leaving one if they felt the culture was permeated by negative office politics. And having a culture that attracts high talent can lead to 33% higher revenue. I saved that last one because I think that's, that's a number. Any business owner would want to hear when somebody asks Why should I start thinking about culture? Yeah, it's better for you. It's better for your bottom line. It's better for team morale. And at the end of the day, you're creating a better place for people to work. Yeah, and I liked what you said at first, where you basically said hey, it's gonna form no matter what whether you form it or you know,

Spencer Powell 5:00
work on creating it and developing it. And it makes me think back to

probably within the first two or three years of starting the business. And there is a period of time I remember

we had a couple of team members that just were more on the negative side in terms of just their attitude and that sort of thing. And we were a small team at the time, maybe four or five people and so, you know, having half the team or you know, two fifths of the team with that sort of attitude.

You could feel it, it was crazy. I think that was one of those like, aha moments for me because I'd walk into the office. And you know, there's three or four other people sitting in there and you'd go to sit down and you just felt like the room was heavy, and it just felt gross. It was like, ah, like, what's going on here and you could just feel the tension. And so you know, if you're listening and if you've ever walked into a room and kind of felt that you you know what I'm talking about, but

That, to me is one of those like very tangible elements of feeling what part of a culture can feel like and that obviously, that's just a part of it. But

I remember feeling like, I gotta change this because I don't even like coming in anymore. And you know, that's a bad sign.

Danielle Russell 6:22
So, I think that point that you made is is spot on there. Yeah, it's, I mean, even if it's not an everyday occurrence, but if you get, like going into hard times, for example, no matter if you're having a team meeting, let's say to talk about what your plan forward is or how you're going to face that challenge. No matter how many positive comments are in that room, if there's one that's always negative or challenging everything else. You'd be surprised how quickly that sucks all of the excitement at facing a challenge together.

Spencer Powell 7:00
how quickly it sucks that right out of everyone else? Yeah, it's a lot. But the negative is a lot more powerful in that scenario, it just drowns out all the positive. It's amazing because the ratio doesn't have to be even it can be one to 10. And if that one is, is even just medium strong, you know, not very strong. It can. Yeah, it permeates throughout everything. So well in thinking a little bit more about culture and trying to define it, what what do you think, like anchors that are what's kind of at the base of all of this.

Danielle Russell 7:36
In my experience, what I've seen out builder funnel really anchors, our culture is being consistent and our core values, identifying those core values, hiring for those core values, talking about our core values, every chance we get, we share them with our clients. We call them out when we notice other people on our team doing them and

Eventually, it just became a normal habit to not only live by those core values and having those shared beliefs within the team, but also recognizing them when other people are doing them. And I think that was a huge step because I remember not too long ago, probably like a year ago, Spencer, you and I sat down and talked about that. How are we going to get other people to remember these core values? What can we do to make sure we're living them every single day and not just you and I, but the whole team? and having that initial conversation, we came up with a few ideas, and really, it just came down to talking about it. And whenever something came up, whenever a decision came up, we would call out that core value and say, like, Hey, we always do the right thing. And that would guide the rest of that discussion. And we would figure out what the right thing to do was or saying, hey, always be learning and

Spencer Powell 9:00
We are always learning. So just really leading by calling out what those core values are. And you'd be surprised how quickly everybody else notices and follows through and starts to do it also. Yeah, yeah, I think the communication piece is big. I mean, it's sometimes we over complicate things, but it's just sharing, like, hey, these are the core values. These are things that, you know, we don't compromise on here. And then to your point to just looking for opportunities to recognize people that are living the core values day to day or week to week and just calling those out so that other people start to see that and then suddenly, those things become Top of Mind pretty quickly.

So I think one of the things when people think about core values is you know, how do you select those are how do you develop core values within a company

And I know you're coming at it from a little different angle, because obviously I started the company. And so there's a big part of core values coming out of that. But

I guess, how do you see that being developed, you know, through through your lens and what you've seen?

Danielle Russell 10:17
It's a good question. I think our lives kind of shape how we view, company culture and what we want out of it.

One thing I always think of, especially during recruiting and hiring, and the atmosphere I want in every team meeting, is picturing who I want to be surrounded by every single day. And

thinking about what ties us all together, what keeps us a unit what keeps us moving forward together, kind of like we said, with even just one negative attitude can have a huge impact on a room of 11 people and thinking, thinking about how to keep that positive attitude, a positive attitude.

atmosphere. And really,

in the hiring process in particular, again, thinking about who might take you to the next level, what goals do you have as a company? And then as you're filling the dots of how you're going to get there? Who's going to help you do that? And then thinking through the culture of how are you going to attract them to your company? What are you going to do internally to not only attract them, but then retain them once they're on the team? And for us, it's really been a team effort to think through that whole system of who we want, and how do we get there. And what do we want right now? What do we already have right now? I think that's really what started to get us towards these core values and shared beliefs really. I'm curious though, to hear what do you think because you do have a completely different perspective and it's called

Spencer Powell 12:00
values and how they were developed how we got there? Yeah, I mean, I think when we first started thinking through core values, I don't remember how long ago it was at this point. But part of it was what's kind of part of my internal DNA because I felt like for them to be really authentic, they had to be coming, you know, a lot of them coming from me, but also thinking about the environment that I wanted to create as well. And so it was a little bit of a combination of that. So like, always be learning as one that you mentioned earlier. And so that has always just been a part of my DNA is just, you know, reading books and going to, you know, events and, you know, taking courses and just always, you know, learning and improving and so, you know, other ones, like do the right thing that was something where I just fast forward throughout my career and I just said hey, when I get to the end of of this journey,

That's not something that I want to ever compromise, you know, and so there are going to be moments in business that you'll hit where you could, you know, cut a corner or, you know, make one choice over another and it just didn't seem worth it to compromise that. So that was something that was super important to be in.

And I you know, I definitely did some Google searching for inspiration, like what other companies you know, are doing for core values and, but at the end of the day, I kind of looked at a lot of those and I just thought about some things that were really important to me and then that started to build that that short list of things that I wanted to incorporate here. And actually, you know, a lot of times I think they get set in stone, but it was recently that we added a new one.

And that was always be teaching and that is super important and kind of at the core of what we do here at builders.

funnel which is basically education marketing. So we write blog content, we're on social, we're doing podcasts, we're doing videos, but it's all educating. It's all helping, we're putting value out into the world. And we know if we do that we're going to attract people back to us. And that's what we do for our clients. We help them educate. And so there's also a selfish part of that too, which is the more you teach, the more you learn. And so it kind of piggybacks on always be learning, but I would say, really, it ended up being a combination of like getting some outside inspiration, internal looking at my own DNA, and then just looking at like, what kind of environment you know, do we want to have here at builder funnel?

But I think it's, it's interesting because

then what you've done is you've taken those, okay, how do we layer those in at every level and so even just like on the hiring front, I think that's one area that it's been super valuable. So maybe you can share a little bit about what we're doing there in terms of

Using the core values in that hiring process to find people that are a good fit.

Danielle Russell 15:06
Yeah, absolutely.

Hiring is such a big decision for companies I think. I don't know how this happens. And I've heard it across the board from friends, family, logs, I've read everywhere. It kind of gets breezed over. It's like people don't put as much weight on it as the hiring process in general. Yeah, just like, take your time. What does it hire slow fire fast, like, take your time hiring because there are

I mean, everything that we've already said about building the culture and having it be so intentional and knowing that every single teammate you're adding is not just adding to your team but also to the products that you're putting out there. The services you're putting out there. They represent your brand, the face

Have your brand when they're interacting with clients or when they're online even.

So just really,

number one, slow down your hiring, don't just hire the first person to apply because you have an open position.

I know. So a big shift that we've had in our hiring process to really start looking for culture is, and this came to us from you and I were at partner day for HubSpot. And we were sitting in on a session about culture. And someone on the panel mentioned that if someone can make it all the way through your hiring process, and make it to the end and get to your culture interview, for example, which is like taking them out to lunch, taking them, having coffee with them and having the team interact with them is what I mean by a culture interview. And if someone can make it all the way through

Your process and get to the culture interview and your team can say no based on culture, why would you end with the culture interview. So what I've been trying to do is infuse a little bit of that, a little bit of that culture interview in my first round interview. So I'm actually the first full interview that people have when they're applying at builder funnel, which might be a little bit intimidating at first to try to make it not so intimidating. But I have a great sense right off the bat in that first 30 to 60 minutes of talking to someone based on the questions I asked how they react to them, all of that kind of stuff, how the team would feel about them, and what they can add to our team. So that first interview alone is just focused on culture. And to make it to that interview I do. You know, I look through some of their work experience and other relevant factors, but I do try to just start and solely focus

Guess on getting to know that person, understanding what their values are, how they would react in certain situations, and what they find valuable and company culture, what they're looking for out of an employer and a team. And when those values align, and we've gotten to culture interviews where it's hard to pick someone, because I started with that culture aspect, and that's a really good place to be in, that's been a huge shift for us. And also being able to showcase our culture and our brand online. So when we're posting on social, I've infused a lot of team oriented posting. I think it does help with hiring, but b i think it helps our clients get to know us on a more personal level, and start to recognize all of our shared beliefs also, and I think that's been a huge

just a huge piece to add to this whole

Spencer Powell 19:00
Culture puzzle. Yeah, yeah. And I would say to you, for anybody listening, if you don't do a culture interview, I highly, highly recommend it. We started doing those several years back. And it's been fascinating to watch, you know, somebody will go through the interview process in ours has gone from like three interviews to like, I don't know, seven or something. We, it's pretty extensive at this point.

But by the time they get to that culture interview, we've had people, like you said, they sometimes they'll bomb out, you know, at that point, and the culture interview is a little more of an informal setting where they're just like you said, maybe coffee and breakfast or lunch and we're just kind of hanging out and the goal is to learn a little bit about, you know, some work stuff and habits but also just get to know them personally and just interact with them. And it's amazing. Sometimes somebody is able to put on that interview face, all the way through and then you put

I'm in that environment, and something changes or something became becomes obvious. And so I think we've dodged a couple of bullets, you know, because of that. But we've also, in, you know, you ensure that if somebody makes it through all those stages and the culture interview that everyone's generally excited about that person coming on board, so they're going to be just right out of the gates more successful because people want them to succeed. They want them to be on the team. People are excited to have this new teammate.

And I don't know that everyone always gets a chance to be a part of that hiring process and, you know, meeting to meet new teammates, I think sometimes, you know, somebody just shows up Sunday is like, Oh, this person's new. They're starting today. Oh, that's good to know. And so yeah, it's just been interesting. And back to that panel comment. I toyed around with putting the culture interview at the front end, but I think I like where it is.

Because, you know if you got 10 people on your team or 15 people or whatever it is like that culture interview can be an expensive meeting you got 10 hours worth of time or 15 hours worth of time there. And so you probably will be you know, maybe close to that or not quite at that by the time they make it there so you're probably still you know, saving time overall if you have all of your initial candidates go through the culture interview and and spending a lot of time doing those types of meetings but yeah, I think to your point trying to incorporate so you have a sense of Are they a culture fit and you know, everyone on the team really well and so if they pass through you know, there's a huge percentage that they'll meet the, the team, you know, requirements when you get to that that stage.

But I also wanted to chime in because you've kind of talked about how we apply this on the hiring side, we also wide on the

on the selling side, and we've turned down

You know, several projects that are, you know, engagements with potential customers that would have been, you know, 3050 $60,000 each,

because they're competing with another client of ours, and so that one fits under that do the right thing. And we feel like it's not the right thing to be directly working with two competing clients trying to get them both to rank on Google and generate more leads. We thought we'd be competing against ourselves. So as you think about your core values, you know, they, they run through everything in terms of your company. It's not just for like, oh, we're in the office. So this is how it feels, or it's like how you make your decisions. It's, you know, how you move forward on different initiatives. And when challenges come up, it's how you navigate those challenges.

But how it let's maybe talk about, especially in light of everything that's going on, how do you incorporate culture into

A kind of a more remote setting. You know, I know, probably a lot of people listening, you maybe don't have a ton of remote workers, because you're on job sites and doing the work. But I think it's becoming more and more common. And we'll probably see that becoming more common. So do you have any good tips for how to build a culture when you know, not everyone is always in the office or just, there's some people that are always out of the office. Yeah, I feel like I am uniquely qualified to answer this question.

Danielle Russell 23:36
Remote for almost four years now. I'm from Virginia, from Germany and now from Indiana, so across time zones and countries, country lines.

And I've been thinking about this for so much longer just because I being remote and having other remote teammates from builder funnels.

Plus having an office culture, I've had to figure out ways to

not just marry the culture across the two teams, if you will, but also like, just because the office team can have happy hours and do different kinds of things. I have to think through the remote culture too. So we have our own separate culture pieces, also.

Some standards, just some technology that we use as a team. We use zoom all the time, just so we can see each other's faces. And

we have daily meetings on zoom. We have our daily standup where everybody on the team talks about what they're working on some days we share what we're grateful for that day, some days we share what our win for that week was. We talked about our internal builder funnel marketing initiatives, just staying in front of each other reminding each other that we're human is I think that's huge. That can't be that can't be overcome.

We also use slack. That's our internal, like our instant messaging system that we use as a team. So we can slack each other one offs if like Spencer and I are on a project together that we're working on. But then we also have channels in Slack, where we can kind of organize our conversations.

We have like, for example, right now we have one for book club, where we talk through books that we're reading, we have one about goals that we're working on that are outside of work, personal goals, and we get to cheer each other on and keep that sense of togetherness and team. So it's not just always talking about work. Right now, since the whole team is remote. We also have a new Slack channel where we're focusing on keeping everyone who's not used to being remote feeling part of the team also. So we're starting collaborative playlist on Spotify.

So we can like, Listen to the same music while we're working throughout the day.

If you saw any of our Instagram stories about our pull up contest, we've now switched that over to a push up contest. So everybody can be a part of it. Even if you don't have a pull up bar, little things like that, reminding each other to take breaks, checking in on each other.

Nothing too crazy, but things that are just easy to forget when you get in your own workday flow and don't really look up to check in on the team. So just those daily reminders to check in and everyone else, one of my biggest pro tips right now, for anybody who's gone remote, I actually keep a tally of how frequently I talked to everyone on the team. And that serves for a couple of purposes. Like I literally write this out in my planner every time I talk to someone.

Hey, it helps me remember to check in on everyone every single day. Be it helps me remember

To write things down about everyone, so I can remember things I check in on things. I remember special dates, stuff like that. But then it also reminds me that I need to be checking in on everyone, because some people are just a little bit less talkative on slack. And if I'm not keeping track of checking in on everyone, then sometimes it's easy to miss that frequency, and you're not talking to everyone, the same amount. So I recommend tallying how often you talk to your team right now. Yeah, I know that sounds weird. Well, there's a method to the madness, right? It's funny, it makes me think of this example of

Spencer Powell 27:41
this panel. And they were talking to I think there were a bunch of like, pretty high power CEOs on the panel and

they were asking this one guy, like how he balanced like running this company, and then stay in touch with all of us just like friends and family and you

know his own personal networking events. And he's like, well, I make a list of all the people, you know that I'm close to and and i reevaluate that list and I basically have to say no to people that over a certain number, I don't remember what his number was 20 years 50 people or whatever it was, but if you weren't in that list, you pretty much eliminated you. And, you know, a bunch of the crowd was kind of like, oh, like, That's awful. Like, how can you do that? He's like, hey, that, like, these are my goals. And these are the like, that's how I do it. And you asked, so I appreciated that answer. I felt like it's really honestly, I feel like, I just made me think of x you're going yeah, that's kind of like, weird, uh, you're having the tally to, you know, check in on people was like, yeah, otherwise it doesn't happen, right. You know, it slips and then it becomes, you know, falls out of habit. And then it's once a week and then it's never and so I think that's good. And, as you were talking to, I was thinking about slack.

I don't know if there are a lot of you that use this tool, but basically just internal chat system. And

I feel like as you were talking on slack actually is a big part of our culture. But I also feel like it's because people can share stuff in slack that like you normally wouldn't ever hear, they wouldn't email about it, and they wouldn't necessarily talk about it. Or if they did, they might be just talking to one other person, but it's not like, Oh, I'm gonna tell this to the whole team, because it's just some random anecdote. But if you're in Slack, you can just pop it in the random channel, and just go this was, you know, random, but it was funny. I was thinking about it. And now everybody knows, because they're all in that channel. And so

yeah, just interesting. As you're talking about cash, that's actually a huge part of our culture. And probably part of the development of the culture too is you get a lot more insight into people, and just what they're thinking how they act or react or any of those things. Yeah.

Danielle Russell 30:00
Huge example of that is our gratitude channel in slack that we have as a team. I know probably every day now we're just trained to my train. I mean, it's automatic. We just do it now mix. We've been doing it for so long, but we just share an image from our day, or I got a great parking spot at lunch back when people used to go out to lunch. Like


Yeah, like our gratitude channels filled with cats and dogs and Carter and all the cute happy things in our lives. And sometimes, they're not, at first glance, something we're grateful for. Like, for example, right now, a lot of our teammates have to cancel trips that we had planned. But being able to see that silver lining of that I was able to get a voucher, and I'm looking forward to going later. And just having those moments. I think you're right that you can share with the team that you wouldn't normally and finding ways to do that.

also finding ways to give a shout out to teammates and giving them kudos when you see them doing something. When you're tallying that you're checking in on everyone, and they're giving you a little wins from their week, being able to then share those wins in front of the whole team and giving them an extra shout out a little pat on the back, even if it's remote, but being able to share it in a channel in a way that they feel taken care of. And they feel recognized, they feel seen. I think that's so important, especially while everyone's remote right now. But when we're back to our office life, also, being able to announce those wins about your teammates in front of each other is so huge. Yeah, yeah. And I think too, even if you don't have slack or something like this, um, you know, we mentioned the daily stand up meeting, it's 15 minutes. Sometimes it's shorter, you know, just depending on the day, but that even has evolved over the years and it used to just be Hey, what do you

Spencer Powell 32:00
working on, and everyone would just roll through what they're working on. And that was a nice way of like keeping your finger on the pulse like, hey, if somebody is having a challenge, you might be able to help solve that challenge or people can bring that up. But now, we've kind of structured it in a way that like Wednesday we share gratis something there we're grateful for. And so again, it's putting like the focus on that. And so even if, like, all you're grateful for is that the sun's out today, like you think of something that you're grateful for, but that helps shade everything, like people are thinking positive. They're thinking gratitude, and then Friday, we do wins. And we've been doing that for a while, but everyone gets to share their wins for the week. Sometimes it's work. Sometimes it's personal. Sometimes it's both. But that's a nice way for people to share something they're proud of, or something good that happened during the week. And so you can incorporate those things that you may not hear otherwise into a meeting like that. And then we have just like a time for announcements to at the end. So if anybody just wants to share something that's going on, then they can do that. And so that's been

That's been really fun to see over the last, you know, couple of years people have been sharing wins. And then we just added the gratitude one pretty recently. But I think there are more ways to accomplish that. Then the just Slack, although I've found that slack has cut down a ton of my email, which is really nice, too. It is really nice. Another huge

Danielle Russell 33:21
win, I guess, for using slack and sharing, like pieces of gratitude throughout the day. And this, I mean, maybe this is really obvious to all leaders, maybe it's not, but you learn significant others names and pet's names, and you learn so much about your team based on what they're sharing and the little stories that they're willing to share with the team. And once you start to recognize what matters to individuals and to the whole team, you can incorporate that more and more into your culture. So as an example, when everybody is sharing pictures of their cute little puppies, that means our happy hours.

Is that a dog friendly place so people can bring their dogs and anyone who doesn't have a dog can hang out with the team's dogs. Little things like that, where you just learn so much in those small moments that people are willing to share.

Spencer Powell 34:18
Well, let's shift gears a little bit and talk about the culture code. And so we've been talking a lot about core values, and how those kind of anchor culture. But what is a culture code? And yeah, maybe let's start there, and then we'll dig in.

Danielle Russell 35:24
Yes, a culture code was my biggest initiative in 2019. I wrote our builder funnel culture code at the whole team was involved. We all shared our thoughts and views, and it ended up being 22 pages. I think it was a long document.

It was long. I'm not gonna lie about it. But it I mean, it was just a very detailed account of what matters to us, what matters to our team, our clients, the communities that we work in, that we serve our local communities.

Including the local communities of all our remote teammates, and the ripple effect of our impact when we do a good job, who it affects, we're proud of our work our clients grow, they're able to spend more money in their local economies. And, you know, it's just a huge ripple effect. And that's how I tried to view our culture code when I was writing it. And it's, I mean,

even if you just come up with your core values, and write those down and write why they matter to you. That's an example of a culture code. It doesn't have to be a 22 page document with all these ripple effects. That was just how I interpreted it, and what I thought would matter to the team to be able to see how big of a picture their hard work creates, if that makes sense. Yeah, for sure. And we can definitely link to that in the show notes. So people have an example if you're wanting to see what a culture code

Spencer Powell 37:00
Looks like or work off of one. You know, and obviously, you can google it as well. And I know there's a bunch of other companies that have culture codes. But yeah, it's kind of a extended document off the off the core values and just other things that kind of describe your culture that maybe are outside those core values, like some of the things that we've been talking about in terms of, you know, what we learned about people in Slack, or their personal hobbies or interests and how those get woven into the company or just the office dynamics. You know, whether it's fitness or, you know, art or you know, whatever it is that people are interested, they tend to, you know, it starts on on people's desks, and you can see it, but then it sometimes evolves and becomes more. And so it's a nice way to incorporate all that into kind of what that that culture feels like. But how I guess, how have you seen that? I don't know. Like, why is it important to write it

The document, but then how have you seen that kind of unfold as you look across the organization or the different things that we're doing in terms of its importance? Yeah, I think the team is excited about it, and they're proud of it. And that translates into them being proud of what they're a part of, which is build our funnel, our team, our clients, the construction industry, and all of the community outreach that we do, that pride just trickles into their daily work. And this adds a new level of purpose and meaning when you can see, not only do you have these shared beliefs, for example, the core values and why they matter to us but also, like I said, that ripple effect and seeing,

Danielle Russell 38:50
seeing exactly what their hard work does for them and how it affects hundreds, if not thousands of people when you really keep tracing out

How much time they're putting into these great social media posts? Who's seeing them? How is it driving business for our clients? How is it delivering the right information to our clients, local communities who are following them? All of that, being able to see the impact of our culture and the work that we do? Yeah, yeah, I think it does. I mean, it does all those things. And it also, you know, helps you retain, you know, great team members and kind of touched on that a little bit. But do you have some examples of how you've seen

Spencer Powell 39:36
I don't know, having kind of this type of your own culture. But then people that are bought into that culture, how that, you know, leads to keeping a team together.

Danielle Russell 39:49
Absolutely. One really fun part of our culture code. So the really long document and we have a lot of buzzwords going on right now, but one part of

The culture code that I think retains talent for us is the future mission statement that you wrote Spencer. It's roughly one page out, say, people can see it when they check out our culture code. But just rallying behind that, and knowing that as the team grows, hey, here's where we're going. Here's what the team has. Here's what builder funnels investing in the team. And I think that gets people really excited about the future of builder funnel, but also outside of just the culture code itself, like the written document. I can see all of the intangible aspects of our culture are so powerful when it comes to retention.

The fact that people can come to us with ideas and we say, Yeah, do it. Let's see what that's gonna look like. I'm really excited to see what you create, and things like that giving people the freedom to start their own podcasts. That's kind of new with us right now. And

Reading books together. That builder funnel buys us all books and carves out the time for us to read together and share our thoughts and figure out how we can implement new ideas into our processes and systems and culture.

There are so many just

little intangible pieces of our culture, that probably you and I don't even know about that impact retention so greatly for our team. Yeah, yeah, I think so.

Spencer Powell 41:33
And we've been talking a lot about, you know, the benefits of having a strong culture or at least developing and working on it because it's going to form whether you form it yourself or try to form it yourself or not. But maybe what are what are some of the challenges you know, that you run into and trying to develop a culture and build a team

Danielle Russell 41:58

I would say that my biggest challenge personally, in developing a culture and trying to maintain it

is to not take things personally when either something doesn't work, or if I get negative feedback on a piece of that culture. I know, I invested so much time and effort and care into creating and crafting and trying to like, deliver, disseminate, however you think of it our culture. And when something's not working well, it's easy for me to take that personally as my first reaction because I feel so attached to it both to if it's a process I created, or a teammate I hired, for example. So it's easy for me to take things personally and when I can take that step back and look at it from a little bit of a distance and see that you know what, no, that seems right. I could have done this better and taking

advice from our own culture and listening to the team, seeing all of that feedback and improving, and just continuously educating ourselves sharing, teaching, learning, and making the culture better every single day together, because what I created in my first draft of a culture code isn't perfect. And I shouldn't take that personally. But I would say that's my biggest challenge, at first glance. Yeah. Yeah, I think it is. I mean, it's challenging in general, I think. And, for me, looking back, I feel like part of it was just the awareness that it exists, you know, was that kind of like, unknown challenge for a while. And then, you know, I talked about that moment where I just walked in the room, like, I don't even want to be here. It was like that was kind of that awakening to that moment that Oh, there's something here and so hopefully, for some of you listening, I give this is a new concept or just not something that you've put a lot of time and thought into, that it kind of triggers you

Spencer Powell 44:00
down that path because that was a huge, huge turning point for, for me personally for us as a company was just starting to actively form that. And I think the other one is just

diligently, like staying consistent with it. And so that's part of the reason we have some of our regular meetings here is because it was easy for me to tie in a meeting that tied into a core value or something like that. And then it's on the books on a regular cadence. And so you could start to at least develop and kind of anchor it around a few things like with the daily stand up meeting or monthly book meeting, where we're reading and learning as a team or weekly jam session where we're always reading articles or doing additional team training. And so I was able to anchor a few of those points in


even beyond that, like the challenge, I think is always just like you can't, you can't let it slide or you can't let it slip, you got to stick to the the core values, you can't compromise on those. And then you've got to uphold, you know, the things that you've said, are important to you. Because as soon as you don't, it just crumbles instantly because somebody can see that, Oh, well, we kind of we compromised here we slipped or that, Oh, that must not be important anymore. And so boom, it's gone. So I think those have been some of the most challenging things, you know, looking back on the last 10 years or so, tried to figure all this out. And I'm not saying we have it all figured out. But we've definitely made a lot of big strides and progress and in this category and yeah, that that consistency piece I think is really big. I don't know if if you've seen that as well.

Danielle Russell 45:55
Absolutely, yeah, I think and it goes back to

conversation we had about core values. And the more you say them out loud and point them out that the more the team is going to hear them and view them and start living by them to and calling them out when each other are living those core values. I think that consistency is just so key to,

like you said, just proving how important the core values are. And our culture is by always putting it first. Yeah, yeah. Well, we're, we're running out of time for today. But would you do you have any final thoughts on culture or stories? You want to share any kind of final words to wrap up with?

Spencer Powell 46:40

Danielle Russell 46:43
Yeah, I have a ton, but let me distill to one or two,

I would say and this is kind of recent for builder funnel also. So we're still exploring this and figuring out what this looks like for us moving forward.

Last year, we started a big community outreach

initiative when we realized how passionate Our team is about totally different things outside of the realm of digital marketing, imagine that. Yeah.

Spencer Powell 47:13
It is we're about other stuff. Yeah.

Danielle Russell 47:16
So we, we realized, the more we talk about it, it's such a huge opportunity for not only the team to feel heard and seen on these other pieces of their lives that they care so much about that they like couldn't previously bring into the workplace. So when we carve out that time to recognize that and listen to each other and teach each other about what matters to us, then you can bring a more full version of yourself to work. It's not just like when I'm at work, I do digital marketing. And then when I go home, I volunteer for

I don't know, for me, it's military spouse empowerment, and I got to share that with the whole team and teach them about my experience.

Being a military spouse and how they can be part of the solution, stuff like that. So it's not just about like

giving out donations, or it doesn't necessarily have to be a monetary investment and these passion projects, it's more so giving the team the space to talk about them and share them and be able to bring that fuller version of themselves to work every single day because now people will slack me something about how they had the opportunity to help a military spouse create their LinkedIn profile so they can find a better job, stuff like that. So I feel seen because I got to share how I think people could help the solution. And now people are actually doing it. And I think that's, that's really cool to have that layer of passion driven purpose at work.

Spencer Powell 48:55
Yeah, I think well said and yeah, it's been fun to dig into those

This year we're having each month is dedicated to somebody on the team's passion. And they're sharing it with us. So we're wrapping up minimalism month where we've all been checking a bunch of stuff that we don't need. And that's been a lot of fun. We're doing it at home. But then we're also going to do it here at the office and people's remote offices. So yeah, I think I think this has been a really good conversation around this topic. It's a very large topic. So we probably could have talked for a lot longer. But I think, hopefully, for those of you listening, this was helpful to hear from Danielle and some of my personal examples of just how we've worked on developing this culture, but also how we've woven that into different phases of the business, whether that's hiring or retaining talent or landing new customers or even within your marketing efforts. And, man, I feel like the last couple years we've really seen just a very engaged team and it's just been a lot more fun to just everyone's having a lot more fun.

It's fun to learn about everyone on the team at a more, you know, deeper level. And so thanks, Danielle, for joining me today and digging into this. Thanks for having me remotely. Yeah,

remotely for sure.

Well, cool. Well, thanks, guys, I appreciate you listening to this episode. And we will see you next time on builder funnel radio.

Hey, guys, thanks for listening to that episode of the groceries with Danielle and I, as always, I want to pull out some takeaways for you. So the first one was something that Danielle said early on in the conversation and that was a culture is going to form with or without you. So you might as well put some effort into developing it in the way that's gonna benefit your company. And so I think back to that example that I shared, where I could walk in the room and just feel the negative energy and so you don't want a situation where that's going on and so I think that is a good sign to start with.

Working on and developing a culture actively, even if you just take a couple of steps to put a few things in place, I highly recommend that second takeaway is really figuring out and nailing down what your core values are, and not just posting them up on the wall, but actually integrating those into your business at different levels. And so once you've got those core values established, then you can look for ways that you're already living those, hopefully, you are already living them. And that's why they're there some of your core values, but then look for additional ways you can amplify those in your business. And it might be the form of a couple of quick meetings. That was how I started early on was just putting in a couple of things in place that aligned with those core values, but it could be just, you know, a simple thing that you do every day where maybe you find a new employee and you walk up and say something to them, depending on what that core values so it doesn't have to be major, major stuff, but I think define them and then

start integrating them into your business. And then the third takeaway was, I think in light of what's going on, this is an important one. But figuring out how to maintain and develop a remote culture, if you start having more people that are working remote, even if it's just temporary, you may find that that actually opens up the talent pool for you. And maybe some of your office staff can now be remote or remote during parts of the year or certain days of the week, or whatever that may be. And so how do you develop and foster a culture while you have either some team members working remote or all of your team members working remote and there were several things that we talked about in this episode, but I think those were three takeaways that stood out to me. I hope that those helped and I hope this was a good conversation for you all and that it helps you start to continue to develop or in that culture, build out those core values and push your company for. Thanks again for listening guys, and we'll see you next time on builder funnel radio.

Thanks again for listening everybody. And as a quick reminder, text Radio 233777 for some free goodies as a thank you for listening to the show. And if you got some value from today's episode, I just ask that you leave us a quick review on iTunes. It really helps us spread the word and grow this awesome community of people who are working to improve their lives and their business. Thanks again and we'll see you next time on builder funnel radio.

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