Every organization stands for and believes in something. Ideally that becomes articulated into core values that create the foundation for your direction and company culture.
There are four core Village values: Be Nice. Dream Big. Work Hard, Play Hard. Pay It Forward. We talk about them constantly, they are on a mural in our parking deck, on our key cards, and wall papered throughout the building. Because of this, we have a very kind, honest, and supportive community of over 1,000 entrepreneurs in one of the top startup hubs in the nation.
Internally we decided to take it one step further. While living out the Village values, how could we further define them for our team specifically? I am obviously biased, but the Atlanta Tech Village team is pretty spectacular. I often get asked about how we created such a community driven culture, and our talented group of staff is at the heart of that success. We know that culture starts with us.
So here is a sneak peek at three additional Village Team values that we live behind the scenes to intentionally create a culture of kindness and community for our startups. They are:
1. A willingness to sweep the floors.
This means no task is too big or too small for any of us. We are team players and we operate with a constant awareness and willingness to pitch in. We help when we see it is needed and not just when asked. It is not uncommon for our facilities team to help with a special event, our accountant to run check in at Startup Chowdown, or our President to help move kegs. Success for any of us is success for all of us, and we are all willing to sweep the floors to get it done.
2. Treat each like family.
This means caring for each other and wanting what is best for them. We are unique in that we truly all like each other and enjoy hanging out. It is not a work/life balance, it is truly a work/life blend. And for us, treating each like family also means we tease and give each other a hard time. Wit and humor is forefront and it works for us because it is all well intentioned and done from a foundation of family. We are a team that laughs a lot and has each other’s backs, no matter what. This makes us a healthier and more productive team who can easily extend support to others.
3. Always assume the best.
You can’t be a healthy, happy team without trust. We choose to trust each other and do that by always assuming the best. When a team works as hard and as long as ours does, stressful situations and miscommunication happen. It could be easy to become resentful, accuse, or assume something negative. We choose not to do that. The Village team always assume the best with each other and that has served us well. Giving each other the benefit of the doubt has actually led us into more honest, open conversations and problem solving then ever before.
Now that we’ve shared our Village values, what are the core values for your team?