Following up on last week’s inside look at our Atlanta Tech Village team values, is the question- “How do we continue to build on our values to create a strong culture?” What actionable items do we take as a team to continue to build a community that supports and encourages living out those values?
In my opinion, startups that not only work together but play together, stay together. The Village team is small, but serves over 1,000 entrepreneurs in one of the largest tech hubs in the United States. This takes a lot of hard work, and much of our time and effort is focused on building community for others. So, we also make a concerted effort to make sure that we take time for ourselves. Since all of our socials and events in the Village are our work, we have to make sure we don’t get burnt out and intentionally carve out time for us to connect with each other. We do that in 3 ways:
1. Monday Meetings and Lunches
Every Monday morning we have a Village team meeting and then we all go eat lunch together. Since our team all has different hours and work in different areas of the building this is the perfect time to all come together. Each Monday we go over what was accomplished last week, what everyone is working on this week, deep dive on any problems that need to be solved, and provide updates on our goals. Then we all go out to lunch together. Every Monday we meet and break bread together. This is a rhythm for us that deepens communication and builds community.
2. Quarterly Outings
Every quarter our team does something fun together that is off site and paid for by the Village. It is not work related. It is all about having fun together! We have done days up at Lake Burton, Braves games, bowling, dodgeball, and have maybe even hit up Johnny’s Hideaway once. Maybe. It’s an outing once every three months that brings stress levels down, provides a platform to celebrate our successes personally and professionally, and creates a family feel. The investment of time and money to do that once a quarter is invaluable for the healthiness and loyalty it builds with the team.
3. Box of Questions
Each week the Village team answers a random question from this box. It takes 5-10 min and kicks off our Monday meetings. I know, I know- it only works with a small team and it is tad cheesy. Luckily, everyone rolled with the idea. But, we have a few laughs, learn something personal about each other, and just spend 10 intentional minutes each week talking with each other relationally instead of just about tasks and road blocks. The big idea is that vulnerability (however you create it) equals trust, and trust equals a healthy team. Get to know the people you work with. Your team will be better for it.
These three things are actionable items the Village does together as a team to support and live out our values. It builds a culture of trust which leads to a place where people want to be and want to work. Our team culture is key for recruitment, productivity, longevity, happiness, and yes- even our bottom line.