Episode 370: Thoughtful Tactics to Build Your Dog Walking Company Culture

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Have you ever wondered why some pet businesses absolutely thrived in 2023 while others merely survived? Discover the secret in this invigorating episode of Bella in Your Business. Hint: It has everything to do with company culture and community. This episode I am continuing on the topic of isolation, and tying in how building company culture brings people together in your business.

I unravel the secret sauce it takes to foster a positive and collaborative work environment for your team. Imagine a business filled with ecstatic clients and a team that's bursting with job satisfaction. How can you make this a reality for your pet business?  I also delve into the transformative power of open communication. How community brings people together to not only work well but be the best versions of themselves.

This episode is an integral navigation tool for pet businesses striving towards remarkable success in 2024 and building better company culture. Prepared to unlock a bright future deserving of your pet business? Invite valuable knowledge into your journey by tuning into this episode. The transformative insights you seek may be just one listen away. If you haven't make it a goal to jump on my calendar for 2024!

 

Topics & Key Points

  • Isolation, community, and company culture
  • Building a positive work culture for dog walkers
  • Creating a feedback loop and open communication in a company
  • Building team culture and employee bonding
  • Building community and improving marketing for pet-sitting businesses in 2024

Timestamps

  • [0:10] Isolation, community, and company culture
  • [1:54]  Positive work culture
  • [5:45] Open Communication
  • [7:44] Building team culture
  • [11:35] Building community and improving marketing

Notable Quotes

[02:35] “And build that company culture. So walkers who enjoy their job and feel valued, they’re going to be more motivated to fully care for all the dogs. And they’ll they’ll be more attentive during dog walks.”

[05:45] “I would definitely do like regular feedback. When you create a feedback loop. It’s going to help encourage that communication I was just talking about, it’s gonna help people feel comfortable coming to you with questions, comments, concerns, ideas, all of that.”

[08:13] “These events are going to be really great for team building because it’s not often that we get to see each other it’s not like we’re going into an office every single day, saying hi at the watercooler the proverbial water cooler, and you know talking to people so these events are really important.”

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Transcript

Welcome to another episode of Bella in Your Business. This is the last episode of 2023. How has this year been for you? Oh my gosh, I am so excited about so many of you guys, it’s had a couple of coaching calls this year, I’m sorry this last week where it was just astronomical that growth and the change that my clients have experienced, they have gone from, you know, solving like their biggest problems a year ago too they’re just like a little blip on the radar. Now they’re on to bigger and better things. And it just makes me so excited like a proud mama bear for all of you. So I’m curious, you know, what is something that you can celebrate this year that you have done? Great, I think we get caught up in all the hustle and bustle and forget to celebrate, and celebrating is something that we need to do, we need to do especially as we’re thinking ahead and the year of what we want to leave behind. What do we want to take forward with us? And how can we do that, you know, there are a lot of lessons and blessings to learn in all of our challenges and uphill battles. So I just encourage you to take a moment to reflect on that. You know, we’ve been talking a lot about isolation, we talked about how a couple of our listeners or our clients, you know, were isolated and got out of it. I talked to you about my own isolation story and my board of CEOs, we talked about community and just out in general and how you know, life has shifted and how much we are just so secluded and not to be and today, I want to round out this whole isolation on on building your community, within your company, basically your company culture, and why company culture matters for your Dogra walking crews and your petsitting crews. So engaged dog walking teams, they’ll provide better customer service. You know, you’re even though we work so remotely, there are so many different ways that we can help connect people through our Slack channels or through, you know, text messages or through just calling them up or if you have an employee love program. And what I’m referring to is the Joey Coleman book that we studied and had him come and do a training in the mastermind in the summer. And it’s just basically about building employee culture and, and keeping those new employees so that they don’t quit in their first, you know, few couple of months or weeks or days even. And build that company culture. So, walkers who enjoy their job and feel valued, they’re going to be more motivated to fully care for all the dogs. And they’ll they’ll be more attentive during dog walks. So follow instructions carefully, they’ll go the extra mile, if issues come up. They’ll take ownership over their job, right when they’re really happy. And they want to make you proud, they want to make themselves proud, they want to have a really good work ethic. So when you can have a positive and collaborative environment, it will translate directly into positive energy and interactions with dog owners. Owners can also sense when the walkers genuinely love their dogs or, or the job. So if you’re one of those companies that are doing what I highly recommend, where you send your walkers to do the consultations if you’re still doing them in person and not virtually, that’s going to come across when the clients have those interactions or those times where maybe the sitter or the walker run into the actual clients. Another thing is that shared values will build trust between crew members because they can see themselves in each other. Common guiding principles allow dog walkers to align to their top priorities like Oh, we want to have outstanding customer service or Dog safety. It creates a really good cohesion inside of your team, walkers who feel psychologically safe. They can admit mistakes ask questions or point out areas for improvement without fear of embarrassment or retribution. You know, like do your team feel like there’s an open, positive collaborative communication style within your team, it’s just going to help further your company. Sometimes the best thing is, you know, you’re not necessarily in the field all the time. Or maybe you are but this is something to consider as you grow. You’re removed from the day-to-day you know trenches of what happens. And so if something is happening, and your team feels comfortable enough to tell you that’s only going to help make your business better and make the the team camaraderie and the environment better. So ways that we as business owners can cultivate community.

We can do things such as encourage communication and have check-in meetings to connect. Start the Walker’s days or weeks with the shore. Stand Up circle meeting to cover logistic issues, kudos questions, keep it casual and conversational, like make it a point to, reach out to them all, or send a big group message of something or inspire a positivity chain or something, you now have the opportunity to be a really good leader, you’re now your new job, the most important job is to lead your team, as a business owner, and your biggest asset is these employees. So if you shift your thinking to kind of think about that, it’s going to change a lot. Identify safety issues, and safety concerns, but keep the focus upbeat, commiserate over challenges, but solve issues together. And I would like regular feedback. When you create a feedback loop. It’s going to help encourage that communication I was just talking about, it’s gonna help people feel comfortable coming to you with questions, comments, concerns, ideas, and all of that. And that is just going to help your company grow and evolve. Also, solicit suggestions for improvement. One thing that I love doing, and I always encourage you to do especially when you first hire someone is that 30-day review, make it to a review and be like, Hey, these are the five things that we’re going to talk about on this date as you’re scheduling it. And I want you also to rate me on it. Or maybe you have a different, you know, scale that you’re rating yourself on, like how was onboarding, how was training was what you expected, that kind of thing. But what that does is it opens it up so that those people understand that you value their opinion and their feedback and that this isn’t a dictatorship, okay? And so that kind of thing. Just it helps build a community where people feel like they are valuable members of it. And then maintain an open-door policy. Welcome, Walker to offer candid thoughts in one-on-one discussions, these are great if you like, maybe take him out for coffee or ask them out to lunch, I would try to get some FaceTime with people as maybe like once a quarter or something depending on how bigger or small your team is. And then, of course, group activities bring the pack together. This is where I think it’s really important.

Or for team meetings, and you know, you know that I’m a co-founder of pet care team training. And what we do with pet care team training is we give all of our members, four quarterly blueprints for meetings, because one of the biggest things we’ve heard is that I don’t know what to do at an employee meeting. I know I should have them. But once I can get them together, then what now what what do I do? And so these quarterly blueprints are great. And when someone signs in with you, like what they start working for you, I truly believe that you should have every year, and right now’s a good time. When and where are you going to have your quarterly meetings, get them on the calendar now. assign them as like a visit or consultation, you know, like a two-hour block for every single one of your employees right now. And when they when they get hired on with you, you let them know that it’s already on the calendar. These events are going to be great for team building because it’s not often that we get to see each other it’s not like we’re going into an office every single day, saying hi at the watercooler the proverbial water cooler, and you know talking to people so these events are really important. And you bond over over shared positive experiences. So Axe Throwing or putt or icebreakers or, you know, playing silly little games, you know, there’s so much stuff out there that you can do that will just only enhance the happiness of your team. It’ll let your sitters bond with each other when they don’t ever see each other maybe the next time Susie is sick, Molly will be willing to help her because she’s had positive interactions with her that, you know, make her really like her. And when someone likes someone, they want to do well with them, right? The other thing I want you to think about in terms of building the community within your business and building this company culture is you have to lead them. So stairs, share stories and ideas from your initial days, as a solo dog walker grinding into the business, remind crews that they’re a part of an inspiring growth journey, cast that vision, and show them that this is where we’re going praise the walkers not just one on one, but praise them in front of everybody.

So that now they feel like wow, like this isn’t just you know, I did this on the side like people are like, you know, you get the ribbon you get the participatory trophy, right, like, hey, let’s give Susie a big shout out like she came through on this situation or whatever it might be. And so, I want you to think about what are you doing to build community within your company. What are you doing? To realize that all of these people working for you, there are people, and they want to belong, and they want to feel, you know, connected to things. Show that you truly know each employee beyond just their work role and recognize important moments like birthdays, family milestones, or personal challenges. employees want to feel seen and valued as individuals. encourage creativity by asking for input, improving processes, having an innovation Slack channel, maybe celebrating group progress towards monthly water retention or customer satisfaction goals, you know, like what KPIs key performance indicators do, you have set up in your company that you can then share and celebrate with your crew, when they feel like they have a part in it, they’re going to do better. Give people a cause to believe in, that you’ve got them that you’re here for them. Let them know, that one of the biggest things I ever did was when an employee was questioned by a client, I would never come to the employee and be like, what happened? What did you do? Oh, my God, I would be like, tell me about the situation. Can you explain to me why you did that? Okay, in the future, we might want to do it differently. Or let me remind you of what our protocol is an employee manual, manual, or alternative tively. Sometimes I would say something like, alright, you were fine. And then I would go back to the client, and I would let them know that it was going back to the client and going to bat for them and that I had their back because maybe they didn’t do anything wrong. But I did need to investigate it.

So you know, just think about how can you build community in, your company. I have a lot of clients that are starting to do this. Becky Lee with paws around Motown has been doing an amazing job, she kind of took the Joey Coleman book and ran with it. Tamra with fetch pet care up in Seattle also has been doing a great job, she got a person on our team just to make sure that her employees are happy. And so there’s all of these things happening. I don’t want you to limit your vision and your thoughts for 2024 by thinking, Oh, I’m just a pet-sitting company. I’m just a dog-walking company. Oh, we just walked dogs, you guys, your company, your business can be whatever you want it to be. And I want you to be the greatest it possibly can be so that all of your wildest dreams can come true. As I kind of conclude this episode, I want you to think about what are some things that worked last year or this year in 2023. What are some things that did not? And what are some things that you want to change going into 2024? I’m not necessarily talking about goal setting. I’m just thinking about, what I want to get I want to offer you the space, and I want to challenge you to take the space to think about what is it that you want to do differently in 2024, personally and in your business. And I also want you to reach out to me if you are so inclined, to get on my schedule, jumpconsulting.net/20 And let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about how we can make it into a goal and how we can help get you on track strategy-wise to make that happen for 2024.

At the end of the day, I want to remind you, that you started this company so that you can have time and financial freedom. I know you did, you might have forgotten that. But most people did not start this company so that they would not have any time with their friends and family and be living paycheck to paycheck. So what do we need to do to turn it around? Or what do we need to do to crank it up? You guys, this has been the final episode of 2023. We’re going to come back in January. With a series on how to generate a lot of inbound leads, pardon me My throat is getting foggy. How to generate a lot of inbound leads on your website, what do we need to do about the mistakes that a lot of people are making, and the easy tweaks that many of us can do but are not doing? And I cannot wait to dive into that. We have Bobby joining us for a bunch of episodes and they’re gonna be interesting for you, and I can’t wait so as always, I’m always here, all I have to do is go to jumpconsulting.net/20 If you are missing community in your life and you want community, feel free to join us in the mastermind jumpconsulting.net/mastermind And if you do not have all of your marketing done for the first half of 2024 There is still time, we can sneak you into better marketing with Bella and get you your content. We just delivered all of our January content for our members this week. And by Christmas, we’re going to be giving them at least the ones that prepaid all of their content through the end of June. Can you believe that? Yeah. And it comes with coaching calls and strategy and group coaching calls all kinds of fun stuff. So there’s no reason why you need to be struggling. Do not hesitate to reach out, send me an email find me on Instagram at Bella Vasta. And I hope that you have a fabulous holiday and a great new year. We’ll see you again in January. Remember when life gets down, always keep jumping by now

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