Developing these values together was an anchoring point for the Kingmakers team in a time when it felt like everything was changing (and would continue to change). It gave us the language to express our expectations of one another and the role Kingmakers would play in our lives and the world.
A year and several business transitions later, we still look at these values as core to the way we operate.
For a small business (like us), crafting your values is a small and important step towards building the team culture you want.
drive to respond creatively to the needs of our community
We actively pursue growth and change in our business offerings and the way we engage with the outside world. Innovation is possible through a combination of trust, energy, and support.
understanding that team members and processes operate with the best interest of each other and Kingmakers
We recognize the value each member brings to their work with unique skills, perspectives, and identities. With support and intentional accountability structures, we are able to build trust amongst one another.
care of individuals and how Kingmakers exists within the wider community
We prioritize the emotional, physical, developmental, and financial wellbeing of each other and the people we serve. True support is achieved through intentionality, innovation, and energy.
INCLUSIVENESS AND OPEN-MINDEDNESS
desire to welcome marginalized identities into our community
We are consistently learning how to be more accessible to others and working to recognize areas in which we have added barriers to our experience. Inclusiveness can be made possible with trust and support.
thoughtful decision making in regards to process, experience, and visual communication
We have built systems that ensure simplicity, cleanliness, and room for creativity. Intentionality is made possible by innovation and support.
awareness that the way we interact within our environment matters
We use each others’ excitement, curiosity, passion, and concerns to create solutions and nurture growth. Energy is encouraged through support and trust.
Through practicing these values in every day business, we strive to create an environment in which all can feel empowered and comfortable in our spaces. We welcome individuals to pursue curiosity and connection through play.
We are living through a monumental shift in American work culture.
You’re living and leading through these changes: hybrid or remote becoming the new normal, the Great Resignation impacting retention and engagement, an unprecedented urgency to understand and implement Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility practices, and a recognition that employee mental health, wellness, and happiness matters.
With all of these interwoven and complex conversations happening at once, it can feel challenging to navigate and prioritize next steps. During this groundswell of change, we want to share some experiences, learnings – and reassurances – we’ve gathered over the past 18 months.
You’re right, it is hard to prioritize team joy in these times.
It can feel impossible to build your team’s camaraderie and spirit. Sometimes even considering camaraderie and spirit can feel trivial in light of what’s happening in the world OR it can feel like too important of a task and you don’t know where to start.
Keep in mind that team culture isn’t one checkbox or event or gift. Team connection, a big part of crafting a positive team culture, is a collection of small, meaningful actions that add up to a sense of feeling supported and valued.
Our little team has to remind ourselves of this, too! When things get busy or stressful, the first thing that gets cut from our calendars is our bimonthly game hour – and this is what we do for a living! It takes intention and commitment to prioritize these moments of taking a break, laughter, and connection.
When we do lean into our values and game together, we all find ourselves saying “oh yeah, this is why we do this.”
You’re not alone!
For the past year and half, we have gotten to know hundreds of team leaders who are grappling with these issues in real life, with their teams, on the regular. Before each team bonding, we ask team leaders a question about morale. Some team leaders pause, some let out a slow breath, some get emotional, and most thank us for asking. Across the board, everyone couches their answer in “these times,” as in “our team is doing ok, given…” insert any of the numerous personal and professional challenges that folks are dealing with. Everyone we work with speaks very empathetically about what their team is dealing with; they want to support their people.
If you’re a team leader or a team member who has carried the weight of what your people are experiencing, hopefully it helps to know that we are all in the same boat. Sometimes sharing your experience – even with a Kingmakers Consultant – can take the load off a little.
You can start today!
If you are responsible for engagement, retention, or results from any group of people right now, you have a tough role. We see you! We find that most people want to do right by their people: you genuinely care, want people to feel included, and ultimately want to create an environment to help them succeed.
In our experience, team leaders are simply overwhelmed. After all, they face the same challenges as those they manage!
Leading with laughter and connection can be an excellent way to build or repair trust so that you can open up about deeper challenges and address them together.
Even when we can’t schedule a game hour, our team pauses every Tuesday to laugh and chat in Slack about the latest joke that Adilson shared. It’s never too late to share a personal story or crack a joke that breaks the ice.
The changes we have all experienced this past year, and that continue to bring uncertainty, have forced us to question what matters in work and life. Most of us have reset expectations of our workplace.
Let’s embrace this shift toward valuing the humanity in each other and build a better work culture than we had before.
Welcome to our log of Adilson’s Joke of the Week!
“I love being surprised by Adilson’s wit every week. It’s a bubble of joy that puts a smile on face every Tuesday” – Jessica
Every Tuesday, without fail, we let out a collective giggle, groan, or gasp of delight when Adilson shares his Joke of the Week.
“In general, building relationships with people in-person comes to me pretty organically. With the introduction of web-based communication to support a fully remote work environment, I found that my interactions at work became very transactional and simply conveyed information. It lacked soul, personality, and fun…
I wanted to find a way to connect with people and bring some joy to their day.
So I started sharing jokes on social media with my friends and family and then eventually with my coworkers. It showed a bit of my personality and led to conversations with my peers that I wasn’t having otherwise.” – Adilson
We hope these jokes bring a little bit of joy to your day and inspire you to add play to your work life.
Get a jump on sparking joy for your own team!