We help businesses talk about who they are for a living. We uncover what makes them unique, and articulate it through language and design. We are good at it.
Bracket that thought.
We are also a small business trying to orient itself. We are refining/defining processes. We are clarifying structure and accountability. We are attempting to codify our culture. We thought this would be easy. We do it all the time.
It wasn’t easy. It was painful. It took several months and some pretty introspective discussions to get something that felt both true and useful. You can see the result here.
The effort changed from coming up with a few descriptors to a full-blown cultural statement. These few paragraphs should give you a pretty clear idea of what you are getting into should you be interested in working with/for us. It has also turned out to be useful.
Here are three decisions we have made because of the work:
Paid Time Off
As a team, we set out to see what needed to change now that we clearly articulated who we are. The first policy to fall is paid time off. We realized that we hated keeping track of PTO. It didn’t feel right. Now, we can see that it didn’t feel right because it isn’t consistent with our culture. We are people who are driven to make things right. People who are driven don’t need a task master to tell them when and where to work. We understand the policy is nuanced and different people respond different ways to this sort of change.
The second policy that needed clarity was parental leave. In Kentucky we aren’t obligated to hold a person’s position who needs time off to become a parent. We certainly don’t have to pay them while they are gone. That also didn’t feel right. We decided that a primary caregiver can take off 10 weeks of paid leave. There are several reasons for this. The bottom line, though, is that we want people to be confident that we want them to live whole, productive lives. Part of that life is here at Bullhorn, but a very important part happens away from here. And that is great.
Determine Cultural Fit
This tool works in a couple of ways. One: It’s clear criteria to analyze applicants. In the past we were concerned about cultural fit, but didn’t have a great way to gauge whether a new person would fit or not. Two: It’s a good yardstick for how we are behaving. Something to hold ourselves accountable to. Three: It’s a way to decide if we are going to be a good fit with a potential client. We send them the document so they know us. We also look at them to see if they fit the characteristics, or are at least complementary.
While difficult, this is one of the most useful and unifying exercises we have done. If you would like to talk more about your culture and how it plays out in your company send us a note.
Read this case study on our new work for Lexington’s newest landscaping company: Plot.
We checked in with Good Foods Co-Op after their in-store redesign.