Business culture has been a hot topic for quite some time. Companies are disengaging from the old school command and control mentality to reevaluating their culture and treating employees more like family members. If companies don’t embrace culture creation, they will become obsolete as a leader in the marketplace. According to Hays Recruiting Experts Worldwide, “43% of surveyed employees claim culture was the main reason for the search for a new job.” Yet, according to Gartner, “only 31% of HR leaders agree that their organization has the culture it needs to drive future business performance.” Culture isn’t this cute, fluffy thing anymore, it matters, and you have the opportunity to make it your competitive advantage. 

At the beginning of a new year, you will find your team more adaptable to align with a change in workplace culture. This shift will help you attract the perfect candidate and promote a healthy work culture that fosters talent, action, and growth. As you capitalize on this time of year and seek continuous improvement, here are five cultural trends that will help set your business apart.

Have FUN in the workplace

At Keyser, we have fun with what we do, and with the members of the team. This is a mission we are thrilled to be a part of, and we won’t take on a client unless it will be fun for everyone. Nothing is worth sacrificing our happiness over, and so we are lighthearted and playful in all we do.

-Keyser Principle Number Nine 

The idea of fun at the workplace is growing in businesses, and having an Xbox, ping pong table, TV, and beer fridge are more commonplace today. But, having fun in the workplace needs to be more than just providing fun elements at your workplace. It needs to center around how you interact with your team and how the team interacts with each other. At Keyser, we are all about having fun. This mentality helps to inspire an energetic atmosphere and can increase workplace productivity and enhance employee retention. 

2. Establish a Flat Company Structure

Having a flat company structure can provide a lot of benefits to most organizations. One of the most beneficial outcomes of a flat structure is the empowerment and coachability that surfaces naturally from the novice and the experienced collaborations. As soon as they join the team, new members should be treated as integral parts, fostering and creating a fantastic culture of growth and respect. This idea of an anti-hierarchical workplace environment can also help members contribute in unconventional ways. Rather than facing challenges alone, flat business cultures grant team members what seems like an unlimited reel of knowledge and expertise through leveraged strengths and weaknesses.

3. Foster Self-Improvement Opportunities

We invest in our own self-improvement, always striving for greater awareness of ourselves, for we know that as we align with our true identity and remain focused on our purpose that the power within us will manifest and create our highest potential.

 – Keyser Principle Number 10

The power to change and improve is within individual strength and capability. Self-improvement is the ultimate long-term success strategy. Creating a business culture focused on self-improvement helps nurture a group’s talents, skills, and abilities for years to come. If company culture can encourage self-development and learning, it can increase efficiency in the workplace and individual return. Books, coaches, education, and goal setting are great ways to foster self-development. This process can reveal what we don’t know about ourselves and enable us to act boldly. 

4. Empower Employees in the Workplace

At Keyser, we never disregard ideas or people because of their youth; we instead foster and cultivate any energy that newcomers may bring, and you should too! More and more companies are removing boundaries for employees to thrive and explore their true potential. Trusting all employees with large tasks, clients, and more shows the individual that we believe in them and encourages them to put in the hard work as we hired them to do. 

5. Work Purposefully

A recent Gallup poll found that 80% of college graduates believe finding purpose in one’s work is “extremely” or “very important.” This sense of purposeful living sometimes seems too good to be true. However, when focusing on serving others, even in a business sense, true joy and fulfillment can be found. I believe work cultures who live to serve others and walk by the statement “it’s not about me” find themselves happier in better working relationships and overall are more satisfied. However, this selfless service mindset isn’t always easy to find in business cultures. Sometimes you have to, as Gandhi famously remarked, “be the change you wish to see in the world” for things to fall into place.

There are plenty of other cultural trends that will be reaching businesses next year. So get ahead of the crowd and start to embrace change for good and never look back. 






Now, more than ever, your brand’s culture is just influential as your brand itself. When employees are happy with their work and their environment, they are more likely to be successful in their roles. A happy, successful employee is the best form of marketing you can have. In addition, because of the rise of social media, when you invest in them, they are likely to publicize their experience, which drives brand awareness. With this strategy, you can quickly get more out of your employees and make your accountant, your front desk receptionist, and your office intern into a whole-hearted brand ambassador.

When so much positivity is shared publicly, others want to take part. Leading by example attracts similar candidates and sets an expectation to adapt to that environment upon being hired. When your brand has a strong reputation as a “Best Place to Work,” your recruiting efforts and costs plummet because less outbound marketing needs to take place to find a quality candidate.

Not only does a good culture lead to more productive employees, but it also saves you money. According to the American Institute of Stress, stress in the workplace can cause 50% more voluntary turnover. Keep in mind with each lost employee, training, recruiting, loss of expertise, and lower productivity can cost approximately 20% of the overall employee’s salary (Harvard Business Review, 2015). When putting money aside, if a significant amount of turnover occurs, it’s a challenge to keep consistent brand values, dedication, and loyalty alive.

How can you achieve the ever-elusive title of “good culture” in your business? Take note. These three badass brands have managed to not only provide a better culture for their employees but their customers as well.


“Coffee is the medium, but we’re in the relationship business.” —Dane Boersma

If you’ve ever gone to Dutch Bros. Coffee, you not only have had a good cup o’ joe, but you likely have experienced their persistent positivity. When you drive up to the window, you suddenly have made one, two, or ten new friends—or at least it feels that way.

While many things are different about Dutch Bros. Coffee from competitors like Starbucks and Caribou, the Dutch Bros. service-first experience is their true brand differentiator. Their employees’ are trained to invest in both customers and each other, get to know them and positively impact their day. Don’t get me wrong, their coffee is delicious, but coffee is coffee. What keeps me coming back is the brand experience.

I’ve never seen a brand live up to its core values as effectively and consistently across dozens of branches throughout multiple states. How are they able to provide such a consistent brand experience? Because of the fun, positive environment. Moreover, the company culture creates an environment that is attractive to young professionals, which allows a multitude of applicants and the ability to pick the top employees that match their brand standards.


“People want direction on where they are going, not micro-direction on how to get there.” —Simon Sinek

There is a human need to be a part of something bigger than oneself—to work towards a goal, to make a difference. The problem is, most people fall into the trap of having too much or too little freedom to make a long-term impact when working alone. People need direction; people need community.

Hubspot believes that they need to serve their employees, give them the tools to be successful, and let them drive their own future. For Hubspot, as long as their employees drive positive results and delight customers, everything else is optional. With an unlimited vacation policy, Hubspot employees are allowed to work whenever and wherever. Even with a perk that most companies deem a risk factor, this policy makes sense for Hubspot. Hubspot has employees worldwide; everyone is expected to stay connected via their online community. Hubspot and its employees’ trust and transparency are appreciated and build employee loyalty, thus propelling Hubspot’s mission further, faster.


“You have to treat your employees like customers.” —Herb Kelleher

Bags flying free is not the best thing about Southwest Airlines; it’s their employees. While the experience of actually flying on an airplane is relatively similar between brands, the Southwest personal experience is not. Southwest actively celebrates its employees, serves employee’s families, asks for regular feedback, and rewards employees regularly. Because their employees feel appreciated, this translates to better customer care in all areas like customer service, ticketing, boarding, in-flight, and online. Customers who are handled consistently with care throughout the entire process are likely to become repeat customers, which alleviates some marketing costs and helps keep prices low and boost profitability. In addition, the money invested in creating a happy team of employees is replenished by the profits made by their increased productivity.

Creating a company with a good culture is challenging—however, a good culture is achievable for any brand with dedication and the right mindset. As you’ve seen from the three badass brands above, when you serve your employees, encourage a persistently positive environment, invite your employees to be a part of your mission, give them a goal to work towards, and celebrate them regularly, you are likely to develop, grow, and sustain a productive culture.

Master Your Mindset: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Daily

Master Your Mindset: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Daily

Master Your Mindset: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Daily

I’ve seen a negative mindset be the one and only thing that stops people from achieving success, and yet it’s one of the most difficult barriers to break. When going up against challenges, your mind has more power than you could ever imagine. Without even meaning to, a negative thought can sabotage your success on things like an interview, a workout, or even surviving a surgery. The question is, why do we give negative thoughts so much power and how can we rewire our brain to think differently?

Why Do We Give Negative Thoughts So Much Power?

Our bodies are trained from birth to be cautious of things that could hurt us, whether that is emotionally or physically. Because of this, we avoid change, we avoid risk, we avoid things that have a high chance of a negative outcome for fear of what will happen next. I’ve seen so many dreams go unfulfilled because of the fear to try—the fear to fail. If you never try, haven’t you already failed?

It’s time to stop letting fear paralyze you. With these three questions, you can rewire your brain to help you not only be a more confident individual but drive a style of business culture that is unparalleled to any other.

  1. What Am I Going to Do Today to Be a Gifted Leader?

Everyone can be a boss but not everyone can be a leader. Inspire your team, help them grow, and celebrate their successes with them. The highest cause for turnover in almost every company (in any industry) is due to poor leadership, which is why it’s so important to be the boss you wish you had.

There are three key attributes that make up a leader. A leader must be selfless, consistent, and be willing to help others develop their skills. To understand if you are a true leader, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you utilize others’ strengths when assigning work?
  • Do you acknowledge your own limitations?
  • Do you encourage your team to speak up when they disagree?
  • Are you sensitive to each of your team member’s feelings?
  • Do you identify learning opportunities for your team regularly?
  • Do you keep promises?
  1. How Can I Relentlessly Be on The Hunt For Good Talent?

As a leader, it’s your job to be on the hunt for good talent—constantly. Every opportunity to network is a chance to not just build a relationship but to recruit a new client, employee candidate, or brand ambassador. To guide your business in the right direction, invest your time in finding people that not only have the desired skillset but have the right mentality to be a part of your business. By actively hunting, you’ll lessen the chance to be forced into a hiring decision that you aren’t confident in.

  1. Are We Treating People Humanely?

As a business, it can be hard to meet everyone’s needs, wants, and preferred method of work lifestyle. The thing that should never come second is to treat your team humanely. You hired each of those individuals for a reason and they all play an integral role in your company, so treat them like it. If your employees are constantly stressed out on their drive to work for fear of mistreatment, bullying, disrespect, or down-right cruelty, you’re not going to be able to keep a strong team for any length of time. Life is hard enough already, simply coming to work should not contribute to that stress.

If you’re a victim of a negative mindset, it’s time to stop being a victim. Take control of your daily mindset because you alone are the only one able to control it. When asking yourself these three questions daily you train your mind to stop thinking selfishly and start thinking selflessly. When you add others into the equation, you are forced to consider more variables than just yourself. If you want more for yourself, your team, and your business reflect upon your mindset. Lead with the ambition to change the situation.

Creating a Movement

If you’re looking to train your leadership on becoming true selfless leaders, Keyser’s business advisory services can help. You will learn to notice the red flags that lead to a negative culture, how to rewire the brains of your critical team members, and personalized strategies that you can implement into your business.

3 Reasons Why Companies Shouldn’t Punish Mistakes

3 Reasons Why Companies Shouldn’t Punish Mistakes

3 Reasons Why Companies Shouldn’t Punish Mistakes

In every facet of life, we can all agree that life is riddled with mistakes. Personal or professional mistakes, there’s no one person who hasn’t made one. Punishments should not be handed out as a result of mistakes within your business—and for good reason. Punishing employees for mistakes can lead to changes in work habits and behaviors that can be detrimental to your employee’s creative output. Here are three reasons not punishing mistakes can actually enhance your business:

  1. Fearless Action is Driven By the Lack of Fear

For hiring managers, it’s always the goal to see their employees thrive, gain skills, and be able to master those skills. Unfortunately, not every learning path is smooth. If you want to train your team to act fearlessly, they need to fearless. Having an environment that allows them to speak their mind, try and fail, ask questions, and think outside the box will help them harness this fearless mentality. By giving your team an opportunity to try new ideas without the fear of punishment helps to drive more creative ideas, that after diligence, trial, and error result in highly effective, refined methods.


  1. Mistakes Grow Your Brain

Failure can be defined as not accomplishing the goal. However, a failed attempt at one goal does not mean there is a lack of success elsewhere.  Like Thomas Edison said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. Employees will fail to achieve success 100 percent of the time, but the failure does not equate to wasted effort. Your employees will learn more from failure than success, not just about the process of what they are doing but about their personal character.

  1. Say Goodbye to Sweeping “It” Under the Rug

What’s worse than a mistake? A mistake that you didn’t know about until it’s too late to fix. When employees are fearful of being punished for mistakes, they are less likely to be upfront about those mistakes, which can cause a minor problem to quickly become major. In many cases, if fear has been ingrained in the employee-supervisor relationship, the employee will do whatever they can to hide the problem or make it so the supervisor never had to know about the issue in the first place. If the problems go unresolved, they often can fester until the problem is so large that there is no way to save the situation.

While it seems counterintuitive to not punish mistakes, this methodology works. It’s important to note that lack of punishment does not mean lack of accountability. When something goes wrong, your employee needs to know that it has affected the business negatively. Together, you and your employee should devise a plan to make sure the problem doesn’t arise again. The way you, as a leader, handle moments like these with your employees are some of the most critical when it comes to employee retention and loyalty. It’s important to be firm with your expectations but not to crush the employee so that they never take a risk again.

Adopting a Selfless Service Mindset – What’s Reasonable?

Adopting a Selfless Service Mindset – What’s Reasonable?

Adopting a Selfless Service Mindset – What’s Reasonable?

As I’ve built my business, I’ve noticed that selfless service has two very common misconceptions.

  1. Selfless service means giving 100% of your time, energy, and money until you have nothing left.
  2. Selfless service means giving just so you receive.

Both are wrong.

The first incorrect definition is usually common in people with truly pure intentions. While a selfless service mindset requires you to focus on others, that does not mean you should ignore your own needs. Service burnout is very common if you don’t pace yourself. I’ve seen plenty of individuals try this, give more than they can sustain, and lose their faith in the process because they were unable to fully accept the understanding that there may be little to no appreciation from the other party for your efforts. A good book to read on this topic is Give and Take, by Adam Grant.

As for the second incorrect definition, by keeping tabs on who you’ve served and the worth of that solution, your soul will never be fulfilled—you’ll never be truly selfless. True selflessness comes from removing your benefits from the equation. Your acts should be driven by the need for change in someone else’s life, not the changes within your own. If you’re asking yourself “what’s in it for me?” or telling yourself “if I do this for them, they will do this for me in the future”, you’re missing the point.

You Can’t Fix Them

Your intentions should be driven by the desire to see someone succeed and guided by the needs of that individual, but you can’t invest everything you have into every single person you meet. Give what you can to others, within reason. If you haven’t already, you will come across people in life who are willing to take all that you can give but put no effort into the relationship. Because of people like this, service-oriented individuals, at times get taken advantage of.

To avoid this trap, ask for effort from the other party. Lovingly question the individual about what truly would make a difference in their life. Dig into their problem until there is an actionable solution for you to take upon yourself. Ask the individual to help you determine the right plan of action and to take an extra step to help set you up for success.

There’s no “fixing” anyone else’s mentality. If your willingness to help is being abused, let the relationship taper off, however, you should never regret serving that individual regardless of their actions. Whatever you give to others will come back somewhere.

Need an example?

You have a friend named Mark who is a financial planner at a local bank. Mark tells you he needs more customers and asked if you would be able to help. Ask probing questions to help narrow down the ways you can serve him. It’s important to do this step first to avoid wasting efforts on the wrong target audience.

After narrowing down Mark’s target audience, you may find that Mark is looking to connect with young, first-time home buyers who are in the market to buy a house in Scottsdale, Arizona. It just so happens you’ve connected a handful of that exact persona on LinkedIn. To see if Mark is invested in the relationship, ask him to do research about which of those individuals he would like your help connecting with and why. If Mark is not willing to take the extra step towards making you are successful, let the relationship go. This type of behavior often means that the relationship will be on a take-only basis.

Reverse Engineering the Person

Problems are not always obvious. Solutions are not always clear. Because of this, you may need to reverse-engineer the person. Rather than looking at the person, their role in a company, their job title, or any other outward characteristic about a person, focus on their psychographics. What matters to them? Go one step further, what matters to the people they care about. How can you serve those people? Often times, by making the life of their loved ones easier, that can be the most effective way to serve.

Need an example?

Your acquaintance Jennifer is a family-oriented person. Jennifer’s eight-year-old son Toby has always wanted to be an astronaut. While you probably can’t say you’ve been in space, you do have a strong relationship with a colleague who is an aerospace engineer, and lucky for you, the aerospace company is hosting Space Camp for Kids next month. If you can get Toby an invitation to participate in space camp, you’ve effectively served Jennifer by serving Toby. Giving Jennifer’s son something unforgettable can make more of a difference to Jennifer in the long run than any number of flowers, treats, or dinners.

Serving others doesn’t need to be hard and the gestures do not need to be grandiose, they just need to be genuine. Put some thought behind your actions and always lead with how you can best serve that person, even if that means going outside of your professional abilities.

Start Serving Today – 7 Steps

Start Serving Today – 7 Steps

Start Serving Today – 7 Steps

Selfless service isn’t nice. It’s not a “nice to have” or some kind of cushy, comfortable thought. It’s a way of life, a strategic way to run a business— a way to truly achieve success. I’ve long removed the thought of selfless service being “nice” and you should too. To transform selfless service from just being nice, to a bad-ass business strategy, you have to be consistent in your actions and more importantly, you have to act. Put selfless service ideals into action within your business to experience long term, resounding success.

Now, not everyone’s business is the same and different strategies will have different responses within your business. Do, however, go out of your comfort zone to achieve success with this strategy.  Selfless service strategies can be put into place in any relationship you have, whether that’s with clients, partners, or employees. You have to start somewhere so why not start with these seven ideas?

  1. Clients, Partners, & Employees: No Task is Too Big, or Too Small

Whomever you encounter in life, there’s always going to be something that individual struggles with. The roadblock for most companies is, if the problem doesn’t directly relate with their business, they assume there is nothing they can do to help. To truly serve a company and invest in them, you need to do anything and everything in your power to help them achieve success—and I mean anything. Go above and beyond your normal services, even if the problems don’t relate with your business. If your client is having a hard time finding someone to care for their dog while on vacation, volunteer to pet-sit for them. A little bit of extra care can go a long way when it comes to client relationships.

  1. Clients & Partners: Phone a Friend

Acts of service do not have to be monetary gifts. In fact, I recommend that they aren’t. Going above and beyond to make someone’s day easier is what this strategy is all about. Phoning a friend is a great way you can serve without giving a monetary gift. When a friend, partner, or client is looking to fill a roll in their business, offer to connect them with some people who might be good fits for their business. Be careful who you vouch for; their reputation will become your reputation.

  1. Clients & Partners: Social Shout Outs

So many businesses put content out online but have a hard time getting traction with their audience. Do them a favor and hit “share” on social media. Linking back to their site shows that you’re willing to put your own online presence and reputation on the line to help their business grow. Remember, when they are successful, you are too.

  1. Employees & Clients: Sponsored Lunches

Throughout any era of history, breaking bread is one of the most common to resolve conflict or build community. If so many generations before us have found success with this act, why wouldn’t you add that same solution to your business?

Some of the best memories you can make, and the strongest relationships are built over a meal. So invite your team, partners, and clients. We all have one thing in common, we all need to eat— and dare I say, everyone loves free food—so making the experience enjoyable, is definitely an act of service.

  1. Clients & Partners: Letting Companies Host an Event At Your Business

If you have a conference room that can seat fifty and it’s not being used Monday night at 7 pm, offer that space to your clients to host an event. One of the costliest aspects of event planning is finding a location that fits your needs within your budget – especially for a tight turnaround.

  1. Clients: Free Before the Fee

Offering services before charging a fee can show dedication. Because there is no price tag associated with the task, your client will feel that you are invested in the success of their business. Because of this, they are likely to give you real, paying business because they already know your intentions are pure.

By serving companies and employees in areas of their lives that don’t directly relate with your business, builds loyalty and helps to promote good will.

  1. Clients, Employees, Partners: Listen

While it sounds like the easiest thing to accomplish, many people struggling with listening. Listen not just to hear, but to understand—step in their shoes and understand the struggles, challenges, and pain points of your clients, employees, and partners. In most cases, people aren’t hiding, they will openly tell you things about their lives that can guide you to the right strategy to serve them. While it may not be as common for someone to exactly tell you how they need to be helped, they can give you a deeper understanding into what would make the most impact on their life.

While we highly encourage acts of selflessness here at Keyser, it’s important to be smart about who and when you serve. Don’t give everything you have until you bleed. Act with the intention to help, give when you can, think hard about solutions, but don’t put yourself or your business in a bad situation just to help. Opportunities to serve will constantly arise. Your opportunity is out there, you just need to listen to hear it’s call.