7 Core Belle-iefs We Live By (The Belle Basics)

One of the aspects I love most about owning a business is the opportunity to create a culture that inspires achievement and balance.

Public relations is consistently ranked as one of the top stressful occupations in the U.S. (It’s #6 this year) and when I started out on my own I made it a goal to be successful in PR without the unhealthy lifestyle that often accompanies it due to the long hours, high stress and “always on” mentality.

I’ve been very intentional to make Belle a place where you can make a difference through the work you do while building a life that makes you feel most fulfilled. It’s a model that’s working because it makes sense: happy, fulfilled teams do their best work, which creates highly satisfied clients.

Practically, this approach means work weeks are 40 hours and healthy lifestyles are encouraged. The expectation is when you’re done working for the day, you’re done working for the day. I’ll share a deeper look into our employee benefits and lifestyle in an upcoming post.

Empowering Meaningful Work and Thriving Relationships (aka #BelleLife)

During our most recent team retreat, the ‘Belles’ asked why I haven’t blogged much about our culture or the benefits of being a part of our team. I think I’ve just been so focused on building our team and creating our culture that I hadn’t recognized it evolving into something to blog about! So thanks to their prompting, I decided that it’s now the time to share a few posts about our values, culture and what it’s like to work at Belle. It’s going to be an inside look at how we thrive together, and I’m excited to share these posts with you.

The foundation of our values is comprised of two key components: the vision of empowering meaningful work and thriving relationships. It’s exactly why I left the traditional workplace to start out on my own. It’s also the big picture for why we are here as an agency and what makes us unique. It’s the lens through which we select team members, client partners and ensure we’re pursuing the right initiatives.

Our Core Belle-iefs

Other than the obvious non-negotiables of being fierce about our love for Beyonce (we even have a Slack emoji), exploring new restaurants, making frequent Starbucks trips and having adventures together like we did at our last team retreat (trapeze, anyone?), there are seven distinct beliefs we live out daily as a part of #Bellelife. These are our ‘Core Belle-iefs,’ and without them, we wouldn’t be who we are.

Last fall, we spent a significant amount of time as a team working out exactly what it takes from us to be a successful team. We narrowed a list of around 60 qualities to seven must-haves. We hold each other accountable to live these out daily, and on an operational level, they are the success metrics within our quarterly reviews and used to evaluate future team members.

We also celebrate each other weekly by highlighting when a Belle rocked one or more of the Core Belle-iefs in an above-and-beyond way. Take a look:

1. Think BIG: Innovate and strategize.

We stay ahead of trends and consistently bring new ideas, approaches and fresh perspective to our team and client partners.

2. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

We communicate like it’s our job — because it is! Even when it’s hard, we recognize consistent, intentional communication is absolutely necessary to be successful for thriving relationships.

3. Be a team player.

We pitch in and rally to bring meaningful work to life every day. We support, challenge and encourage each other to be our best.

4. Enthusiasm: Bring it.

We love what we do and we show it through a commitment to making each day our best. Even when faced with a challenge, we meet it with a positive outlook and energy.

5. Never stop learning.

We’re always learning something new and sharing it with our team and clients. We enjoy learning new things and recognize it’s part of what makes us stand out.

6. Adapt to get results.

We work in an industry and digital landscape that’s constantly evolving so we understand the need for flexibility and creativity in solving problems. We consistently do what it takes to achieve results for our clients.

7. Care.

We genuinely care for each other and our clients. We like each other and it shows.

We live these beliefs out every day. We hold each other accountable, but that’s not hard when you naturally want to live this way. Although these are our Core Belle-iefs, they really translate into non-work life to become a lifestyle. And, since we chose these core values together, everyone gets it. And if they don’t, it’s a sign that it’s probably not the best fit. We evaluate potential client partners through these core values as well.

Because we’ve invested in our team, our approach and process, I can confidently and happily say we l-o-v-e all our client partners and team members. We get each other and that has allowed us to further unlock what strategic collaboration looks. We’re fulfilling our vision of ‘empowering meaningful work and thriving relationships,’ and the results are magical.

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Kate is an entrepreneur and award-winning public relations influencer based in Columbus, Ohio. She founded Belle Communications with the vision to inspire meaningful work and thriving relationships for her clients, team and self. Kate oversees business development and client strategy, championing tactics that translate into tangible outcomes. Within the past year, she has been recognized as one of PR News' Top Women in PR, Smart Business Network's "Smart 50" Class of 2016 and Columbus Business First's Forty Under 40 Class of 2016. When she’s not busy being a girl boss, Kate enjoys exploring new cities and beaches, eating Paleo and any opportunity to snuggle a puppy or shop.
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