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Steven Fortuna of Blossom Water: Five Things Business Leaders Can Do To Create A Fantastic Work Culture

Create a sense of purpose- A lot of people want to feel like they’re doing something important with their lives and that their work has meaning. Managers can create a sense of purpose for their team by giving them a clear purpose and then helping them to achieve their tasks each day. Managers should also keep the team updated about how their work contributes to the bigger picture.

As a part of my series about how leaders can create a “fantastic work culture”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Steven Fortuna, CEO of Blossom Water LLC.

As Founder and CEO of Blossom Water LLC, Steven Fortuna has an amazing sense of what it takes to not only grow a business from the ground up, but how to focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle at the same time. While taking his idea to create a healthy and refreshing beverage and turn it into a multi-million-dollar business, Steven never lost touch with his humble roots. Therefore, he has remained devoted to having a workplace that is inviting to all.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’ve been an avid gardener all my life, planting anything and everything in the dirt. I developed this passion for gardening when I was young because of what it allowed me to experience — seeing how plants grow from seed into beautiful flowers or vegetables; learning about their nutrients needed by different organisms at different times during certain seasons; experiencing nature up close through natural sight-and smelling its beauty as well! My Italian grandparents also loved gardening so they fostered that same love within me too during the summer holidays I spent with them. They taught me to appreciate the value of healthy wholesome food and I continue to grow as much as I can in my garden today. The idea for Blossom Water stemmed from this passion and a love for exploration which pushed me to try out different infusions. I also wanted to share the beauty of fresh produce and offer healthy options.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

One of the most interesting stories would be how I began mixing my own flavors. It was something that just came to me one day when I had an urge to create something new, so I went ahead and mixed together watermelon with basil in order to have a unique flavor. Lo and behold, it turned out great! Finding new flavor combinations will always be a fun and exciting part of the job for me.

Are you working on any exciting projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I can’t give away all of the details just yet, but we are working on some exciting new launches that people are going to love. The health benefits of these new beverages will complement our current line exceptionally well. The nutrition and the timing will fit right in line with the types of goals many like to set for themselves as they ring in a new year.

Ok, let’s jump to the main part of our interview. According to this study cited in Forbes, more than half of the US workforce is unhappy. Why do you think that number is so high?

There are many reasons why people could possibly be unhappy at work. It could be that they’re in a job that simply doesn’t fit their skill sets, but it’s also possible that the culture of the company doesn’t align with their values. People should really take time to reflect on what they want out of a career path and assess whether or not their current situation provides that. If it doesn’t, then they should consider making a change.

Based on your experience or research, how do you think an unhappy workforce will impact a) company productivity b) company profitability c) and employee health and wellbeing?

It’s pretty obvious that if people aren’t happy at work, then they won’t be as productive. When employees aren’t motivated and don’t like what they do, it affects how much work they produce and this will have a negative impact on the company’s productivity levels. At the same time, unhappy workers might not feel as committed to their job and might be more likely to leave, which could lead to higher staff turnover rates and increased costs associated with hiring and training new employees. Not to mention, unhappy employees are also more likely to suffer from stress, which can have a ripple effect on their health and wellbeing. So, it’s not only the company that suffers when there is an unhappy workforce, but the employees themselves as well.

Can you share 5 things that managers and executives should be doing to improve their company work culture? Can you give a personal story or example for each?

Lead by example- If the top brass is constantly stressed out and working long hours, it will only set the tone for the rest of the company. Leaders should try to maintain a healthy work-life balance so that employees can see that it’s possible to do so.

Be open to change- If there are changes that need to be made in order for the company to be more productive or happier, then be open to them. Employees will respect this type of leadership and feel more valued overall.

Create a sense of purpose- A lot of people want to feel like they’re doing something important with their lives and that their work has meaning. Managers can create a sense of purpose for their team by giving them a clear purpose and then helping them to achieve their tasks each day. Managers should also keep the team updated about how their work contributes to the bigger picture.

Engage employees- It’s important for managers to recognize that people have different learning styles and personalities, so not everyone will be motivated by the same type of feedback or environment. Managers should try to engage employees by catering to their needs and being as flexible as possible.

Listen- Managers should take a genuine interest in what makes their employees tick and learn about them individually. If managers really listen, then they’ll be able to better cater to the needs of their team members.

It’s very nice to suggest ideas, but it seems like we have to “change the culture regarding work culture”. What can we do as a society to make a broader change in the US workforce’s work culture?

There is no one answer to this question, as it will require a concerted effort from both individuals and companies. However, some things that could help include:

-Encouraging people to take time for themselves and to find work that they’re passionate about

-Providing more education and training on work/life balance so that people know how to achieve this and be more productive

-Setting a good example by leading healthy lifestyles and having work/life balance yourself

-Promoting flexible hours and schedules at companies so that people can maintain a healthy work/life balance

-Encouraging employees to spend time outside the office with family, friends, or on their own hobbies so that they can feel refreshed and be productive at work.

How would you describe your leadership or management style? Can you give us a few examples?

My management style is all about finding the right balance. I want to be friendly and open with my employees so that they feel like they can come to me if there are any issues, but I also don’t take any guff from them! As far as examples go, one thing that I do is send notes of encouragement to my team members, especially when they’re working under pressure or doing something difficult. I also like to host monthly company-wide lunches, where everyone can come together and enjoy themselves outside of the office environment.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There are definitely people who have helped me get to where I am, but I do owe much of my success to my family. They have been such strong supporters and have set a great example for me- from teaching me how to garden to teaching me how to properly shake a hand- I am proud to be part of such an amazing family.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I like to think that my products bring goodness to the world. Blossom Water is committed to encouraging health and wellness. The spirit of which starts from within the company and shines through in all we do.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.” — Vince Lombardi

I chose this quote because it reminds me that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. You may feel like you don’t have much- whether that’s time, money, or energy- but these limitations can be overcome if you’re willing to work hard enough.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I would like to see a greater focus on mental and physical health and wellness. We all know how important it is to eat right and exercise, but we don’t always realize that our mental health is just as important. From depression to anxiety, there are countless people who suffer from these problems without knowing how to cope with them.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you continued success!

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In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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