I’ve been studying company culture for awhile now. At its’ best it drives profitability. At it’s worst you’re replacing staff every time you turn around. Who is responsible for creating your company’s culture? If you’re the business owner, you are!!! That means you can change it if you don’t like what you’ve got. You change it by changing how you lead.
What are the benefits of creating a great culture? Why should you care? I could name dozens of reasons, For today let’s just name 4 biggies.
- 32% more productivity
- 25-100% more profit
- Ability to take a vacation
- Growth of the asset value so the company sells more easily, for more money
Here are some things that great cultures develop:
- Culture book – a small book that employees contribute their comments to, almost like hard copy blog. It can be used to build pride among employees. It also can be used as a recruiting device.
- Five minute beginning-of-the-day meetings where people get on the same page, share what they are going to accomplish that day and ask for resources from others. This is a stand up meeting.
- End-of-the-day huddles where staff share great moments from the day. An appreciative customer’s comments, something that went really right, thanks to each other for specific kindnesses or making the ‘transaction’ go so smoothly. These can be video or audio recorded and loaned to prospects and new staff to show them what it’s like to work there.
- A clearly communicated vision for the company’s future that everyone understands and is motivated to contribute to.
- Clearly communicated values that everyone lives, especially leaders who model value oriented behaviors for everyone else.
- Very selective hiring practices that prioritize alignment of vision and values before task related skills.
- At least 4 institutionalized programs that give appreciation, respect and encouragement (ARE) to employees.
- Random acts of ARE that happen often and unexpectedly
- Development of the character of employees in addition to the job related skill training. Development indicates that the company is interested in growing the individual as a leader, that you will be better at whatever you do if you know your personal vision and values so you can see whether or not they align with the company’s
- Survey of the employees at least once a year
- Managers who regularly ask their frontline staff, ‘How can I best support you?’
- The philosophy that the frontline staff person who talks to the client everyday is the most important employee of the company. He’s always touching the ‘boss’ that pays everybody’s salaries (the customer) he gets the best feedback (which contributes to innovation), he handles most of the customer complaints, he’s in the best position to ensure that the customer continues to spend their money with you.