I have had the opportunity to experience many different company cultures as an employee, manager, and independent Sales Trainer for our sales training clients in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and Victoria. Here’s what I’ve found. The culture of your company has a major bearing in growing your revenues, attaining high levels of customer satisfaction and ability to retain top people.
What’s your company culture like?
The Definition of Company Culture
Here’s the best way to sum it up. What is the attitude and behavior of the people within your company when it comes to their actions? Culture can include the organization’s values, visions, beliefs and practices. Yet, it’s much more that. Your company culture is what the staff feel and share among their trusted co-workers when management isn’t around. That is the essence of company culture.
Isn’t that just gossip?
Every company has at least someone that loves to spend their time yapping behind people’s backs. Seldom does it tend to be positive. These actions can cause definite challenges if not downright trouble. We’ve all said this before.
If (name) would spend time doing his job rather than gossiping, just imagine what she’d accomplish.
I’m not talking about that guy or girl. I’m referring to great employees who have a positive attitude and work ethic to match. You won’t find them having these discussions because they’re too busy getting their job done.
A Safe Management Assumption
If you never hear your staff talking about the great culture of your company, it might be because you don’t have one. Employees that feel good about their work place, love to tell family, friends, clients, co-workers and their managers about it. Happy people spread the love. Productive employees who are disgruntled hold their feelings and comments to themselves. Eventually, they may even leave saying that it was time for a change of pace and new learning opportunity. Enough said. Why go there and spoil the chance for a good reference?
What Great Company Culture Creates
Where should I start? Here are some of the most notable signs and advantages of great culture…
- increased revenues when the industry trend in your market is flat or downward
- staff that want to go the extra mile vs. have to
- employees that start early or work late when demand requires
- high customer satisfaction with repeat business and referrals
- staff retention despite a vibrant job market
- low employee turnover in departments that are typically high
- great attendance at staff functions that aren’t mandatory
- great employee communication with management – a heads up on key issues
- a high number of employees seeking advancement and promotion
A great mentor once told me that you could tell the company culture of the building by the amount of laughter you hear when you walk in the building. The more frequent and intense, the better. A belly laugh is a sure sign of employees enjoying the people and surroundings of their work environment. It’s not just OK to have fun in the workplace, it should be a prerequisite.
Where Does Culture Start?
At the very top of your company. The owner, the CEO, the person perceived to be in charge. That individual may be outside your market. When they come to town, what they say and how they act will be the real guidepost of company culture.
What is the mood of local management when the head honcho is coming to town? Is it time to tighten up loose screws? Is the message to be on your best behavior and wear your best outfit? Or is it business as usual? That really tells a lot about company culture.
What is my Role in Defining Company Culture?
It’s the responsibility of Corporate Management to set company culture by leading by example. Everything you say and do is being observed and talked about when you’re not around. That is the true culture – its organic. Corporate Management can foster company culture, they can’t control it.
It’s local Management’s role to set the company culture within their building. Your staff are watching you. The same rules apply here. Lead by example and always take the high road. Be the leader your staff are looking for no matter what the situation.
Every employee has a hand in the culture of their company, no matter what examples management illustrates. Portray the company culture you admire through your thoughts, actions and comments at the workplace. Stay away from negativity. While you can’t control others, you have the ability to be in charge of your own behavior. It starts with you.
Do you work for a company with a great culture? Tell us more in the comments section. Should you be looking to establish the right culture, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Warawa PROSALESGUY
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