Working to gain an understanding of how company culture is the key factor our daily successes and failures is an exercise every organization should undertake. Culture is the lifeblood of the organization and it sets the foundation for the values that the organization embraces. Doug Conant, an American businessman who served as President and CEO of the Campbell Soup Company until July 31, 2011, was quoted saying, “To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace.” The first time I read this I thought, “well that sounds simple enough”. But the more I researched this topic, the more I understood how profound and important this is. In fact, this may be all that every business owner and manager needs to understand to get started on creating a culture they need to win.
A company with great culture is one that recognizes the importance of common goals. In fact, the goals of the individuals must be on par with organizational goals. Organizations with great culture recognize that everyone walking through the office doors on Monday morning is dealing with something. Culture is about empathy and finding ways to mitigate the impact of something they walked in with by fostering positives at work.
Better Culture…Better Employees
Employees work better when they feel heard, noticed, and understood. They are going to be more willing to take greater risks because they feel at peace with their relationship with the organization. Employees love the freedom to be themselves. They understand that taking a risk will be worth the effort to succeed and if failure occurs, there will be only fair judgment.
A positive corporate culture makes it much more likely for a company to be successful. For one thing, businesses with a positive company culture are more likely to have a higher retention rate because they invest in their employees and value their goals. It is no surprise that employees who feel supported are far more likely to embrace the company’s goals. This is the single most important biproduct of the right culture. This alone can determine who grows and who doesn’t, who prospers and who struggles and ultimately who wins and who loses.
Build a Winning Culture!
Culture grows and spreads throughout an organization. Bad culture devours the organization from within. The good news is that developing the right culture is not hard work. Rather it is just a commitment to a few principals and consistent behavior. For example, recognition does not have to be theatrical, but it should be pervasive. Highlighting the positive contributions of each member of your team results in the exponential growth of more positive contributions. Keep in mind, recognition for a job well done is not enough. Team members need to feel support and appreciation on the journey to completing that job. Every marathoner will tell you that the thrill of seeing friends and family at the conclusion of the race pales in comparison to the support from friends, family and strangers yelling encouragement as they drive to the finish line.
Great organizational outcomes require employees to be constantly improving while the company works tirelessly to retain them. Selecting or developing leaders for the future requires a forward-looking strategy and culture. Those leaders will carry the culture forward and that delivers lasting success.
There is a quote from Betty Bender that says, “When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home”. Going to work should not be tiring or miserable. Part of having a successful company is having a place that people want to come to and enjoy coming to. This is what culture is all about. Employees should come to work without fear of making a mistake. Instead, they should bring the mindset that they are going to pour their heart into whatever is on the agenda for that day. They need to feel that what they do is important to and appreciated by every other member of the organization.
At Strategic Data Systems, our mission is to consider our culture as we go about our daily decisions and tasks. We work hard to bring consistency and predictability to how we work independently and with one another. To learn more about Strategic Data Systems please visit: www.sds.io