How We Created A Winning Company Culture
I want anyone to feel like they can knock on my door, sit down, and talk to me about anything. That is how I would define our company culture.
Having a great culture isn’t something that just happens – you need to work at it. You need to be committed to having a good culture and understanding what that means to the people who work for you. This is something that we are strongly committed to.
A few years ago, we created our company’s core values, mission statement, and vision statement. This has been a real driver for us in creating the culture we have today. We realized that we needed to live by these values, run the business by these values, and have people on board that also believed in these values.
While planning the details of the design of our new headquarters a few years ago, we made sure to promote our values, mission, and vision statement throughout the space, reminding the team of what we stand for and how we work.
Cultivating the right company culture has even made its way into our hiring process. We not only hire based on experience, but we also look at fit within our culture. There is a team dynamic within each department that makes the team excel and strive to hit their goals. If a candidate has the skills but is missing the mark on culture fit, we keep looking.
Over the years, we have lost some folks and it’s always tough to see people leave but in the end, it sometimes works out for the best.
Authenticity is another critical part of fostering the right company culture. You can walk around the office but if you’re not talking to people and asking about their day or weekend or family, and really mean it, people see through that.
We care about the people who are putting in their time to help grow the business. We want to provide a work environment that makes people want to come to work. A place where opinions, concerns, and ideas are heard.
Granted, we can’t do everything and sometimes we do have to say no to a good idea. I believe people understand that and get it.
We like to have fun, share in our success, and get people together. On Monday mornings, team members can find bagels and fruit from Panera Bread in the kitchen area. To end the week, we have pizza and salad from one of the many local area restaurants. These are times for us to get together and chat about our weekend, what is happening with clients, or just to say a quick hello.
We also have several parties and celebrations throughout the year – 42 in 2016, to be exact!
To help improve company-wide communication, we began having monthly company meetings. These meetings are a time for the executive team and the managers to talk about what is happening within their teams and strategic initiatives planned for the year. We end all of our meetings with shout outs, where team members recognize one another.
About three years ago, Joe Tyler, CEO and I started meeting with every team member in the company. These meetings allow us to spend some time with each person and truly listen to them.
We keep the meetings open and honest. Since we are very open and transparent, we get lots of great feedback during these meetings. We use this feedback in our strategic planning for the upcoming year.
Our strategic planning process includes the entire company, beginning at the team level with a SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis.
This information is invaluable as it provides us insight from the frontline — the people who hear from clients, understand the problems we are facing, and know where there is a potential opportunity.
We use this feedback to build out our company-wide strategic plan. We aren’t perfect, and that is why each year in our plan we’ve included a section on culture and initiatives for continuous improvement.
Having a good culture means different things to different people. The fun events and food are nice, but in the end, that isn’t going to make someone stay.
What will make them stay? The people they work with, feeling like they have a say in what is happening at the company, and having a career path as we grow. And that’s what we strive to create every day.
Interested in hearing more first-hand accounts of what we’ve learned along our journey? Check them out here.