The Home Furnishings retail landscape is evolving at a rapid pace, presenting new and exciting challenges. Successful companies harness the power of their organization’s distinct vision, mission, purpose, and values to fortify their identity, inspire their employees, and deliver on their brand promise to their valued customers. Company Culture emerges as the secret ingredient that truly distinguishes your furniture business from your competitors. In this article, we will delve into why culture is hailed as an invisible metric and explore actionable strategies to cultivate a robust and captivating culture within your furniture business.
Why is culture considered the invisible metric?
While visible metrics like performance, revenue, and profits are prevalent, they do not necessarily determine your success. Invisible metrics like values, beliefs, and culture can go undetected, affecting an entire organization. Invisible metrics are what influence those visible metrics. Focusing on visible and invisible metrics can lead to synergistic interaction internally and externally that helps create a transformative culture. Placing importance on culture sets you apart from other organizations and draws more customers.
Ways to impact culture:
Communication is vital to the success of an organization. It can boost employee morale, engagement, productivity, and satisfaction. Poor communication, or lack thereof, costs us customers, employees, revenue, and profit. Instituting clear communications that are informative and transparent helps lead to increased productivity and performance. Effective workplace communication helps drive better results for individuals, teams, and organizations.
Core values are the bedrock of a Company. They are purpose-driven, actionable, and hold each person accountable. They shape an organization’s culture, help employees and leaders make decisions, and improve recruiting and retention efforts. They are why a company exists and determine behavior and norms that impact performance and customer satisfaction.
Commitment to Excellence
A commitment to excellence is the first step to continuous improvement. It is a driving force that ensures the organization’s and its culture’s success. Consistency, along with intentionality, is key. When you set clear expectations, and everyone in the organization is fulfilling their duties, you have accountability at all levels. That is when value-based behaviors turn into good habits. “You are what you do repeatedly, every day. If you’re striving for excellence, then it’s not an accident. It’s a habit.” –Greg Pitt
Steps towards establishing a strong Culture:
Hire the right people that match your core values and culture. Take the time required to find a quality candidate. Hiring the wrong person will ultimately become very costly. Create an environment that inspires your employees to succeed and develop strong leaders. Culture does not shape people; people shape and influence the culture.
Culture is defined by what you do. How you develop your processes will directly impact culture, whether onboarding a new employee or customer, developing an execution plan, or defining standard operating practices and procedures. All processes should be reviewed continuously and improved to realize and sustain operational excellence.
Establishing well-constructed measurable metrics and goals is key to guaranteeing processes and procedures are successful. Training and development are instrumental in ensuring employees receive the proper tools to produce consistent quality results that exceed the organization’s and its customers’ expectations.
How well we retain our employees and customers is paramount to the success of any organization. The key to employee retention at any organization is fostering a culture where people want to participate actively. Home furnishings customers like to do business with companies with similar beliefs and values, resulting in cultural alignment. Happy employees help increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
“If you don’t develop your Corporate Culture, it will develop itself. Corporate culture doesn’t happen by accident; if it does, you’re taking a risk.” -Monique Winston, CEO, Optima Lender Services.
In a world where one constant is change, culture becomes ever more important for furniture businesses. The ultimate competitive advantage is a healthy culture that adapts automatically to changing conditions to find new ways to succeed. Culture is a significant factor in the difference between high and low-performing companies. In general, most companies believe they have a healthy culture which is the invisible metric. Still, your visible metrics will remain substandard unless you intentionally focus on what impacts that invisible metric.