Most organizations have a clearly defined set of Core Values, a Mission Statement, and a Vision. Your company culture is determined by how well your daily actions match those ideas. Here are the “three Cs of Culture” and executable ideas to improve your company culture today. Whether your organization could use better communication, products, and services that match your core values or tools to support your ongoing commitment to excellence, you will gain great ideas to maintain a firm footing in a highly competitive sales environment. It is well known that it will develop if you don’t build your company culture. Your company culture isn’t something that happens accidentally; if it does, you’re most certainly taking a risk.
The Significance of Company Culture
Our training team travels across the country, visiting furniture stores with varying cultures and levels of performance. From our experiences, we know that one thing is for sure: company culture drastically impacts any person who interacts with your business. In today’s world of retail, consumers prioritize companies that make them “feel good.” A culture of positivity starts at the top and makes its way to your customer.
Now more than ever, employees are looking for employers that are a “culture fit.” A strong culture can equate to happier employees that want to stay with your organization. By reducing employee turnover, a positive culture allows owners to focus less on hiring and more on the growth of their business. When consumers, employees, and owners are happy and moving in the same direction- success takes care of itself. When people are happy, this, in turn, keeps shareholders satisfied. Culture can make or break an organization at every level.
Our first “C” of culture is communication. Communication is an essential part of building any great company culture. Without solid communication, employees are left with contradicting messages, customer experiences that lack follow-up, undefined processes, and a lack of direction across the entire organization. Not only can poor communication lead to a negative experience for employees and consumers, but it can also cost us profits.
If your organization requires a revamp in the way communications happen- don’t worry! We have a few great tips to get you started.
Educate your Team. Ensure your Company’s Mission, Goals and Vision are clear. Clearly define the direction the company is heading in.
Lead by Example. Leaders set the tone & pace of the organization. Leaders fanatically reinforce the importance of having a healthy and welcoming company culture by making decisions that support it.
Practice and display Servant Leadership. Be proactive versus reactive.
Avoid Misinformation. Provide clear communications that are as informative and transparent as possible, leaving no room for misunderstanding.
Clear communications lead to execution.
Develop Concrete Processes and Procedures. Validate that all departments have up-to-date and accurate standard operating procedures available to anyone who needs them. Be sure to communicate changes to processes and procedures consistently and frequently. Validate the receipt of information through assessments and behavioral checkpoints.
Establish Open Lines of Communication: share and welcome thoughts and ideas. Make sure everyone is heard and understood through Skip-Level Meetings. Encourage regular Team huddles to keep everyone aligned. Above all, practice vulnerability. When you are open and honest, your team will be too!
While improving communication isn’t always easy, it is one of the fastest ways to improve your overall company culture.
Another critical part of creating a positive company culture is establishing and living a solid set of Core Values.
While most organizations see the importance of having their core values, few organizations take the time to ensure the products and services they offer come from companies that share the same values. With your products and services being an extension of your brand, you can’t afford to partner with businesses that offer the same level of service and commitment that your organization provides. There are several ways to find products and service providers that will strengthen your Core Values.
First and foremost, check your supplier’s Core Values. Most organizations publish their core Values on their website or use them in presentations. Researching the company virtually is a fantastic way to see who, exactly, you are partnering with.
Look for products that are backed and guaranteed. Whether this means finding products that offer extended warranties or finding insured service providers will give your customers peace of mind in knowing their investments are secure.
Prioritize partners with a history of service excellence. One of the easiest ways to do this is by looking up the business through the Better Business Bureau. While “googling” and researching customer feedback may be helpful, this research only provides one-off situations. The BBB offers a researched summary of how the business operates. Partner with companies that are as fanatical about the overall customer experience as you are!
Find vendors that offer professional training and support. Great Partners invest in their organization and yours with high-quality training experiences.
You work hard to build your brand and maintain a positive reputation. Don’t settle for anything less than what you deserve when looking for products or service providers!
Commitment to Excellence
Lastly, we bring you the third “C” of Culture—Commitment to Excellence. Coming up with ideas and plans is only the first part of improving your culture. How you execute these ideas and strategies will determine your success. We are what we do every single day. If we want excellence, we must continuously strive for it and build teams with the same passion. Consistency is key. There are many ways that you can set your organization up for success.
Train your Trainers. Utilize vendor relationships to train your trainers on the products and services you provide. The more confident your leaders and trainers are, your team will be more confident.
Develop Strong Leaders. Take the time to coach and mentor the Leaders in your organization. Ensure your leaders clearly understand your company culture and help them make decisions that align with your organizational direction. Owners should train Leaders to identify coaching opportunities and when that coaching opportunity should be for an individual, small group, or company-wide. This piece is essential – don’t generalize. A lack of courage or laziness often leads to broad communications that reach individuals or groups that don’t need the coaching or reminder. Don’t discipline everyone for the actions of a few.
Hire the Right People. Ensure you’re asking the right questions to find employees who match your culture. Don’t settle for an imperfect match. Take the time required to find a quality candidate.
Consider elements outside of “years of experience.” Hire for attitude and train for skill. Hiring the right people might not always be easy, but it’s easier than firing the wrong people.
Make sure that your training and development opportunities are ongoing. It is common in company culture to make a big push around a “new” initiative, only to see the performance spike and then crash within months. Your company culture experiences must be ongoing to keep your team engaged. As they say- where focus goes- energy flows.
Often, we can identify an issue in culture, but we don’t know where to start. Review these three Cs of culture: Communication, Core Values, and Commitment to Excellence, and this will help you pinpoint an area or two that you can improve on with the tips above.
Also, check out ProtectALL’s Quick Click Solutions video on company culture here.
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ProtectALL is an HFA Solution Partner.