Most organizations have a clearly defined set of core values, a mission statement, and a vision. Your corporate culture is determined by the extent to which your daily actions correspond to these ideas. Here are the “Three Cs of Culture” and actionable ideas for improving your company culture today. Whether your organization can use better communication, products and services that align with your core values, or tools to support your ongoing commitment to excellence, you’ll get great ideas for maintaining a strong footing in a highly competitive sales environment. . It is well known that it will grow if you don’t build your corporate culture. Your company culture is not something that happens by chance; if so, you are certainly taking a risk.
The importance of corporate culture
Our training team travels across the country, visiting furniture stores with varying cultures and performance levels. From our experiences, we know one thing is for sure: company culture has a huge impact on everyone who interacts with your company. In today’s retail world, consumers prioritize businesses that make them “feel good”. A culture of positivity starts at the top and works its way to your customer.
Now more than ever, employees are looking for employers who fit their culture. A strong culture can equate to happier employees who want to stay with your organization. By reducing employee turnover, a positive culture allows owners to focus less on hiring and more on growing their business. When consumers, employees and owners are happy and moving in the same direction, success takes care of itself. When people are happy, that, in turn, keeps shareholders happy. Culture can make or break an organization at all levels.
Our first “C” of culture is communication. Communication is an essential part of building any great corporate culture. Without strong communication, employees end up with mixed messages, customer experiences that lack follow through, undefined processes, and a lack of direction across the organization. Not only can poor communication lead to a negative experience for employees and consumers, it can also cost us profits.
If your organization needs an overhaul of the way communications happen- don’t worry! We have some great tips to help you get started.
Train your team. Make sure your company’s mission, goals, and vision are clear. Clearly define the direction in which the business is heading.
Lead by example. Leaders set the tone and 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 rather than 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 receipt of information through assessments and behavioral checkpoints.
Establish open lines of communication: sharing and welcoming thoughts and ideas. Make sure everyone is heard and understood with top-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’s one of the fastest ways to improve your overall company culture.
Another essential part of creating a positive company culture is establishing and living a strong set of core values.
While most organizations see the importance of having their core values, few organizations take the time to ensure that the products and services they offer come from companies that share the same values. Because your products and services are an extension of your brand, you cannot afford to partner with companies that offer the same level of service and commitment as your organization. There are several ways to find products and service providers that will reinforce your core values.
First of all, check your supplier’s core values. Most organizations publish their core values on their website or use them in presentations. Doing virtual research on the company is a fantastic way to see who, exactly, you are partnering with.
Look for backed and guaranteed products. Whether it’s finding products with extended warranties or finding insured service providers, your customers will have peace of mind knowing their investments are secure.
Prioritize partners with a track record of service excellence. One of the easiest ways to do this is to research the company through the Better Business Bureau. While “Googling” and researching customer reviews can be helpful, this research only provides point-in-time situations. The BBB offers a documented summary of how the business operates. Partner with companies as passionate as you about the overall customer experience!
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 less than you deserve when researching products or service providers!
Commitment to Excellence
Finally, we present to 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 day. If we want excellence, we must continuously achieve it and build teams with the same passion. Consistency is the key. There are many ways to set up your organization for success.
Train your trainers. Use vendor relationships to train your trainers on the products and services you provide. The more confident your leaders and trainers are, the more confident your team will be.
Developing Strong Leaders. Take the time to coach and mentor the leaders in your organization. Make sure your leaders clearly understand your company culture and help them make decisions that align with the direction of your organization. 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 critical – don’t generalize. A lack of courage or laziness often leads to broad communications that reach individuals or groups that do not need coaching or reminders. Don’t discipline everyone for the actions of a few.
Hire the right people. Be sure to ask the right questions to find employees who fit your culture. Don’t settle for an imperfect match. Take the time necessary to find a quality candidate.
Consider things other than ‘years of experience’. Hire for attitude and train for skills. Hiring the right people may not always be easy, but it’s easier than firing the wrong people.
Make sure your training and development opportunities are in class. It’s common in corporate culture to push hard around a “new” initiative, only to see performance rise and then fall within months. Your company culture experiences need to be ongoing to keep your team engaged. As they say, where the focus goes, the energy flows.
Often we can identify a problem in the culture, but we don’t know where to start. Review these three Cs of culture: communication, core values, and commitment to excellence, and it will help you identify an area or two that you can improve with the tips above.
Also check out ProtectALL’s Quick Click Solutions video on corporate culture here.
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ProtectALL is an HFA Solution Partner.