A No-Bullshit Approach to Building Culture

Company culture is organic. It’s not bought, it’s not manufactured. A true company culture is grown slowly and naturally by the people who work for it, and is unique to every company. Actions, decisions and personalities come together to produce something greater than the token ping-pong table to mean something real to customers and employees. So how do we cut through the bullshit and create a culture worth something? An entire company overhaul is not the quickest way nor is the best. Simple steps, even acknowledging the role it plays can start to turn around your company in ways you never thought of.

“There is nothing more powerful than the culture of a business for establishing an emotional connection with the customer. It is more powerful than a reputation for dominance and innovation, and it is more powerful than the allure of short-term financial gain.” –Christoph Becker CEO + CCO, Gyro

Butts in Seats
As much as 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions. A well-oiled team of A-Players can be disrupted fast with the bombardment of an outsider. An outsider, no matter how big a role, automatically brings personality traits, work habits and professional goals that impact the culture. Every team member is either strengthening or poisoning your culture, and you don’t want to be stuck sans antidote. Know your culture inside and out to align the hire with you culturally, not just to put a butt in a seat. Not sure? Buffer has a 45-day trial period to see if the company is a good fit for the employee. We use a system of 2 months, to give the new hire time to understand our processes, culture and to see if they really want to be a Brancher.

I recently presented at WISHRM and BambooHR’s Elevate conference on this very issue and the bottom line is, when you’re desperate you are very rarely going to make an excellent hiring decision. When you try to sell a job as all candy canes and unicorns, someone’s going to end up with a horn in their rear. It’s just not realistic. You may be doing something you love (I am!) but it’s still going to be hard work if you want to do it well and continue to improve.

Long-term Relationship
A culture is more than a way to invigorate and retain employees. The values and personality of a company affects how your employees deal with a key stakeholder in your business: your customers. Overall service experience gets its roots from culture itself.

89% of respondents say great companies build cultures that create excellent customer experiences.CLICK TO TWEET

Are you noticing more flighty communication habits, or the level of quality slipping? Well your clients are too. Start nipping the little things now and plan on how to refocus your team soon. Slow the funnel, look at the numbers or call a meeting to thoroughly go through the issues before proceeding forward with business-as-usual.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” ― @BillGatesCLICK TO TWEET

Use the Force
Do you have employees of 3+ years that haven’t yet liked the company facebook page? A true social employer brand seeps out of employee interaction and promotion. I recently had a CEO come to me and ask how to get his employees involved on social media. I was flummoxed. While some may decry it as fake and forced, I insist that my employees jump on the bandwagon of social, for Red Branch Media and our clients. After all, if they don’t believe in your culture, why are they there?

To quote myself (again): “If you’re not ashamed of your paycheck, you should be on social media talking about your workplace.” If they are, maybe they should find another place to work. Assessing for this early on will help avoid confrontations like this and I let all new employees know what I expect from them in the first phone screen!

If you’re not ashamed of your paycheck, you should be on social media talking about your workplace.CLICK TO TWEET

Dream Team
A team grown from a strong culture can do incredible things. It can outperform the competition, lower turnover, boost morale and generate good will. A brag-worthy company culture doesn’t happen overnight, but little steps placed one-after-another quickly add up to miles and miles. Try this: For every client gift, dinner and recognition, make sure you do the same for your workforce. Peers and camaraderie are the #1 reason employees go the extra mile – not money.

True team-alignment goes deeper than a battle-cry. It takes data, maybe a bit of luck and frankly, hard work. Let Vitru show you how your culture is broken down and build up through the personalities and work cultures of your employees. Cut through the bullshit tobuild something that matters with our free assessment tool, Vitru Compare.

“Engaging the hearts, minds, and hands of talent is the most sustainable source of competitive advantage.” – Greg Harris, Quantum Workplace