There are multiple factors that contribute to business success — a great leader, a talented, skilled team, smart planning, good business skills, intelligent financial decisions, and positive company culture — among other elements. Managing all these factors, so they work together cohesively toward the goal of operating a successful company, is quite a challenging achievement. It is a full-time job in itself, and as a business professional or owner in the kitchen and bath industry, you are already busy with your “real” full-time job!
We have all experienced some of the most challenging times any of us have faced in our lifetime. For many companies, simply keeping up with an unbelievably elevated level of demand has been incredibly difficult, coupled with supply chain/manufacturing issues. It becomes easy to let important aspects of your business slip because there are not enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to be done to service customers properly, meet timelines, and take care of the business and the people within that business.
Company culture is one of those very important elements of your business that can suffer when attention to it slides because the highest priority in the business is meeting the high demand of prospects and customers.
What is company culture?
Company culture is a naturally occurring phenomenon that defines a set of shared values, goals, attitudes, and practices that characterize an organization. It guides employee behavior and interaction within the company as well as outside business transactions. Company culture is born in every organization, whether it is intentional or unintentional. However, make no mistake, company culture exists in every company. Therefore, as a leader, it is important to make a conscious decision to put effort into your company culture.
Taking a cue from SEN’s Business Advisory on Monday — Great Leaders Start With “WHY” to Inspire Others — let us start with your WHY. You can also learn more about Starting with your WHY in the inspiring TED Talk by Simon Sinek. He talks about how leaders can inspire, and it all starts with understanding WHY you do what you do vs. what you do. When you understand your WHY, you can build a positive company culture that motivates and encourages employees and affects productivity, performance, and recruitment. And positive company culture is even more important in businesses that are growing.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
People are so important to the success of your business. They are one of the single most essential elements of your successful business. Talent is important, especially in the kitchen and bath industry, but it is vital to success that many elements of business work hand-in-hand together — talent, personalities working together smoothly, business processes, and culture. It is challenging work for sure!
Your business success is very much reliant on the strength of the team you build. The hiring process and getting it right is essential to your business success. In Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, he correctly points out:
Your goal is not to hire people who need a job. Your goal should be to hire people who believe what you believe. If you hire people simply because they can do a job, they will work for your money. But if they believe what you believe, they will work for you with blood and sweat and tears. They will put everything of themselves into the job. The job will mean so much more to them than “just another job that pays the bills.” This is one reason why knowing your WHY is something you should give thoughtful consideration to.
Customers are the other human element that makes or breaks your quest for success. Your goal with prospects and customers is to attract those who believe what you believe. The goal is not simply to sell to people who need what you have. The goal is to sell to people who believe what you believe. This is a sustainable model for the long-term growth of your company.
Why is company culture so important?
- It shapes employee motivation — it is important to understand what “makes people tick.” What encourages your team members to be the best professional they can be? Do the best work for your customers. Be the best advocate for your company?
- It affects productivity — a positive culture within a company results in employees caring about their work. They desire and are encouraged to do their best. The attitude, happiness, and belief within themselves reflects in their work.
- It affects/increases employee engagement — it is amazing to see how engaged your team can be when they feel they are an important part of the company, an essential “spoke in the wheel.” A positive culture does that.
- It affects performance — employees feel invested in the company they work for, even if they are not the owner of the company. When the leaders put forth a conscious effort to provide an affirmative, encouraging culture, your team feels affection and even an ownership of their role within the company. They will treat their work very much like an owner and treat the company’s values as guidance in how they do business with your customers. Going above and beyond for customers will be a natural act for your team.
- It improves recruitment efforts — people want to love where they work. After all, we spend the majority of our time at work every day. Great company culture reflects in your employees and makes your company a place where other talented, skilled professionals would like to work. Everyone wants to work for a company that is encouraging, motivating, and empowering to their employees.
All of these important points are directly influenced by the leaders in your company — you, the owner, your managers, and other key leaders. There are ways you can support your employees and make your company a constructive, supportive, inspiring place to work.
Company culture factors that employees value
Salary and the compensation a professional receives are also crucial factors in the decision to work for a company, obviously. However, employees value other things and consider these to be key factors in their job satisfaction.
- Education/professional development — simply stated, knowledge is power. Learning from experts is empowering, valuable, and priceless in a professional career. Education helps your employees do their jobs better. Every professional worth having on your staff is a person who continuously strives to be better, do an excellent job, and be as knowledgeable about their job and industry as they can be. Do you offer professional development as part of your company culture?
- Recognition — feeling valued is an emotion that fuels a day, week, month, or any period of time. This is an easy thing for owners and managers to do, and it often does not cost anything but a simple thank you, a call out in front of others, or a “good job” in private. When you give feedback, be honest and provide feedback when there are also upbeat, affirmative comments to give as well. Your employees can learn from both positive feedback and constructive criticism.
- Sense of purpose — this is where your WHY comes in. When your WHY is clear, and your team understands your beliefs and values, there is more to their job than simply a paycheck if they share those beliefs and values. There is purpose. Professionals today want more out of their jobs than money. They want purpose.
- Empowerment — talented, skilled professionals want to do their jobs and they want to do them well. They know they can. When your WHY is clear, and you have assembled a team of like-minded professionals, a level of trust is developed. You can empower your team to represent your company well. Your WHY plays a significant role here. Empowering your team to do their work on your behalf and trusting them to do an excellent job will pay off for your company.
A conscious effort in developing a strong, positive, encouraging company culture by you and your management team will be well worth the effort. It will create an environment of happiness and satisfaction for everyone involved — you, your employees, and your customers. That is a win-win-win and the best possible outcome for which you could hope.
SEN Design Group is here to help you as your company grows and thrives. If you have any questions about membership or programs that SEN provides, please reach out to Skyler Ille with any questions you may have.