Culture is tough. It’s not easy to explain. It can be elusive and subjective. It can always be better and it can always be worse. Just in case you think yours can’t get any worse, try working for CEO Oliver Queen at Queen Industries. I’m pretty sure that his leadership style is the poster child for absentee landlord.
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Lost any customers lately? Sales drooping? Maybe it’s time to start a new marketing plan. I mean it is the new year, right? There is one key marketing area that your company is already paying for, so why not examine it for maximum efficacy. I’m talking about your company’s culture and how it affects your customers experience.
Corporate culture and marketing seem totally unrelated. You could say they are like oil and water. That is if you think of the water cooling the engine and the oil keeping that same engine lubricated. Both share the same goal though, keeping the engine running smoothly.
Think about your best employee. The one you would take with you to the White House, if your company was invited. I’m sure you are proud and happy and impressed with that image. Now, take your worst and put him in the same position. Yikes is right!
The truth is that each and every employee in a company can quickly transfer their attitude into your customer’s experience. Have employees that are less than engaged with your company mission? Customers can sense this; probably faster than you can.
Worse yet, what happens when those dis-engaged team members aren’t at work? Do they have anything good to say about you and your company around their Mom’s & Dad’s, husbands, or children? Do you care?
The culture that exists in your company permeates everything. It’s like the air your team breathes. It’s impossible to avoid it becoming part of them; part of their results.
The question is, do you want that air to be filled with poisonous mustard gas or fresh, clean and pure oxygen? You want the good stuff, or course!
Why is it then, that so many leaders just ignore culture altogether; like an ostrich in the sand ready to be kicked in the butt? I believe the answer is simple. Many leaders tend to focus on tasks and processes because they are tangible and easier to understand.
People can be messy. They are mushy and gooey and full of crap. That doesn’t make their contributions any less important though. I’ve quoted this before, but I think it’s a valuable lesson:
“Take away my factories, and I will build a new and better factory; but take away my people, and grass will grow on the factory floor.”
With all that being said, here are three reasons why spending intentional time & effort cultivating your corporate culture is worth every nickel: