Walk into a Whole Foods, order shoes through Zappos, or spend a night at the Ritz and you’ll quickly see the value of a positive workplace culture. Whether its Zappos emphasis on delivering “WOW” through service (ask my wife), or Whole Foods’ friendly, smiling clerks (I love shopping there), and I can’t even describe the joy in staying at the Ritz–the emphasis on taking care of the customer is ingrained into the fabric of each company and embodied in its workforce.
Culture is not a squishy concepts best left to human resources. No, its the essence of a company, its personality. Culture is made up of a company’s core values, beliefs, goals, and traditions. It’s who they are and how leaders form and shape it determines whether the company will flourish or wither on the vine.
L.L. Bean hires employees who are friendly, dependable, helpful and authentic; who are oriented toward the outdoors and who learn from day one the importance of the customer. It is this belief system that differentiates Bean and has propelled them to success.
Companies with strong, positive workplace cultures enjoy productive, engaged workers and high employee retention, while attracting qualified candidates excited about joining their firm.
Take a look at your culture. Are you, your management team and employees focused toward a common goals and vision? Are your employees motivated and engaged? Is there a feeling of cohesion, a team environment? Is your organization alive?
How you answer these questions will determine whether your company’s culture is positive or not. If you’re happy with what you see and feel, build upon it. If you’ve got some concerns, take some action to correct.
Building a strong culture is not easy. It takes strong leadership, hard work, focus and commitment. But it can be done. And the reward is tremendous.
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