Archive for January, 2012

Vibrant Corporate Culture Builds Morale, Sales

January 31, 2012

Corporate culture can attract the best talent, translate their values to their products and services, and show customers what they’re all about. And it doesn’t cost a thing.

Too often small businesses fail to appreciate how a vibrant corporate culture can positively affect the bottom-line.
A small business leader sets the tone for the company’s culture.
He or she often doesn’t realize the impact corporate culture has on the sales effort.
Usually, a corporate culture is a balanced blend of human psychology, attitudes, actions, and beliefs. A strong culture flourishes with a clear set of values and norms that actively guide the way a company operates.
When employees are actively and passionately engaged in the business, operating from a sense of confidence and empowerment they communicate their enthusiasm to clients and suppliers alike.
Performance-oriented cultures possess statistically better financial growth, with high employee involvement, strong internal communication, and an acceptance of a healthy level of risk-taking in order to achieve new levels of innovation.
Culture, like brand, is misunderstood and often discounted.  However, it one of the most important drivers that has to be set or adjusted to push long-term, sustainable success. Long-term success is dependent on a culture that is nurtured and alive. Culture has to be genuinely nurtured by everyone from the CEO down.
Clearly, there are significant benefits that come from a vibrant and alive culture: 

  • Focus: Aligns the entire company towards achieving its vision, mission, and goals. 
  • Motivation: Builds higher employee motivation and loyalty. 
  • Connection: Builds team network among the company’s various departments and divisions. 
  • Cohesion: Builds consistency and encourages coordination and control within the company. 
  • Spirit: Shapes employee behavior at work, enabling the organization to be more efficient and alive.

In putting together a strong, enduring corporate culture a small business leader needs to consider:

MissionIt is important to step back and ask whether the purpose of the organization is clear and whether it has a compelling value system that is easy to understand. Mobilizing and energizing a culture is predicated on the organization clearly understanding the vision, mission, values, and goals. Leaders must involve the entire organization, informing and inspiring them to live out the purpose the organization in the construct of the values.

Vibrant and healthy–It is important to understand what is driving the culture. To get a taste of a company’s culture, a small business leader needs to sit in an executive meeting, the cafe or the lunch room, listen to the conversations, and look at the way decisions are made and the way departments cooperate. Take time out and get a good read on the health of the internal culture.

Culture fuels brand–A vibrant culture provides a cooperative and collaborative environment for a brand to thrive in. A firm’s brand is the single most important asset to differentiate its offerings consistently over time, and it needs to be nurtured, evolved, and invigorated by the people entrusted to keep it true and alive. Without a functional and relevant culture, the money invested in research and development, product differentiation, marketing, and human resources is never maximized and often wasted because it’s not fueled by a sustaining and functional culture. 

Uncommon sense for a courageous and vibrant culture–
Building a strong culture takes hard work and true commitment.  Here are some basic building blocks to consider:

  1. Dynamic and engaged leadership
    A vibrant culture is organic and evolving. It is fueled and inspired by leadership that is actively involved and informed about the realities of the business and who set out a clearly communicated vision, mission, values, and goals and create an environment for them to come alive.
  2. Living values
    It is one thing to have beliefs and values spelled out in a frame in the conference room. It’s another thing to have genuine and memorable beliefs that are directional, alive and modeled throughout the organization daily life.
  3. Responsibility and accountability
    Strong cultures empower their people, they recognize their talents, and give them a very clear role with responsibilities they’re accountable for.
  4. Celebrate success and note failure
    Take the time to acknowledge and learn from failures. Celebrate your victories. 

 With so much upside, isn’t time you reviewed your business’ corporate culture to ensure it is building morale and sales?