Over the years I have been involved with companies that had a great culture and with others that were toxic; I can tell you that in 100% of the cases the companies that were successful were those with a great workplace culture!
So what is the culture of successful world class companies? I remember (and often use as a case study) one such company where I learned a lot about business, about people and about the impact the company’s culture has on the success of the business:
- The owner had an open door policy and expected the same of his managers. He was always available to listen and support. He was a strong believer in coaching & mentoring; my title was actually “Mentor & Coach of the Technology Centre”!! He made time every day to tour the facility chatting as he went. This was how he gauged the health of his business, sensing the morale, the activity, always looking for feedback. This is the approach I use and recommend to my clients.
- The College of Knowledge – The owner firmly believed in this. He did not believe that you needed to know everything but you did need to know where to find the info, and quickly. So we implemented a library of product data, customer info and case studies by industry and by product. We also developed all this info electronically for the webpage. Software was also developed to enable the correct choice of material depending on the conditions, the environment & the temperature. Each employee was expected to have both the webpage & the software open at all times so as to have the info at their fingertips as soon as the phone rang.
- Training – we conducted training of all employees 18 weeks of the year for 1 hour a week. The subject and the teacher (being an employee) changed each week and at the end of the presentation there was a 20 question test to be completed. Subjects varied from product info to customer service to the Company Way (right down to scripts on the phone) and commercial acumen (explaining mark-up vs. gross profit for example). All employees were treated equally, even if you were the forklift driver you were still expected to understand how the business made a profit.
- Transparency – All job cards went thru the workshop showing the estimated cost of materials and labour, the sell price & the expected Gross Profit%.
- Incentive bonus scheme – After a qualifying period of 1 year all employees were entitled to an incentive bonus; sales reps did not get commission instead all employees shared a pool of profits if budgets were exceeded AND a minimum of 38% GP was achieved.
Now you can understand why everyone received extensive training in how profit was made and why job cards showed the profit to be made; it worked!
- 8 Simple Tips for a Happier Workplace (thebizparlor.wordpress.com)
- ‘Proof’ That Culture Is A Key Factor For Business Success! (customerthink.com)
- The motivations to work (createleadsolve.wordpress.com)