Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Corporate Culture Matters!!!

Corporate culture matters!

The business world has had some tough times over the past year, and many companies have had to make tough decisions in regards to their employees, benefits, spending, etc... All of the hard choices have had an impact on corporate culture.

If the culture in your company has gone sour, you can be sure of one thing: As soon as the job market opens up again (and it will happen), there will be a mass exodus out of your office. Just because your best employees are showing up everyday does not mean that you have not already lost them.

I talked with someone this week whom was worried that there are too many "behind closed door" meetings between his employees. He wants to believe that people like working in his company, but the reality is that the once good culture has evaporated with the economic conditions and severe changes they have had to make in the business.

Taking action now is the only remedy. While the government and the media are singing the chorus of "the end of the recession", the trickle down effect will take a while to reach small and mid-sized business. The longer you ignore the problems in your culture, the harder you will be slapped once your employees and co-workers have other options.

The solution is to empower your people to be the solution. There is no magic dust that fixes culture issues, but honest and open discussions are the answer to secret chats that your people might be having behind your back.

Network inside your company. If you spend all your time focusing on developing relationships with clients, prospects and referral sources.... but never grab a beer with your people, then you have no culture. Take advantage of the holidays and instead of canceling the company holiday party or scaling it back, host a pot-luck in the home of one the organizations executives. Having people come together, especially inside someone's house, helps creates bonds that help overcome all the B.S. that comes with the economic roller coaster.

Take the time to make an effort, or pay the price later!

Have A Great Day.



Unknown said...

Thom, very good point. We are people. We need to communicate. We need to have safe ways to reach out. And we need reassurance (as much as possible) that everything will work out. Companies that recognize and nurture that now will be poised for success when their employees feel better about the economy.

myerman said...

Very good point, Thom. It's important to note that this kind of thing happens during boom times too. Back at the tail end of the 1990s dot-com boom, when things were still going fairly well, the meetings had already begun "behind closed doors." Many of us were burned out, overused, and chewed up, and were already plotting how to spend the next 3-5 years of our professional lives.

Looking back, I find it interesting that most (if not all) of the folks who I conspired with are still within my innermost circle of trust.