Company culture is one of the traits I look at in businesses, especially the place I’ve worked in and church organizations I’ve been involved with. As I continue to develop my growth each and every day, I’ve observed how company culture is different in many places. I see it as how it shapes the place and how people interact with each other. It’s the vibe you feel as soon as you walk into their space and the culture truly affects those involved around it. If someone were to ask you to define your company’s culture in two words, what would it be? Commitment and quality, engagement and energetic, honest and reasonable, these are a few examples. But what is it really?
I’ve read several great book by authors that talk on the issue of company culture and after reflecting on them all, I’ve applied and listed three keys that make a company’s culture. Note that you may or may not agree with it, so your opinions are appreciated, but the following are:
This is one of the biggest keys I’ve seen pop up when someone determines how the culture is shaped. Picture in your head that someone comes up to you and asks, “What is it that your company values?” Maybe it’s already happened, so what was your response? Sometimes we even have to pause and think because we’re not sure what the company really values the most. Do they value their customers? Work quality? Team-members? Their vision? And I know perhaps in church, those attending would come with the response that they value God, but excluding Him, what else do they value that makes their culture in the organization so great?
I believe we should value each other. I remember one of the first jobs I had, the values in putting customers first was great, but there was little to no value in the members bonding together. It was laid back but no one was putting as much time getting to know each other. The only way you’d get them talking was if you walked by coincidentally or if I needed them for help with a task. During lunch it felt awkward, everyone grabbing their meals in the kitchen and going their separate ways. The only ones staying there would be the ones having no where else to go and casually watch television. Having a decent conversation would be two people, and these two obviously are the only two connected well. And now I’m asking myself why didn’t they valued each other more as a team? The result was the leader. Sure we had a manager, but what I saw in the manager, I saw in the leader as well. Both weren’t fully engaged with the team. The leader is what determines this value.
There were problems. It was disorganized and the blame game would occur often. The manager would come late and didn’t know what was going on. The leader was unheard of. The only time you got to have a talk with him was at the time of being hired or doing overtime and seeing him leave. Other than that, he’d come in around the afternoon, waive at you and head upstairs to his office. That was it! So did that same quality transition unto team?
I felt bad with what was going on with this new team-member we had. We didn’t know his name because he didn’t get the proper introduction at the time because of our hectic work schedule. We only found out who he was by another member stumbling upon knowing his name. The guy was quiet, but he seemed hard working and getting by. There was a day that a tragic event occurred involving his wife. We all were called into the manager’s office. He gave out the situation and what could be done to help, but the faces on everyone seemed clueless on who he was. They called for a small charitable donation, and looking back now, I’m not sure if he received a good amount. Wherever this guy is now, I hope him and his family are blessed and doing well.
Why are values needed in being part of a great company culture? How does the leader affect it? As I mentioned, the leader was hardly to be found. Very friendly but had no involvement with the team and felt as if we were all partially abandoned. We were all very skilled at what we did, but weak bonding as a team. We needed to be improved.
I will break this down into two posts for you readers. Company culture on vision and investment you can expect for Friday. Until then some questions for you to think about are in simple words describe your company’s culture? What do they value the most and value the least? What are ways you think it can improve?