Why is Culture Important?

I think when most leaders hear the word “culture” they immediately think about having to create a fun place for people to work. A casual workplace, filled with fluffy furniture, free food, and recreational games resembling Dave & Buster’s, which, in their minds, just leads to more overhead and distractions and less overall productivity. Even though most of these ideas are not what culture is truly about, it is still a common misconception.

A great culture is often the “secret sauce” of a highly successful organization.

It attracts talent, impacts happiness and fulfillment of the team members, drives engagement between the leadership and employees, and influences overall performance. I’m convinced that without a great culture, our organizations will lose momentum, talent, and profit; get beat by our competition; and lose market share.
It’s important to understand that your current culture is a result of what you have created or allowed. You can build the culture you want in your organization and, if necessary, begin to prune, nurture, and correct the one you have now to create an environment you can be proud of.
You may be thinking, This sounds like a lot of work! It’s going to take a lot of my time, which is already in short supply. Your assessment is correct. And I bet you’re also asking yourself, Is it really worth it?
Listen, from an economic standpoint alone it just simply makes good sense, because organizations with great cultures have a more profitable bottom line. In the same way that a healthy culture in the workplace impacts your employees for the better in personal aspects of their lives, it also nurtures a strong competitive advantage by providing your customers amazing customer experiences worth talking about.
Think about what motivational speaker and author Zig Ziglar said:

“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”

In the arena of customer service, this is true because satisfied customers who get what they want and need from you will tell their friends and families all about it, strengthening your reputation and increasing the demand for your business. And team members who want to be part of your organization are much more likely to produce this result, because your customers experience your culture every time they interact with your team.
On the other hand, if your team members don’t feel valued and cared for, they won’t value and take care of your customers. Because the way your team is treated is eventually the way your customers will be treated, too. The bottom line here is the customer’s experience will never be greater than your team members’ experience with your organization’s culture. So consider all of the time and effort you put into creating an amazing culture within your organization an investment that will reap great rewards that make it more than worth the process.
Together, we can leave a mark that can’t be erased.
Terry Gwaltney
Author, Culture-neer
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