Corporate culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company's employees and management interact and handle business – both inside and out. Most critically, this is very much about what the owner believes and the example he or she sets.
Here are three components to proactively building a conducive culture that will help your company gain a competitive edge.
1. The Necessity of a Vision, Mission and Values Statement. Everyone needs context for work, i.e. the long-term objective for the company. Given that objective, employees need to understand the value they provide to customers, when it needs to happen, along with the principles that control how tasks need to be performed.
Many companies that have a solid company culture built that culture proactively, on purpose. They focused on three key areas:
- Vision — provide a compelling picture of the future that will draw people to your company through an emotional connection
- Mission — outline your offer, which is the products and services plus the experience of doing business with you; this is the rational connection between the offer and the benefits customers receive
- Values — convey to customers, suppliers, investors and especially employees that how they perform matters; this defines the boundary between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.
2. You Cannot Manage What You Don’t Measure. Most consultants will tell you that creating or changing culture takes three to five years. We at GreenMark Consulting Group disagree. If you are clear on Vision, Mission and Values — and measure it — it can happen quickly. The challenge is designing the right metrics and then acting on the information that will make your desired culture a reality.
The easiest way to build metrics is to use the following formula: Customers demand Production built by Talent that creates Financial Performance.
- Customers – vision, mission, values directed at the customers experience
- Production – vision, mission, values directed at how work is performed
- Talent – vision, mission, values directed at how employees are treated
- Finance – vision, mission, values directed at compensation for success.
3. Rewards & Recognition: what you stroke is what you get. This is all about acting on information and consciously deciding what people receive recognition for. What you reward and punish communicates to employees the boundaries of acceptable behavior. If you want to shape the culture of a company, it starts with a set of operating principles and values, a method for collecting the information, and making sure it is a good deal for doing the right thing.
Once clarity has been provided on the direction and rules of the company and how it is measured, you can act using the following three concepts to create a reward and recognition structure that ensures doing the right thing is a good deal:
- Formal vs. Informal – formal rewards are company-wide and provide tangibles (money, time off, gift certificates, etc.) for behavior and/or results, whereas informal recognition is the use of praise for behavior and/or results and provided by immediate supervision
- Public vs. Private – use a public forum for rewards and private forum for punishment, part of this is understanding the individual – what is reward or punishment to them?
- Continuous vs. Intermittent – there should be a formal/continuous reward program to reinforce the right behaviors, and intermittent rewards and recognition to deal with behaviors on the spot. For instance, some companies will call attention fo a crew or employee when a client calls the office offering praise for something they did. Announcing this in a company meeting or posting in the shop can go a long, long way.
This is more difficult to tackle and we recommend you click GreenMark Consulting Group for how to set up effective Reward & Recognition processes.
In conclusion, you only have two choices in building your landscaping company: create the culture you need to ensure success, or let it happen by default. Make it clear, measure it, and then stroke it. If you follow this simple formula, you will own and manage a company that is respected and successful.
GreenMark Consulting Group's unique three-pronged approach to coaching appeals to landscape/snow companies of all shapes and sizes from around the country. Regardless of which phase your company is going through, GreenMark's offering of Business Toolkits & Virtual Coaching, Live Business Bootcamp Workshops, and Deep-Dive One-on-One Consulting can provide the insights and direction your company needs to thrive. Visit greenmarkgroup.com for more information.