How does creating a culture in the workplace translate to financial profit? While it’s sounds cool and hip to say we have a ‘great culture’ at our workplace, when it comes to brass tacks, brick and mortars need to make a profit. Work isn’t daycare or a place to be entertained, it’s a place to do business, create commerce, and to have a positive impact.
So how does creating a culture in the workplace translate to profit? What kind of culture would we create in order to accomplish this?
What the Heck is Culture Anyway?
Whether or not it’s been intentional, you have created a culture in your workplace. When I walk into businesses, I can tell (you can too!) if the culture is one that is driving business growth or one that is sucking the life out of it.
Being greeted with a hello indicates a very different culture than having to wait for a side conversation to end via text before I’m acknowledged. One is driving growth, the other is driving the business into the ground.
For example, my mother and I went to an Apple affiliate AT&T store to get her a phone. The young woman obviously had no training on service; no idea about helping to drive business growth. How could we tell? She kept her ear buds in, kept checking her phone during our conversation, and had almost no eye contact. She was clearly more interested in her phone than in the two very real customers right in front of her.
Employing people who drive business into the ground. Let’s not, shall we?
If I want to create a company culture that drives profit, I must begin by hiring the right person.
Step One: Law of Attraction
The person I’m looking to hire that will help my business grow is resourceful, has a positive attitude, a desire to grow and learn. I want that person who is excited about, and interested in, serving customers because customers are money!
How do I attract people with these qualities? The simplest answer is, don’t pick the lowest hanging fruit.
If I don’t want a bump on a log then I don’t hire the first warm body through my door. I set steps up in my hiring process that “test” for resourcefulness.
I make the application process interesting, engaging, and I use multiple steps. People who are motivated to find out information in order to answer questions on an application are naturally curious, naturally take initiative, they are resourceful. They’re “A-Players” (reference: Topgrading by Bradford Smart) Click HERE to buy his book.
People with this resourceful quality are going to be much more engaged at work. They’ll respond to training, goal setting, and learning. They’ll be motivated to improve and contribute to my business growth by helping to problem solve and innovate. These people are the employees that will act more like partners and drive business growth.
Want some fresh ideas on how to find these ‘A-Players’? Download your free guide, 15 Recruiting Strategies to Find Great Employees.
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The second strategy to increase employee retention is to make sure that your business has a plan for employee growth.
People are motivated in differing ways. If you don’t know how employees are individually motivated then you are doing them, and your business, a disservice. You might be wasting a lot of time and money with misguided kudos.
While some people are very motivated by pay, others are extremely motivated by being able to contribute and grow their skills. You won’t know unless you ask!
The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace is a fantastic book to get you started.
Step Two: Quality Training
A big mistake I see (and I’ve made) is thinking that new staff is going to ‘get it’ by osmosis. Owners have so much knowledge in our brain, so much experience, and so little time, that oft we do not take sufficient time to train. We need to train staff not only on how to do the ‘tasks’ (sell the phone, ring up the transaction, put in for time off, etc.) but we must train and equip them with customer service skills. Don’t take it for granted that people know how to greet customers. It needs to be taught and practiced.
Training is key when creating a company culture around service that drives business growth.
Training not only helps to make sure that the team and the company are on the same page, training is a key component to keeping those ‘A-Players’ motivated.
If we’re to reduce the high cost of turnover, we need to set up a training system that continues to motivate, educate, and challenge staff. Investing in staff training communicates that we really value staff not only as employees but as people. This creates a culture of learning, growth, and value.
Think about it, if your business offers you training and then asks for your input on that training, wouldn’t you feel valued and appreciated? You bet your boots you would! You’d feel even more like a partner who drives business growth if you see some of your ideas being put into practice. That’s creating a company culture that drives business growth.
This is the first job I’ve ever had as an adult where there was a unique and entertaining, non-cheezy video training course that actually got me engaged for a meeting that I actually wanted to attend, that got me even more interested and engaged, with and by a team of people who wanted me there as a human being and not as a disposable, forgettable mill-worker. I’m looking forward to all the future exercises and whatever else is thrown my way. Thanks Samantha!”
If you’ve not yet created training, there are many resources to pull from. Don’t let perfection stand in the way of progress. You can find training on YouTube, books, workshops, and courses.
If you have a brick-and-mortar business with front line staff, check out the Power of People course.
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Step Three: Continue to Cultivate Your Culture
Creating a positive company culture cannot stop at Onboarding. Things we continually emphasize are important to us. If I want to have healthy heart and lungs I get to workout consistently and continually – my whole life.
I met with a leader today who has a growing team of six employees. It’s time implement regularly scheduled staff meetings for sure! He was excited to meet with his team weekly to go over the new inventory and sales goals for the week. This is a perfect start! However, if we’re only focusing on sales goals then we’re communicating to staff that selling is the most important thing to do.
This particular leader is running a business that’s weighted heavily on interaction with the customer. We talked about the need to not only focus on the sales numbers each week but also the people skills needed to create those all important customer relationships.
If we were to ignore weekly staff training involving ‘people skills’ or ‘soft skills’, pretty soon the company culture he’s worked so hard to create would suffer.
If I want to create a culture that drives business growth then we must continually keep training and keeping top of mind the importance of customer service.
Implementing these three steps into your business practices will translate to increased employee retention, increased job satisfaction and productivity, and increased customer retention. You will create a culture in the workplace that fosters staff longevity! When you have staff that stick around, they’re better equipped to serve customers and create meaningful customer experiences. Your results will be increased sales, a robust business, and a happy, successful business owner. Hot damn!