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Does a positive employee culture mean success for your business?

“Until I came to IBM, I probably would have told you that culture was just one among several important elements in any organization's makeup and success — along with vision, strategy, marketing, financials, and the like... I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn't just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.”

Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Former CEO of IBM

If you haven’t witnessed or experienced the impact and benefits of a great company culture it may be difficult to rate it as a top business priority. Since the early 2000’s more and more companies have begun to focus in on improving the employee experience to embed a more positive and supportive culture. Companies just like IBM.

Companies who support and embrace the value of a great culture ensure their environment is made up of lived values or qualities from the people in that business. These values are setting a standard to which people will work to, a measure to which they will hold themselves to account and an identity to attract more of these values and individual behaviours that will be called out as a requirement to run that business and achieve it’s success.

Simply having nicely worded values for your business and having nice physical perks for your employees such as fancy coffee machines or recreational areas are not enough to embed those written values and translate them into a positive work culture. We can look back at the extreme version of values gone wrong and remind ourselves of what values Enron stated for themselves:

Respect – Integrity - Communication – Excellence

Imagine if the people in that business had actually lived those values!!!! What the example of Enron shows us is that nice catchy words on their own are not values. Whatever values you chose for your business they need to be lived. You need to see them in how people treat each other and your customers. You need to see them in how your people react, collaborate and adapt.

While here at The Kaiser Agency we are firm believers in the value-add the right culture and environment can bring to a business, it is important to note the practical understanding of values and culture. The goal of happier employees is great BUT those happier employees need to be able to positively contribute to the business by adding value in every sense of the word. So when you see references to “happier at work” or a “positive employee experience” know that it must align with the vision for the business.

Whether you are in the business of providing customised recycling solutions, the best menswear experience or customised wealth solutions you need to decide the behaviours you want from your people in order to deliver the best version of your product or service. What behaviours will make your customer say “You are the best at what you do” and “You are the best in how you do it”, “That’s why we come to you”, That’s why we will be back to you” and “That’s why we will recommend others to come to you”.

Values are the foundation of creating your business culture and if you use them as your North Star for making decisions you will embed them and create a positive environment where employees can thrive as well as your business.

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