Human Resources Articles
Building the Right Company Culture
Written by James Garvin for Gaebler Ventures
We often hear so much about company culture, but many entrepreneurs tend to not put enough emphasis on building and fostering the right culture within their companies.
Gone are the days of 9-5 sitting at your cubicle and typewriter counting down the hours until the work day is over.
Today's employees demand and expect more from the company's that they put forth their daily grind. Rewarding employees with a winning corporate culture can be the difference between a successful or un-successful venture.
Employees are the foundation of your company and finding and keeping the right employees is as critical as any other factor for your company's success. Your employees have direct contact and influence over your customers and if you're employees are exhibiting the right attitudes directly with your customers; your customers will take notice.
Building a winning corporate culture is about freedom, individuality, and rewards. Employees want to make individual decisions, be rewarded for their contribution, and have the flexibility to do what they need to do. Empower your employees to make individual decisions when they are needed and you will find that you are able to run a more efficient organization that is focused on doing what's right not only for the customer, but for the business.
Some successful companies that have built enviable corporate cultures are Zappos.com (now part of Amazon) and Diapers.com. Zappos was built on service. Even their tagline, "Powered by Service" clearly delineates what Zappos' believes is critical to their success. Diapers.com allows their customer service to do things like send gift baskets to their loyal customers and allows employees the autonomy to do what it takes to make a customer happy. Providing a service like this allows your employees to feel better about fielding customer calls and complaints and provides them the sense of individual accomplish by being able to solve problems.
Using the proper metrics in your organization is one effective way to start building a winning culture. All too often, the only metric some companies use are revenue and sales numbers, but this doesn't directly impact your customer service reps or your operations team. Customer satisfaction metrics may be a more relevant metric to use to reward your customer service team. After all, happy customers are your best customers. Efficiency and cost-savings are good metrics to use to reward your operations team. If individuals come up with cost-saving measures, that individual should be rightfully rewarded. Invite your employees to solicit ideas on how to improve areas and functions within the business and ensure that the right reward system is in place to bring those ideas forward.
You can use the following four factors to decide on how to best implement a rewarding and rich culture within your organization:
1. Autonomy - Allow individuals to make decisions when they are needed. Empower your employees.
2. Rewards - Create a proper metric and reward system where individuals and departments are rewarded for their specific and unique contributions.
3. Benefits - Providing benefits like health insurance, flex hours, and more are often times more important to employees than base pay.
4. Contribution - Enable employees to make individual contributions. Remove the classic informational ladder that exists in many corporations today. Make your employees feel that they are contributing to a great cause.
James Garvin began his education studying biotechnology. In recent years he has turned his interest in technology to helping two internet startup companies. The first business was an online personal financial network and the second was an e-marketing platform created to help entrepreneurs demo their web sites. Currently a student at University of California Davis, James is spending his summer incubating two new online businesses and writing about his entrepreneur experiences.
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