The culture of any company, be it a collection agency or a manufacturer of auto parts, may start with a mission statement and some posters on the wall, but executives need to realize that what truly determines whether an office is a fun and engaging place to work is significantly more than that.
A panel of collection agency executives shared their thoughts about how to build a great corporate culture during a webinar that was sponsored by Arbeit Software. Make no mistake — the culture of your office is having a profound impact on whether individuals choose to continue working at your company or whether they choose to leave for greener pastures.
A copy of the webinar recording can be accessed here:
The panelists for the webinar were:
- Cortney Fleming, Hiring & Training Manager, Wilber Group
- Kelli Kruger, Vice President – Organizational Development, The CBE Companies
- Kelly Parsons-O’Brien, Pacific Credit Services
The panelists did a great job of explaining the impact that a company’s culture has on its workforce, the importance of making sure all employees — including mid-level and senior-level executives — buy in and live a company’s culture when in the office, and how much little things — like gossip — can derail a company’s culture.
“Culture is a competitive differentiator,” Krueger said during the webinar. “It’s what makes people stay. Millennials are looking for a culture that fits their needs.
“People want to go to work where they feel like they are part of a community. It’s costly to hire people. Getting people to come to work is one thing. Getting them to become loyal employees is something entirely different.”
A company should think of its culture as the personality of the office, Parsons-O’Brien said. Nobody wants to work with someone who has a bad personality. And if an office has that kind of employee, it can drag down morale and productivity. At Pacific Credit Services, the company has developed 10 core values, which are placed on stickers around the office. The company’s employees gather every Monday morning for a weekly “huddle,” and they go through the values, such as “Deliver exceptional results,” Parsons-O’Brien said.
The huddle “sets the tone for our week,” she said. “Just having the stickers on the wall wasn’t enough.”
CBE Companies has its own set of core values, too, Krueger said. Those include mantras like “We are a learning organization.”
“The care values are our rules,” Krueger said. “Without rules, we’re a lawless society.”
To try and provide employees with a image instead of just a list, Wilber Group likens itself to a tree, Fleming said. The company’s core values are the roots. The tree’s trunk are the company’s operating principles. The branches are the collective behavior of everyone on the team. And the fruit borne by he tree is he collective results of the team’s activities, she said.
A company should work toward making its employees feel empowered, Fleming said.
“You already have a culture, whether you know it or not,” she said. “Culture needs to be talked about.”