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4 Ways to Improve Corporate Culture at Your Facility

Is culture something you either have or don't have, or is it something that you can actively build? Both. For many individuals, corporate culture sounds like a very abstract, fluffy thing you use in Marketing and that's it. But truly successful companies make culture an integral part of their operations. If you’re interested in improving the company culture at your facility, it’s something that can be done; you just need to know how to go about it.

Author: Rebeca De Ojeda
Posted: Sep 8, 2017 8:00:00 PM
For starters, corporate culture should focus on the whole of the organization, and should be executed through the individuals that make up that whole. Here are three ways you can start improving the corporate culture at your facility today.

1. Ensure your culture is clearly defined.

Sure, we all have different backgrounds, tastes, and ideas – that is why a common definition of what attitudes and behaviors are acceptable will provide a blueprint for each person on how to make the right decisions during their workday. Of course, in order for this to happen, each individual must be able to understand what each value means. So, make sure they are not too complex for your team to understand, and also that the way they are written will resonate with the character of your organization.
For example, you may have two organizations that value quality of service. However, one of them is composed of academic scientists, whereas the other one is composed of car mechanics. The former might describe quality of service as "a feat of impeccable execution for the annals" but the latter might describe it as "a service so good, you'll want to write home about it." Nailing the right vocabulary and tone is just as important as the meaning behind the words.
A clear definition of your corporate company culture will not only allow existing team members to know what is expected of them, but will also provide a filter through which you can make hiring and firing decisions. This will ensure you’re building a team of people who already carry your values, and that you are rewarding behaviors that align with those values. 

2. Make values a part of daily activities.

Making values an institutional part of your facility’s daily activities will require intentional, specific actions – it can't simply be words on your website. In order to make those values stick, you must identify and actively implement things that will actively drive those values, including rewards, recognition, activities, vocabulary, etc.
Ask yourself, do your performance reviews rank achievements and behaviors that parallel your values? Do your incentive programs align? Your ongoing communication? A top-down approach can be useful in cases were there is a limitation to your ability to communicate across the ranks. However, the more company-wide activites you include, the greater cohesion you will achieve within your organization.

3. Align your values with customer values. 

Values are only useful as a strategic tool if they are aligned with what your customer "values," otherwise it's just a whimsical exercise. There is no such thing as an external set of value you advertise, and an internal set of values you talk about and practice. Make sure you take the time to review what your customers value most. Consider whether they’ve shared these values with you directly, they have them listed publicly, or their behavior indicates a clear direction. Then take a look at your own company values, and ensure both are aligned.
Does this mean you should have a different set of values for each customer? Absolutely not. This means that if you're looking at a specific customer segment that values capabilities that conflict with yours, you might reconsider whether this is a customer you can adequately serve. More often than not, these are the most difficult, and hence unprofitable, customer segments. The better you know your target customer, the better you'll be able to build an organization that is cohesive, organized and, of course, profitable. 

4. Hire vendors that share your values.

Any time a third party is involved in your operations, there is a degree of risk in conflicting behaviors. A vendor that does something that goes against what your customer believes is right can put your brand at risk. That is why your vendor vetting process should include a cultural fit assessment.
When it comes to outsourcing, it’s important that you hire and partner with vendors that share your company’s values (and therefore your customer’s values as well). This will make onboarding and training easier, and will allow your relationship to function much more as two partners than the hiring party and the vendor. This will also allow you to act as one team and work in alignment towards similar goals.

In Summary 

Corporate culture isn’t strictly nature vs. nurture. Yes, it helps if you already have a strong foundation, but that doesn’t mean your culture can’t evolve and improve. Culture is something your organization should live and breathe throughout each segment and each team member. It should be clear, cohesive and actionable. Each person needs to buy into it and each leader within the organization needs to actively drive it. It may require some effort initially, but once it's a truly engrained foundation, it should seem as natural as breathing.

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4 Ways to Improve Corporate Culture at Your Facility

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Author: Rebeca De Ojeda
Posted: Sep 8, 2017 8:00:00 PM
For starters, corporate culture should focus on the whole of the organization, and should be executed through the individuals that make up that whole. Here are three ways you can start improving the corporate culture at your facility today.

1. Ensure your culture is clearly defined.

Sure, we all have different backgrounds, tastes, and ideas – that is why a common definition of what attitudes and behaviors are acceptable will provide a blueprint for each person on how to make the right decisions during their workday. Of course, in order for this to happen, each individual must be able to understand what each value means. So, make sure they are not too complex for your team to understand, and also that the way they are written will resonate with the character of your organization.
For example, you may have two organizations that value quality of service. However, one of them is composed of academic scientists, whereas the other one is composed of car mechanics. The former might describe quality of service as "a feat of impeccable execution for the annals" but the latter might describe it as "a service so good, you'll want to write home about it." Nailing the right vocabulary and tone is just as important as the meaning behind the words.
A clear definition of your corporate company culture will not only allow existing team members to know what is expected of them, but will also provide a filter through which you can make hiring and firing decisions. This will ensure you’re building a team of people who already carry your values, and that you are rewarding behaviors that align with those values. 

2. Make values a part of daily activities.

Making values an institutional part of your facility’s daily activities will require intentional, specific actions – it can't simply be words on your website. In order to make those values stick, you must identify and actively implement things that will actively drive those values, including rewards, recognition, activities, vocabulary, etc.
Ask yourself, do your performance reviews rank achievements and behaviors that parallel your values? Do your incentive programs align? Your ongoing communication? A top-down approach can be useful in cases were there is a limitation to your ability to communicate across the ranks. However, the more company-wide activites you include, the greater cohesion you will achieve within your organization.

3. Align your values with customer values. 

Values are only useful as a strategic tool if they are aligned with what your customer "values," otherwise it's just a whimsical exercise. There is no such thing as an external set of value you advertise, and an internal set of values you talk about and practice. Make sure you take the time to review what your customers value most. Consider whether they’ve shared these values with you directly, they have them listed publicly, or their behavior indicates a clear direction. Then take a look at your own company values, and ensure both are aligned.
Does this mean you should have a different set of values for each customer? Absolutely not. This means that if you're looking at a specific customer segment that values capabilities that conflict with yours, you might reconsider whether this is a customer you can adequately serve. More often than not, these are the most difficult, and hence unprofitable, customer segments. The better you know your target customer, the better you'll be able to build an organization that is cohesive, organized and, of course, profitable. 

4. Hire vendors that share your values.

Any time a third party is involved in your operations, there is a degree of risk in conflicting behaviors. A vendor that does something that goes against what your customer believes is right can put your brand at risk. That is why your vendor vetting process should include a cultural fit assessment.
When it comes to outsourcing, it’s important that you hire and partner with vendors that share your company’s values (and therefore your customer’s values as well). This will make onboarding and training easier, and will allow your relationship to function much more as two partners than the hiring party and the vendor. This will also allow you to act as one team and work in alignment towards similar goals.

In Summary 

Corporate culture isn’t strictly nature vs. nurture. Yes, it helps if you already have a strong foundation, but that doesn’t mean your culture can’t evolve and improve. Culture is something your organization should live and breathe throughout each segment and each team member. It should be clear, cohesive and actionable. Each person needs to buy into it and each leader within the organization needs to actively drive it. It may require some effort initially, but once it's a truly engrained foundation, it should seem as natural as breathing.

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