Creating and maintaining a company culture that matches the owner’s basic philosophy is hugely important to maintaining a successful and profitable business. Almost every business was started by a founder who had a strong philosophy. The business naturally forms a philosophy and culture that is in line with the owner. If the company has been successful, chances are the culture was successful in the marketplace.
Unfortunately, as companies grow, often the culture takes on a life of its own, and morphs into something different than what the owner intended. This is a natural process that happens when you bring diverse personalities together. To keep the culture in line with the owner’s ideas, there has to be an active strategy from the owner that is ongoing.
I will use my company as an example. The most important philosophy I embrace is that we will always go above and beyond to service our customers. We not only want to do a good job, but we also want our customers to have a positive and joyful experience doing business with us. I am continually preaching things like; “put a smile on your face before you pick up the phone. Get back to customers within 60 minutes of the request for information, whether it be by phone or email. Never deal with a potentially negative situation by email, but instead pick up the phone or talk to them in person.”
I also look for articles that support these philosophies and distribute them to all my employees. When we have testimonials that come in where these types of attitudes are mentioned, I make sure to distribute that to all employees. I’m continually reinforcing that these philosophies are essential and that I expect my employees to operate in that manner. As a result, we have a company culture that pretty much runs that way at all levels.
Lastly, it is vital that you get rid of employees who refuse to adhere to your standards and philosophies. It is true that one bad apple can do much damage to both culture and attitudes. Don’t tolerate people that will not line up with your culture.