Creating an organizational culture where first and foremost people feel valued is one of the keys to overall businesses success. Happy employees take better care of their customers. This was one of the central themes of our most recent training led by Donna Kirby, Pensacola Blue Wahoos Vice President of Operational Development.
Kirby knocked it out of the park at the training session, “Harnessing the Power of Exemplary Customer Service,” on June 23, at the Pensacola Little Theatre. More than 100 people from a cross section of business, civic and community organizations attended the session and rated it 9.5 out of 10 for overall value. Kirby was given a 9.8 out of 10, the highest rating yet for one of our speakers.
One attendee commented, “Great information, I’ve learned a lot of valuable information that I will be able to take back to my organization.” Another said, “Awesome seminar. It was efficient, informational and liked the table discussion aspects. Thank you.”
Kirby emphasized the importance of starting at the recruiting process and hiring on values. The best employees and leaders are clear about their values and live the shared values and goals of the organizational culture. Yet there is still a perception that people development is the soft stuff and valuing employees is fluffy.
In a study conducted by the Wall Street Journal in partnership with Wells Fargo, only 31 percent of respondents believed that their company had a healthy corporate culture. According to the “Culture Quanitified” survey, which analyzed the perception of 725 respondents, employees more readily embrace and “live” their company culture when they feel valued.
Some key takeaways from the study:
- 60 percent of those surveyed said leadership is an influential force is the dissemination of culture.
- Companies that emphasize collaboration are most effective at driving their culture throughout the organization, according to the Culture Quantified survey.
- A shared set of values breaks down silos.
- Specific types of cultures can impact long-term performance: Revenue growth in companies with cultures that strongly valued customers, stockholders and employees and leadership from managers at all levels grew an average of 682 percent, compared with 166 percent for firms that did not. The difference in stock appreciation over the same period was even greater: 901 percent for the former, compared with 74 percent for the latter.
- An elevated customer experience stems from cultures where employees have a shared mission and sense of purpose and are passionate about what they’re doing.
- As human beings, we all seek to be associated with something that has a greater purpose.
- For employees to internalize that purpose, values have to be more actionable than a poster on the wall.
- The key to making culture “sticky” is sharing a clearly articulated vision, which is consistently communicated at all levels of the organization.
- Creating a happier, enjoyable work environment is more significant than some may think.
- Internal morale was considered the single greatest outcome that culture could produce, outranking productivity, revenue or talent acquisition and retention.
- Happy employees take better care of the customer — you can operate a business based on love and care and in the end, not only is it profitable, but all of our stakeholders can thrive.
So, it’s not necessarily what a company achieves that makes it great, but how they achieve it. Employees need to be developed, valued and know that they are doing worthwhile work and making a difference.