I attended a great seminar put on by the Dallas Business Journal last month. It was on leadership and the guest speaker was Paul Spiegelman, the CEO of The Beryl Companies and one of the founders of Small Giants, a community of members, “who define success by not only their bottom line, but by their contributions to their community, dedication to great customer service and the creation and preservation of workplace cultures of excellence.” In his speech he outlined his 10 c’s of culture and how they are important to the workplace environment. I found the 10 c’s a good fit for my organization and what it is we are trying to create at Networking Results.
1. Core Values
Recently in our Net Res Culture Club, we tailored a lunch and learn around this very topic. I wanted to know what was most important to the organization. It was a beneficial meeting to assess what we as an organization hold up to be important and it certainly gave us all an opportunity to discuss these values.
The number one answer we get from our employees when we ask them why they choose to work at Net Res is overwhelmingly that they love working with their colleagues. We have a great group of employees who genuinely care about each other and want to help each other out. We work hard to plan something each month for the employees so we can spend time together and strengthen our relationships.
We are working on celebrating every success, big or small. We have a yearly client appreciation event to celebrate our clients and our commitment to them. We are in process of implementing an employee recognition plan as well. There were tons of clever ideas presented at the conference on how to recognize outstanding contributions by employees.
This is certainly one big idea that I hope we are known for and respected for. This year we, along with many other corporate sponsors, completed the Mission Arlington makeover dedicating time and resources to overhauling their technology systems. We are about to embark on a food drive for the Thanksgiving holiday as well as dedicating our time to Mission Arlington during the Christmas Season. Last Christmas we were able to give back to Opportunities International, a non-profit providing microfinance loans to over 4 million people working their way out of poverty in the developing world.
We are learning that communication is everything. Not only do we need to communicate with our clients, but we must communicate with employees. I have a weekly update that goes out every Tuesday that has coming events, celebrations of birthdays and anniversaries, news from the week, and a section about the customer experience. It is a great tool to communicate with the employees and give them a heads up about what may be coming or reminding them about our current initiatives. We also have a monthly all-hands meeting where we can talk and share about important events or initiatives.
We genuinely care about one another. I hold my employees as dear as my family. I am so fortunate to have a group that cares about the well-being of each other and about what is going on in each other’s lives.
7. Commitment to Learning
Paul Spiegelman talked about providing training, education, tools needed to succeed and book clubs. We have just started a new book club centered on personal growth and development. We are reading The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason. I am excited to see how the first meeting goes, but I am more excited that this was completely employee driven and the response was extremely positive.
This certainly takes years to develop but I hope we are on the right track. Creating traditions helps in this. We just celebrated our 2nd annual chili cook-off, and I have tried to be committed to my weekly updates (I did miss one this year). I have tried to ensure that all initiatives are kept on top of mind. It is not easy. It is time consuming, but I want to be trustworthy and I want to ensure that if I make a plan, I stick to it.
This one is easy. I just read a resume where the candidate said he practiced two ears and one mouth. Listening much more than talking. I liked that. I think it is easy to connect when we truly listen to the needs of our customers and employees.
This is our history. We are adding this element to our new employee on boarding process. I think it is important that all employees know our story. I haven’t done this in the past, but am hoping to make this an important element of our culture.
We have a long ways to go and company culture is such an ever evolving process. We are striving to make a difference in the lives of our employees, their families, the community, and our clients. It is an exciting journey that makes everything worthwhile.