Have you ever called a customer support line and had a horrible experience with the employee on the other end of the phone? I bet you hung up and thought, “That person is bad at their job and clearly doesn’t care what I think about their company.” This sentiment holds some truth. The foundation of company culture is built on employee engagement – and culture drives performance.
Last week, I was at a restaurant with my wife and our server was one of the best, most engaged servers I’ve ever seen. She was quick, observant and talkative. Near the end of the meal I said to her, “I’m so impressed with this place. I love the food and everything else about it.” Her response? “Oh I know! I am so lucky to be working here. I love this place, too.”
At first I was surprised by her enthusiasm for her company, but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Her love of the company made her excel at her job. She believed in what the company stood for and how it conducted its business, and it showed through in the service she provided.
If employees are fulfilled and engaged in their daily work, it is evident in the culture everywhere, from the boardroom to the break room. Employees who care about the company also care about the perception of the company. If they care about the perception of the company, they will do everything within their power to protect the company’s reputation. The good news for those employees? They don’t have to do “everything” within their power, they only have to perform their role within that organization to the best of their ability.
So how can company leaders encourage this sort of behavior in their employees? Define your company values and make sure they are appropriate and meaningful. That means not only talking about them, but living them. Make sure you hire and fire employees in accordance to the company values. In the end, you will be left with a company full of engaged employees who believe in the vision of the company, try their best to live the values of the organization and work hard because they want the company to be seen as successful. What more could you ask for?
What is your organization’s strategy for building your best culture?
Chris Dardis is vice president of HR recruiting at Versique Executive Search and Consulting. He has more than 10 years of recruiting and consulting experience and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.