Culture is a popular buzzword going among businesses these days. We are one of the biggest users of the word, no doubt! Our culture is something we hold high and have worked hard to cultivate. So what is culture and how do you create it?
A good company culture isn’t just a group of people who come to the same building every day, work towards the same goals, and “mostly” like each other- it’s much deeper than that. Culture is created through core beliefs and behaviors that those who work for and with the company believe in. We call them our Core Values, and we have twelve (12) that really describe our culture to its fullest. Those who believe in those values and live them out every single day make the best employees. Those who don’t usually vote themselves off the island. When you have a strong culture, it runs deep through the veins of your employees and they don’t “mostly” like their coworkers, they love them.
We are involved in sports, so we use that to help describe a lot of things in business. Sports are perfect when describing cultures. Think of all the organizations out there that have created a losing culture. Each year they are at the bottom of the season-ending rankings and often, they are the ones with high turnover, lack of cohesion, players airing out dirty laundry with the press or on social media, etc. While this is a culture, it’s not the one you want. When you don’t have values that you all believe in and losing starts to become the norm, the players, coaches, front office and fans start to accept losing. Players start not caring that they just got blown out by 10 runs and go on to the next game like it’s no big deal. Front office personnel start losing sight of the fan experience. When losing is the most cohesive part of your culture, you aren’t left with much.
On the flip side, think of all the teams that are always in the hunt for a championship. They have the same faces year-after-year and seemingly have fun doing their job. They don’t go to the media when they have an issue. They, instead, talk about it among teammates and staff. These are the same teams that rely on a set of values to draft players, cut players, create a fan experience, and to put a winning product on the field. We’ve seen it happen so many times when a team brings in someone who isn’t an exact culture fit; it almost never fails that we soon see that player cut from the team. One bad hire can ruin the culture you have spent so much time creating.
There isn’t one type of culture that is right for everyone. Each business needs to create values that will lead to the creation of the culture they want. Each company has their own culture that they create, but the ones who have strong cultures have a few things in common. Next time you are at a company, check for a few of these things to test the strength of the culture:
Lots of smiles
Consistency (using the same lingo or giving the same facts about the company)
There will be stumbling blocks along the way but cultivating a culture is a long play. You aren’t going to do it overnight, but when you do, you have the chance to not only make your business a success but to also positively impact the lives of so many employees and families along the way!
Learn more about the 12 Core Values that make up Pro Athlete here!