REFINING OUR BEHAVIORS IN 2022
I have been thinking about this topic a lot, lately: What defines company culture?
You may have heard the phrase, ‘drinking the Kool-Aid.’ It is a very true saying when it comes to culture…we can have values, process, people, systems…and they can all be working great. But without a defined culture, they may work but work ‘clunkily.’ There are many people who state that culture trumps strategy; this is true in many businesses, and it is very true in our business.
As CEO, one of my key roles is to make sure we have a culture that drives people to work within our systems and processes, and effectively with others. Think of the ‘C’ in CEO as the culture piece, the ‘E’ is for the Environment, and the ‘O’ is for the Opportunity that these two factors create.
Why does culture matter? Culture is what really sets us apart from the competition. There are many that can build electrical work and there are many that builds the same work, but where we have advantage is in how we do the same things that others do. This is the culture piece. It defines priori- ties, how we treat one another, and what is expected in the company.
When people gel into our culture, they thrive in our systems and processes. Many people have come and gone from the company and we have expanded into multiple states. This expansion can add strain to the culture and make things seem a little ‘wonky.’ Over these next 12 months, we are going to focus on sharpening the saw and getting everything working on all cylinders.
It is starting with our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, which ties in all the systems for one source of information. We like to refer to what we are doing this year as harmonizing everything.
Along with the systems, we want to make sure we refresh our behaviors that make up the culture of who we are and how we approach the world. This will not involve changing things; this is just simply stating what our behaviors will be which will make up the culture of the company. Over the next 12 months, we will start talking about these behaviors, so we can create awareness and foster acceptance from everyone. Like it says in the preceding quote, culture and our behaviors are made up of things from our past, where we are today, and where we want to be.
A company’s culture is a reflection of what an organization stands for, and as the voice of a business, the employees are key to ensuring that it succeeds. When a company provides a work environment that your staff enjoys spending time in, it can help to improve their performance each and every day.
So, what should we expect in the coming months?
In January, we are going to de- fine our key behaviors, starting with the original founders and down through the organization, which set us apart from the competition. Once we get the founders and Leadership Team to agree on the best definition of our behaviors, we will roll out one behavior per week, to the company, and start the discussions around them. This will help everyone understand what is acceptable/expected of each person in the company.
When we get everyone practicing these behaviors over the next year, we will really start creating momentum with respect to what differentiates us from other companies. Other people will be able to match our values, our systems, and our processes, but they will not be able to copy our behaviors.
These things – and more – we will focus on tackling together, in 2022 and beyond.
I’m excited for what we can do together! Stay tuned for more on these initiatives!