I’ve led sales teams, run routes, worked for small and large companies in a variety of different industries. Something I have recently begun noticing and researching is company culture.
If you were to ask me five years ago how much company culture mattered, I would have said very little. I used to think if you paid your people they would show up and do their job.
I have learned through experience that while compensation will keep people coming to work, culture will get their best work.
My previous work environment was pretty intense – a lot of firedrills and last minute objectives to meet. I thrive in that kind of environment, so it was exciting for me. I was paid well and had excellent benefits.
The culture though wasn’t strong. There were very few “company fans” and despite the salesforce being one of the best compensated in the industry, morale was lacking.
I wanted something different. I wanted something I could rally behind. I wanted to be a part of more than a strong sales performance. Thus began my interest in company culture.
Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast
Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why speaks to audiences around the world about finding the true reasons behind behavior, obviously leading to several discussions on company culture.
The key to a strong company culture is first having a strong company purpose. Shareholder return is not a strong why. Year end bonuses, monthly bonuses, pay increases – these are not “why”. Watch the five minute video below to inspire you to find your why and see if you can find your company’s why.
What is my why? The purpose of these posts is for me to find some clarity in my life, in the balance of work and family. The reason I share it is because there might be someone else interested in exploring the same in themselves or their company.
My why is my family. Why earn more money? To spend more time with and create more experiences for my kids. Why volunteer as a Cub Master? To make a mark on our next generation and teach responsibility and resiliency.
For the first time in my professional career, the why for my company is the most crystallized and transparent lesson taught to not just its leaders but its clients and all employees. Our why at Beyond is about Giving Back.
Imagine a company built around building up its employee-owners and providing debt-free education to those who need it most. Imagine being a part of that? I did and I am.