From the “great resignation” to the malaise of disengaged employees, establishing a strong company or organizational culture has never been more crucial. Investing in culture yields the highest of all returns.
To help business-to-education (B2E) leaders establish environments where all team members can thrive, author of The Culture Fix and founder of The Culture Fix Academy, Will Scott previewed key highlights from his new book, The Gift of Culture, in a recent CB&A Expert Series webinar.
“All organizations have a culture, whether it’s written or unwritten, defined or undefined,” Scott noted. “It’s that culture that ultimately determines: Do our employees want to stay and be loyal, or do they want to run and find [a job] somewhere else?”
A culture-first approach can solve many problems within an organization, Scott said, while also boosting profitability. Here are four key reasons why B2E companies should develop a strong organizational culture.
#1. Reduce staff turnover
COVID has led to widespread churn in the labor market, with a record number of U.S. employees quitting their jobs last year—a period known as the “Great Resignation.”
Scott cited data from a Gallup poll that indicated two-thirds of all employees are disengaged in the workplace. Another Gallup poll from this year revealed that as much as 50 percent of the workforce is actively searching for a new job. Having a strong organizational culture can prevent this attrition by ensuring that employees are happy and fulfilled.
Related resource: How to Improve Employee Engagement
“Caring about someone’s career and personal development. Caring about that mother who’s a coach and wants to be out on the field with her team at 4 p.m.: Can we accommodate her schedule? These are the things that really matter,” he said. “If we want to create a loyal, fulfilled and engaged workforce, then we need to [adopt] these kinds of caring leadership practices.”
#2. Spur better performance
Clear signs that you have culture issues in your company include a mass exodus of employees running out the door at five o’clock, a team that doesn’t share your passion or commitment to the company and an avoidance of difficult conversations. Having the right culture in place can solve all of these issues, leading to a stronger investment among employees and better job performance.
“Imagine the baggage that builds up when [employees] can’t step into those difficult conversations,” Scott said. This can be avoided with a culture that values openness, honesty and a commitment to the core mission.
#3. Deepen customer engagement
“Educators want to do business with companies that are committed to values matching their own”, notes Charlene Blohm, President and CEO at CB&A. “If your company clearly articulates and promotes its core values for everyone to see, you’re going to attract more prospects.”
And, if your customer service and sales reps also embody those values and reflect them in their daily business interactions, those prospects are likely to become loyal customers.
#4. Increase sales
In Scott’s former company, he and his colleagues not only defined their core values and behaviors but also gave them superhero personas. For instance, “Passionista” exudes passion and energy by living the company’s technology. For “Captain Client,” the customer always comes first. “Danny Deliver” always follows through.
“Before long,” Scott recalled, “employees would just say, ‘Hey, where’s the Passionista in you?’ Or, if it was five o’clock and you were leaving when the job wasn’t done, ‘Danny Deliver wouldn’t do that.’”
By emphasizing culture and putting the needs of people first, Scott’s company saw sales take off—resulting in a 650% increase in revenue over a six-year period.
“This idea of culture is not just touchy-feely stuff. It extends to the real numbers and performance of the organization,” Scott shared. “Investing in culture doesn’t cost much, but the return is enormous. It’s the greatest ROI that any leader can get.”
To hear Scott’s advice about how to develop a strong organizational culture, you can watch the full webinar here.