I was talking with one of my coaching clients today about an opportunity he has to help develop a new company or new division of a current company. One of the big concerns he has had over the past few years is how his current company handles customer service.
As we continued talking it hit me that he now has the opportunity to create the customer experience he has been begging his current company to create. What an amazing opportunity: to be able to actually do what you know to be right; not just yourself, but to develop and cultivate a culture where those ideals are multiplied.
Sounds like a pipe dream, doesn’t it? For most people it is, but I know that he has the ability and support to do it!
So, how does a company create a culture?
Well, every company has a culture. The real question is: Is it a culture that:
- Increases customer satisfaction and loyalty
- Increases employee satisfaction and loyalty
- Focuses on bottom line numbers, or the development of their people
- Focuses on product/services they offer, or meeting the real needs of their customers
- Has processes in place to ensure the culture has a firm foundation, is duplicable and coachable
Most company and organizational cultures are based on the leadership, not on process. Because of this most company cultures are shaky and unpredictable, because you never know when a leader will be hired out from under you (or over you).
If you can not point to a concrete process that your company follows in the areas of: sales, service and leadership development, then the culture you have today may not last the next promotion list.
For a company culture to be stable and long lasting it must have:
- A simple, concrete process
- Commitment from the leadership that EVERYONE will use the process
- Accountability to ensure that the process is followed
- A process that can be easily duplicated after your current leadership retires or moves on
- A process that can be coached
Why are these so important for culture development and sustainability?
- Without a process your culture is dependent on each of your employees idea of customer service
- Without commitment from leadership it won’t be taken seriously
- Without accountability new efforts will quickly die
- If it’s not duplicable, as soon as the “cheer-leader” of the movement leaves, it leaves with them
- If manager’s aren’t coaching their people in the process, it won’t have daily application with the front line employees
Developing the right culture for your company not only takes time, but a commitment to the processes involved. If you are interested in creating a more consistent culture within your company, find a consultant or executive coach that has simple, duplicable, concrete processes to help you do that.