Company Culture: What’s Your Game Plan

Do you know your company’s culture?  Is it a game plan for success?

Vince-Lombardi-Teaches-St-007If the answer to your first question is “Our company doesn’t have a culture,” then consider this: whether company does or doesn’t have an organized culture, there is a company culture.  That type of culture has a staff that does to work everyday and “wings it.”

A football team doesn’t just go onto a field and “wing it,” they come up with a game plan.  Successful teams create a strategy to win time and time again.  The strategy is based around an overall culture.  Should businesses be any different?

Vince Lombardi, one of the most successful NFL coaches, had a quote that summed up the culture he built with the Packers.

Build for your team a feeling of oneness, of dependence upon one another and of strength to be derived by unity.

A company’s culture should focus on growing business while fostering a positive and motivating work environment for the staff.

Drawing Up Plays

game-planOnce a company decides what its culture should be, it needs to create a game plan that supports the culture.  A game plan can consist of different components ranging from vision/mission statements, company values, and action plans (both short-term and long-term).

Football is no different, once a culture is decided, a team creates plays that mesh with the culture.

Playing Offense: Sales and Service

In football, you got to score points to win games.  In business, you got to close sales and keep customers to stay alive.

A strong offense requires a football team to establish a strong running game.  When a team has a successful running game, it opens up passing plays and allows an offense to run on all cylinders.

How does this translate to business?  Think of the running game and passing game as sales and customer service.

  • If customer service is lacking, then the moment a your company earns a new customer by closing a sales deal, the customer will be lost due to poor service.
  • If your company gives great customer service, but never ask for new business, then your company cannot grow and be profitable.

Successful companies know that customer service and sales goes hand in hand.  Since all businesses and people are created differently, you first need to know what your customer base looks for in great customer service.  Once you find that out, you can draw up strategies focused around that and tie it back in to your company culture.

Playing Defense: Operational Support

Depending on the size of your company, there may be certain members of the staff that doesn’t interact with customers on a regular basis.  In a way this section of you company are your defensive players.

  • Accounting Department: Watching what the company purchases while making sure the company is in the black instead of in the red.
  • I.T. Department: Protecting the company from viruses and providing strong computer networking infrastructures.
  • Human Resources: Making sure your staff is properly prepared to provide customer service.

Though these departments don’t interact with customers directly, it is important that they understand the company’s culture and more importantly how their departments contribute to growth of the company.

Motivating Your Team

Lombardi with TeamCoach Lombardi was a strategist, but also understood the importance of motivation.

Coaches who can outline plays on a black board are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside their player and motivate.

Your company can have the best products and services in your industry, but if you do not have a motivated staff, your company is worthless.  Motivating a team takes communication and accountability.

Communication

In order to motivate your team, you have to communicate with them.  Communication isn’t just telling them what their goals are and waiting for them to come to you.  It takes a little more than that.

  • What motivates your team? Find out what motivates your staff.  In order to do this, you have to open up and listen to them.
  • Set goals.  Set appropriate goals that align with your company’s culture and reward your staff based on their motivation factors.

Once you have established these two points, you can then continue motivating by creating an environment based on accountability.

Accountability

Holding a team accountable doesn’t mean only meeting with them when they fail.  An organization that excels in accountability provides a team with information on how to achieve, praises an individual or team when they succeed and coaches someone when they fall short.

  • Praise: Publicly acknowledging a job well done by tying it into the company’s culture and the individual’s motivational preference.
  • Coaching: Private session on how an event or project went, what went well and what could be improved.  The goal of this is to correct an issues may hurt future future performance.

When you are searching for ways to motivate and creating an environment of accountability, you have to walk a fine line.  For example, you cannot come across as a micro-manager to someone who does performs better with little supervision.  This creates a workplace that demotivates and possible leads to good people leaving your organization.

By combining effective communication with an accountability environment, you create a team that is empowered and capable of great performance.

Do you have a game wining company culture?  How do you provide great service to your customers while motivating your staff?

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About Jeremy M. Price
For twelve years, I had the pleasure of working in community banking. Starting in customer service, I worked my way up to a senior level marketing and human resources director. It was great leading teams that improved strategic initiatives including, but not limited to brand awareness, digital communication, employee development and product development. This experience has now led to an exciting role with CRS Data. As the Product Marketing Analyst, I am currently reviewing the company's banker suite product. This product is able to help community banks reach their fullest potential in real estate lending. I am extremely fortunate to share time with my son while enjoying life in East Tennessee. The two of us enjoy the views of the Smokey Mountains, eating good food and having fun. During my free time, I enjoy running races, traveling and listening to great live music.

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