workplace culture Archives - Striven

The Power of People-Focused Businesses

In today’s fast-paced business world, it can be easy to get caught up in pursuing profits and growth at all costs. However, an increasing number of successful companies are shifting their focus towards prioritizing their people—whether it is their employees, customers, or the wider community.

You would think this is likely a feel-good trend, but it has been proven that people-focused businesses can reap many tangible benefits. Here’s why it’s crucial to always put people first in business.

Why Businesses Should Put People First

A people-focused business highly values its customers’ and employees’ satisfaction. Companies like these prioritize human interactions and relationships over profits, recognizing that a positive work environment and customer experience are critical to long-term success.

Businesses that take a people-centric approach do this for several reasons. For one, a people-focused company leads to increased employee motivation and satisfaction. Employees are more likely to be productive and committed to their company’s success because they feel cared for and valued.

Putting people first also means customer relationships improve. Businesses prioritizing their customers’ needs create a positive customer experience, leading to repeat business in the long run.

Additionally, a people-focused culture presents a positive impact on the business itself. It’s the right thing to do because when you take care of your employees, they care for the customers. As a result, companies perform better financially and have the power to make a positive impact on society.

What You Need to Build a People-Focused Business

Building a people-focused business requires a deliberate approach. Here are the key elements you need to prioritize a people-centric culture.

A Clear Purpose and Values

In a McKinsey survey, about 82% of organizations stated that purpose is crucial, but only half said that pursuit led to impact. A clear goal aligning with the company’s core values is critical because it guides decision-making. It also shapes the overall direction of the business.

In the workplace, articulating the company’s purpose to stakeholders, investors, customers, and employees is crucial. That way, everyone is working towards the same goals.

Values are equally important when building a people-focused business. They should have a means of treating employees and customers respectfully, fairly, and compassionately. When developing company values to create a people-first culture, businesses should look for opportunities to put them into practice.

Overall, this allows everyone to have a system where you empower your people to participate in self-management. That way, employees put forth their best effort and energy into their productivity.

Strong Leadership

Company leaders are crucial to this aspect because they inspire and motivate employees to strive toward common goals. Therefore, strong leadership is essential for creating a people-first business culture. That’s because leaders can build trust and make tough decisions that prioritize long-term success over short-term profits.

Strong company leadership means leaders must lead by example, modeling the behavior they expect from others — and providing guidance and support to employees. Business leaders often forget these aspects because they focus too much on their overall responsibilities.

In fact, studies show that more responsibility changes the way you think, preventing you from paying attention to how your behavior can affect others. Yet, if you set goals for yourself, you can achieve higher greatness that leads you to make employees feel included.

By creating a culture of trust, respect, and collaboration, strong leaders can inspire workers to be productive and lead the company to ultimate success.

Customer and Employee-Centered Policies

A people-focused culture succeeds when businesses have policies centered around their customers and employees. Such policies should be grounded in all aspects of the company, from hiring practices to customer service.

With a customer-centered approach, companies must prioritize customer needs and satisfaction. They can achieve this by providing personalized attention, creating quality products or services and practicing business ethics. Placing the customer first means businesses build better customer relationships — increasing customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth advertising.

When creating employee-centered policies, consider focusing on their well-being and growth. These should include fair compensation, development opportunities and a positive workplace environment. In turn, businesses can improve their employees’ satisfaction and retain more workers successfully.

An Example of a People-Focused Business

One example of a people-focused workplace is Patagonia, an outdoor clothing and gear company. Patagonia strongly focuses on sustainability and environmentalism, which is reflected in its business practices and product offerings. However, it is also known for its employee-centric approach.

Patagonia offers its employees a range of benefits and perks, including on-site childcare, paid time off for environmental activism, and flexible work arrangements. It also pays its employees a fair wage and provides them with career growth and development opportunities.

In addition to its employee-focused approach, Patagonia prioritizes its customers’ needs. It offers a lifetime warranty on all its products and encourages customers to repair and reuse their gear instead of buying new products.

Overall, Patagonia’s people-focused approach has helped it build a loyal customer base and a strong reputation for sustainability and social responsibility. By prioritizing its employees and customers, Patagonia has created a positive work environment and a brand that resonates with consumers who value ethical and sustainable business practices.

Creating a Positive Impact Through the Power of People-Focused Businesses

People-focused businesses are more than profit-making machines. They put people first by focusing on the development and well-being of their stakeholders, including employees and customers. By prioritizing people within and outside the organization, you can create a culture that leads to immense growth and success.

Too many businesses are criticized for putting profits before people. However, emphasizing people-first culture can make your company a beacon of hope. You show that it is possible to be successful while making positive changes—and that a business’s greatest asset is its people.

How to Build a Better Construction Hiring Process

Typically, during periods of economic turmoil, the construction industry takes a hit. Fewer families take the plunge into home ownership, businesses halt their expansion efforts, and new projects hit the pause button. But this recent economic downturn has been anything but typical.

In terms of projects and revenue, the construction industry is in the midst of vast success. Large businesses such as Tesla, Oracle, and HPE are breaking new ground in Texas which could portend a large scale commercial migration out of densely populated—and more importantly, heavily taxed—areas, namely Silicon Valley. 

In terms of housing, many believe the next American housing boom is already underway. In July of 2020, new home sales surged 55%, largely in part due to the millennial generation entering the housing market for the first time. With some lending companies having their best fiscal year ever, many believe the wild events of 2020 have ushered in a new era for the construction industry.

Identifying The Problems

So this all sounds great, right? What could possibly be the problem?

The truth is, the number of qualified, capable adults in the construction industry is trending in the wrong direction, and has been for some time. Just like in most industries, the pandemic has underscored and exacerbated the severity of the problem. Older workers are seeking alternative employment over virus fears, and the pipeline bringing young, new workers into the industry is, for lack of a better phrase, running dry. 

To make matters worse, even if you hire someone with a superb skill set, keeping them under your employ throughout the slow winter months can often prove too costly for small businesses. Large companies can lure talent away, leaving you back where you started—frantically looking for the next candidate. This vicious cycle doesn’t have to last forever.

The construction industry isn’t for everyone, but with competitive pay and benefits in a country struggling to stay employed, opportunity is aplenty. Let’s take a look at how your business can keep up with demand by demanding the best out of your hiring process.

Invest in Recruitment

Your hiring process may still resemble how it looked in the early days of your business. Sure, technology has evolved, but the core tenets of how your organization has scoured for talent has essentially stayed the same. With material costs rising as much as 50% this year, it can feel difficult, and almost irresponsible, to justify a total revamping of any facet of your business—especially the hiring process. 

According to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), 81% of construction firms are reporting difficulty filling both salaried and hourly skilled labor positions. To make matters worse, 25% of firms surveyed said they “have not done anything” in terms of investing in the recruitment, training, and development of skilled workers.

So what can you do to buck this industry trend? To start, seek out organizations that look to lend a helping hand when it comes to procuring and training talent. 

Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC) offers education, hands-on training, and mentorship programs to both individuals and organizations. Similarly, many schools have increased their vocational training, providing viable alternatives to those not seeking to pursue a traditional collegiate education.

The point here? Look to invest in the services of organizations that are forward-thinking in their methods of attracting young talent. As you continue to grow your network and hiring pipeline, the goal is to position your business as the gold standard for what employees can expect in the construction industry. 

Competitive Pay & Custom Benefits

One way to hire great talent? Pay them—a lot. The good news here is that “a lot” may not actually be all that much, relatively speaking. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary in the construction industry is about 20% higher than the median salary for all jobs. 

Seemingly in a semi-permanent state of “under construction” since 1776, American construction workers have no shortage of hours—especially given that the coronavirus related project delays have begun to pick up steam again. 

Competitive pay and availability of hours are obviously huge variables that employees consider when seeking work. The other substantial piece of the financial hiring puzzle is your company’s ability to offer benefits. 

Employee benefits, on their own, are necessary. Most construction workers wouldn’t think of accepting an offer from a company that wasn’t able to them (especially health). One way to stand out? Offer benefit packages that are customizable. 

According to MetLife’s 15th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study, 74% of employees say that having the ability to customize benefits to meet their individual needs is important when exploring a new job opportunity. Enhanced benefit customization goes beyond attracting new talent—72% of employees say that loyalty to their current employer would increase if offered customizable benefits packages.

The Future Is Female

Throughout the hiring process—in pretty much every industry—a decent amount of pigeonholing takes place. Our hubris inhibits us from seeing that our process could be flawed. When we think we know exactly what we want, we put up our blinders and disregard whatever else may be in our path, even if that path is riddled with valuable, young talent. 

Now, don’t misconstrue the point here—confidence in your process is a positive trait. But when it comes to hiring, it’s important to keep an open mind, even if you think you’ve found “the one.” 

To start, there’s one major area that the construction industry is lacking in—the number of women in the field. In 2019, women comprised just 10.3% of the construction industry workforce. While this number represented an uptick of .04% compared to the previous year, it is still a far cry from equality.

It’s certainly not fair to assume that construction companies turn away women—that’s far from the case. The issue begins much earlier, and is much more innocuous. Young women simply don’t seek careers in construction. Organizations such as the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) are looking to change that. 

In the short term, they aim to be a viable resource that any woman interested in construction or contracting can turn to. Whether it be for education, networking, or career development, they seek to empower women in a field dominated by men. In the long term, they hope to make the current “boy’s club” of the construction industry a thing of the past. 

Enlist Construction ERP Software 

A plan is just a plan without the proper tools to see it through. When it comes to the jobsite, you know exactly what tools you need. But when it comes to the hiring process, do you know what should be in your toolbox?

Like everything else, it starts with organization. Between material costs, subcontractors, and winning bids, there’s a lot to think about before the thought of hiring is even mentioned. One of the most crucial assets you need to keep organized? Your list of desired candidates that you weren’t able to hire previously. Construction ERP software can manage all of this and more for your business.

Whether it was a down year, the offseason, or you simply didn’t have the payroll, there’s likely some candidates that you saw joining your business down the line. Too many times have those high quality job leads slipped through the cracks, getting lost in the shuffle over the years while their application gathered dust. Keep their resume, your notes about them, and all of their pertinent certifications in the same place the rest of your business runs.

While your new hires don’t necessarily need access to all of your business’s silos right away, it would make sense for all of your new and potential employees’ information to operate in the same space that the rest of your business does. 

This type of all-in-one platform improves efficiency across the board. You can immediately see how the qualifications of your new hires mesh your existing team, and how they can best contribute. While you pride yourself on maintaining an injury free workplace, you know all too well how things can go awry during a first day. Using technology to keep your new hires close and informed will help you mitigate the risk of any first day jitter-induced accidents.

Wrapping Up

As your business prepares for the work the coming year will bring, take a minute to think about what the years after that will look like. How much will your company grow? How will you empower the next generation of employees? How do you know where to invest your hard earned revenue?

During this self-reflection, remember to look at the facts. The demand for new projects—both commercial and residential—are abundant, but the employees—namely women—are not. Technology is here to help you along the way, but ultimately it will be you and the people you employ that continue to make your business successful for years to come. The future doesn’t wait for anyone, so make sure you go out and do something about it today. 

6 Methods Every Successful Manufacturer Needs to Know

Efficiency is always the name of the game. Every business owner tries to accomplish the same thing—to create a sustainable and reliable stream of income without overextending resources. How does this process begin? For manufacturers, it begins with planning and setting the stage for things to come. 

Brought to life in Japan during the 1960’s, the 5S method was first utilized in automobile production. Allowing manufacturers to substantially reduce workplace waste and distraction, the 5S method quickly expanded into other industries, such as government, finance, and education.

Since its inception, technology has changed. Well, more accurately, saying “technology has changed” in the last 50 years is like saying “the universe is large” compared to Earth. Though the original proprietors of the 5S method surely could not have foresaw the colossal changes that modern technology has ushered in, they would certainly stick to the original principles of the method to get things done.

Let’s take a look at how the 5S method can be modernized to fit 21st century manufacturing—and how 2020 has made the 6th S possibly the most important of them all.

Sort (seiri 整理)

The first “S” will be one that’s familiar to you. Basically, it’s taking inventory of your business. No, not just the raw materials and finished products, but everything.

Take time to carefully look around and inspect your surroundings. Account for every detail, no matter how seemingly insignificant. Tools, machines, computers, desks, decorations, pencils—yes, everything. Ask yourself what value each object holds. Does it serve a purpose, or does it simply take up space?

The goal here is to remove clutter, distraction, and anything else that will hamper efficiency. If you have less items clogging up your operation, the less time it will take you and your employees to accomplish your tasks for the day. Certain technologies will facilitate the finding of inefficient processes within your organization, but it begins with you taking stock of all of the variables located in your physical workspace.

Set In Order (seiton 整頓)

At this point, you’ve taken stock of everything. You know where to find all of the spare box cutters, that the plants on the second floor surely haven’t been watered enough, and that the accounting department has seemingly taken control of your business’s pen supply. 

Taking stock of your office is great. You even managed to get a lot of old equipment out of the way that was just piling up dust. But now, ask yourself this—is everything arranged in a way that facilitates optimal efficiency?

For example, are all of the machines used to manufacture your most popular product grouped together on the floor? Are your accountants searching through jumbled spreadsheets in order to find accurate numbers? Are areas and objects appropriately labeled so that the efficiency of their use can be maximized?

Odds are that you’ve recognized—and possibly have tried to solve—many of these issues in the past. Instead of continuing to use band-aids to remedy a gunshot wound, set aside time to dive in and fix the issues at their source. It’ll be messy at first, but you’ll come out healthier on the other side.

Shine (seiso 清掃)

Finding the right place for everything wasn’t easy, but you think you’ve done it. Your employees are starting to notice the improvements, and you’re noticing improvements on their end too. There’s just that little extra pep in their step that comes with a renewed sense of professional pride and purpose.

As it always goes, the only thing harder than getting to the top (in terms of success, organization, building good habits, etc.) is staying there. You got rid of clutter, synced up your operations, and even put a dent in some things you’ve been putting off for a while. You can’t help but ask yourself  “how long can this last?”

Getting organized is a lot like driving a brand new sports car off the lot. Your endorphins are rushing, your confidence is soaring, and the world is at your fingertips. Then reality sets in—your gas tank hits E, your check engine light flickers on, and you find out your insurance company is upping your premium quite a bit compared to your Honda Accord days.

The truth is, you have to work hard to stay efficient and clutter-free. It won’t happen naturally. You and your employees will naturally stick to what you know, but don’t fret. Start each day by tidying up your processes and finish each day by sticking to them.

Standardize (seiketsu 清潔)

For a process or procedure to become truly standard, it needs to be consistently and thoroughly reinforced. This starts from the top down, but it takes a team to make it happen. 

How have you enabled your employees to stick to the system? What is their role in maintaining and upholding the standard? What will keep this all going smoothly?

The goal here is to establish protocols and procedures to keep the 5S method on track. The best way to do this is to keep everyone involved and to be transparent. Make it very clear to your employees what their roles are. The more empowered they feel, the more they will buy into the process you are implementing. After all, the success of your manufacturing operation lies within your employees.

As you continue to optimize your processes, positively reinforce the things that are done successfully and very clearly acknowledge the things that don’t. Ask your employees their thoughts—they could recognize an improvement to a process that you didn’t catch. Don’t let bad habits become the norm.

Sustain/Self-Discipline (shitsuke しつけ)

Your employees have gotten pretty good at following the new procedures you have in place. Heck, it seems they may be starting to like it. (As much as they can like something at work, anyway.) You’ve gotten into a good routine, made progress in areas that you’ve been lacking in, and have seen your employees follow suit.

As your company grows, you will have to continue to trim the hedges. Make sure that you organize training sessions—not just for new employees, but for existing employees to stay sharp, too. On the floor, your veteran employees are your ambassadors. You may not always be visible to new employees, so make sure that your experienced employees are setting the tone.

Your company won’t be immune to issues, but fear not—issues give rise to opportunities. Each procedural flaw that comes to light also brings with it a chance for improvement. Learn from your mistakes and make sure that they don’t happen again. Share your successes—and your mistakes—with your employees, too. Learning and growth happens as a team.

Safety (anzen-sei 安否)

Yes, workplace safety has always been a relevant concern, but it’s taken on an entirely new meaning in 2020. You’ve probably experienced your fair share of issues maintaining safety standards this year.

As you continue to streamline your business, personal safety needs to be at the forefront of that process. If your employees don’t feel as though they are being cared for, they won’t care about their work. It’s as simple as that. So in addition to hardhats, make sure that masks and sanitizer are sorted and set in abundance around your workplace.

This entire article has been focused on the importance of efficiency. And rightfully so—an efficient business is a profitable one. But this sixth “S” is about much more than the bottom line, it’s about the people who make your business a reality. Without taking care of them, you can’t take care of your business.

So, sometimes efficiency will take a little bit of a hit when you are abiding by necessary social distancing guidelines, or when your budget has to include a literal metric tonne of hand sanitizer. It’s ok—people come first. Efficiency and profits will follow close behind.

The 10 Types of Employees (And How To Manage Them)

Throughout your professional career, you’ve seen all kinds of organizational strategies. Ornately arranged Post-It’s, hundreds of Chrome tabs, chicken-scratch filled notebooks—you probably have employees that fit into each of these categories. 

When it comes to management, there’s no singular, correct way to get it done. Everyone manages their workload differently. And now that you’ve migrated out of the office and into the living room, that fact is truer than ever. 

Your employees will continue to work differently. That’s exactly how it should be. As a manager, one of your top priorities should be to recognize the subtle—and sometimes not-so-subtle—differences in your employees’ personalities and work habits. In doing this, you’re putting an emphasis on individual growth and success.

But at the end of the day, your job is ultimately to facilitate growth and success for your company. By recognizing the different types of employees that you have, you’ll be able to translate their individual successes into the overall success of your business. Let’s take a look at the different types of employees that make up your organization and how you can best manage them:

The Free Spirit 

Who They Are: The Free Spirit craves professional independence and freedom. They seek to have autonomy in their respective role, and prefer to dictate their own creative direction. Usually equipped with a positive attitude, the Free Spirit often leaves the team feeling refreshed. Being the Free Spirit comes with notable downsides, too—they are generally not fans of bureaucracy and constraints. There’s a good chance you won’t hear from them for a few days. Despite the occasional headaches, they continue to turn in high quality work time and time again.  

How They Work Best: To manage the Free Spirits within your company, it’s best to tread lightly. Make sure that boundaries and parameters are given, but resist the urge to micromanage. The Free Spirits’ strength comes from their ability to autonomously think outside the box. Give them the tools for success, but let them figure out how to use them.

The Grinder

Who They Are: The Grinder is the ultimate team player. Unlike the Free Spirit, they won’t go AWOL for days on end, but they might miss an email or two while neck-deep in a project. As the ultimate workhorse, you know that The Grinder is always ready to take on the lion’s share of the work. They’re the first person you turn to when you need something hefty accomplished. They may lack some charisma and leadership abilities, but they make up for it with talent and effort.

How They Work Best: The Grinder works best when given clear, direct instructions. Structure is a huge component of success for The Grinder. As you’re managing, make sure you spell out exactly what needs to be done. Sometimes you may be looking for someone to bring new ideas to overhaul a project—you may want to turn to someone other than The Grinder for that. But, The Grinder will deliver everything you asked exactly how you asked to have it done, on time with no questions asked. 

The Pathfinder

man hiking

Who They Are: Always searching for the newest and best way forward, The Pathfinder is one of the key innovators in your company. Passionate, engaging, and intelligent, The Pathfinder finds creative solutions to problems and elevates the quality of work for many around them. The Pathfinder is unafraid to take risks—that in itself is a double edged sword. At times, other team members can feel intimidated by them. There is never malicious intent—sometimes the energy and passion exuded by The Pathfinder can unintentionally dominate the conversation and stifle the ideas of others.

How They Work Best: People like this are often the ones who find ways to solve the biggest problems on your agenda. Much like a nuclear reactor, they are extremely powerful but need to be carefully controlled. When in meetings, it’s best that you make sure The Pathfinder is not totally dominating the discussion. Make sure their points are heard, but make sure that ample time is given to others, too. If you really want to motivate The Pathfinder, tell them that they won’t be able to achieve what you’re assigning them. Odds are, they’ll find a solution that few others could have.

The Mediator

Who They Are: Thank goodness for the mediator. You can’t remember any particularly great or awful ideas they’ve come up with on their own, but they’ve sure had an important role to play when it comes to getting your team on the same page. Compromise, structure, and stability make up the core components of The Mediator. Every idea, big or small, good or bad, is equal until proven otherwise. When juxtaposing ideas clash in the office, The Mediator is there to bring a sensible solution to the table.

How They Work Best: While their originality and technical ability leave a little to be desired, The Mediator sure knows their way around the politics of a company. Fortunately for you, The Mediator does not play office politics for personal gain, they are in it for the good of the whole. As a manager, you would be best served to consult The Mediator on a variety of issues. They may not be the driving force behind the start or completion of any particular project, but they sure know how to bring about a peaceful resolution. 

The Giver

a helping hand on a climb

Who They Are: No, this section is not about the dystopian novel. In your company, The Giver is someone who routinely seeks to contribute in areas where they have a strong sense of the difference they are making. Whether they’re leading the way with charitable endeavors or have joined in on a project that they feel will have a lasting, positive impact on the community, they are up to the task. The problem? Sometimes the work you do won’t align with their preferences.

How They Work Best: To get the most out of The Giver, assign projects to them that are customer-facing. They’ll often jump at the chance to service someone directly. If this isn’t an option, assign them to a role where they’ll be able to substantially contribute. The Giver is always open to collaborating. Give them a chance to address and present ideas to their entire team—maybe some of their altruistic tendencies will rub off. 

The Whiz

silhouette of person and nightime city sky

Who They Are: The Whiz’s technical ability blows you, and everyone else, away. It’s an unspoken acknowledgement among your entire company that they’re clearly the brightest bulb in the box. When it comes to solving a technical issue, there’s no one better. But, there’s some issues. They can be messy, disorganized, and not all that personable. Direction is a huge issue, and their commitment and work ethic have been called into question more than once. You’ve tolerated it because, well, they’re The Whiz. You know they don’t intend to slack off, but they get bored and distracted all too easily. 

How They Work Best: Here is where taking a granular management approach is prudent. The Whiz may scoff at times when given directions, but really, they are well aware they require structure in order to succeed. Pick and choose tasks specifically for The Whiz—work that’s too simple or mundane will ultimately bore them and derail the timeline of your project. You might be thinking to yourself, “It’s not really fair that they get preferential treatment when it comes to assignments.” You’re right, it’s not fair. Unless the rest of your employees can start operating at the peak that The Whiz can (spoiler alert: they won’t), that’s just how it should be. 

The Task Rabbit

person hunched over computer on desk

Who They Are: This person is often very recognizable—they are always asking you for more work and what to do next. The work ethic and organizational skills of The Task Rabbit are second to none, but their level of autonomy leaves a bit to be desired. They complete work quickly and completely. You may not be able to grant them the same level of responsibility given to The Pathfinder and The Grinder, but you know they’ll succeed at any moderately challenging task. 

How They Work Best: People like The Task Rabbit are extremely valuable. They can be utilized to keep other less organizationally skilled team members on track. Shyness and lateness aren’t terms in The Task Rabbit’s vocabulary. Outgoing, alert, and punctual, they can help The Free Spirit and The Whiz meet deadlines they otherwise would have failed to meet. Just make sure The Task Rabbit has their directions in writing—they can be sticklers for following the rules.  

The Confidant

businessmen talking late

Who They Are: While their technical skills don’t blow you away, they always prove to be among your business’s most valuable employees when it comes to fleshing out ideas. You certainly wouldn’t assign them the lead role on most projects, but there aren’t many that you don’t have The Confidant consulting on. Put simply, their input is extremely valuable. More than once, you’ve achieved an “Aha!” moment during a conversation with The Confidant. Your other employees have had similar experiences. The main impact they have on your company is often immeasurable and intangible, making it difficult to define what they’re best at. It’s certainly hard to put a finger on exactly how, but they always find a way to help. 

How They Work Best: The best thing you can do as a leader is not to overthink the role of The Confidant. Bring them in on a lot of different projects, ideas, and visions. Share with them some of the new and upcoming things your company is working on. The Confidant loves productive conversations, so keep their role simple. Shoot ideas back and forth—let your minds wander. Heck, maybe share a happy hour with them. You’ll be amazed at some of the insights you’ll gain from a relaxed, free-flowing conversation.

The Statistician

man thinking over chess board

Who They Are: They aren’t the loudest or most frequent contributors in meetings, but when they speak, the information they provide is valuable, informative, and backed by cold hard logic. They form a foundational piece of any of your major projects, and may be brighter than everyone besides The Whiz. Some may consider The Statistician a pessimist, but they will dispute this by asserting they are simply a “realist.” Never missing an opportunity to deliver hard-to-swallow yet valid truths about someone’s work, they provide more constructive feedback than one often wants. 

How They Work Best: Obviously, having someone whose work is dictated almost entirely by math and logic is important. It’s also important to have people that think the exact opposite way. Pair The Statistician with employees like The Giver and The Mediator in order to strike a productive balance between logic and emotional intelligence.

The Contrarian

Who They Are: Yes, we all know this person. When you do a Google search for “Devil’s Advocate” their picture will be the first to populate your screen. At this point, you aren’t entirely sure what their stance on anything is. But either way, when there’s a debate to be had, you know who you’ll find right in the middle of it. While The Contrarian may irritate some, including you, having this person around is valuable in the right context. 

How They Work Best: They work hard, they’re smart, and they’ve come up with solid contributions across the board. But they are who they are—a contrarian to the bitter end. People feel most comfortable in an echo-chamber. But when it comes to formulating the best possible or idea or plan, it would be a disservice to everyone involved if you don’t consult someone who is going to tear apart your idea bit by bit. Sure, The Contrarian often does this simply for argument’s sake. Around the kitchen table, they probably aren’t so pleasant. But in the (virtual) conference room, their knack for arguing the antithetical position comes in handy for everyone. 

Knowing Your People

Managing your employees is never a one-size-fits-all approach. All of your employees are unique in the way that they work—no different than the uniqueness of how they look, dress, and live their lives.

Most of your employees will probably fit one or more of the personas above. That being said, there will always be some that won’t. That’s one of the great challenges of leading a business—smoothly blending together people of all walks of life in pursuit of a common goal. 

Some employees will take the ball and run with it, some will need some training wheels. Some will pull brilliant ideas out of thin air, some will find ways to improve ideas already in motion. Some will thrive right away, some will take longer to acclimate. Stay in tune with your people and however they may operate. Being able to distribute work appropriately and efficiently will make you successful this year, next year, and every year after that. 

What Most Businesses Get Wrong About Company Culture

Every business wants a great company culture. It’s something that can’t be manufactured, faked, or copied. It has to come organically— and not just from the people at the top. 

Bad Company Culture

Company culture is made up of values and beliefs that every employee who contributes to your business shares. A strong expression of your company’s beliefs doesn’t just help you attract future employees; it gives candidates an immediate sense of whether they’ll be a good fit. 

Looking at it the other way, lack of company culture can create toxic environments, leading people away from your business. 

Your business culture shouldn’t just be easily seen when someone walks through the door. It should radiate on social media, on your website, in your emails, and anywhere else you have a presence. 

But how often does that happen, really? It’s rare. And for a reason that everyone knows, but few acknowledge:

Company culture is meant to be celebrated, not enforced.

We all understand how important our values are, both on a macro level and with daily operations. But too often we spend time worrying that people aren’t practicing what they preach. So we subconsciously enforce, reminding teams what the party line is without engaging in honest conversations. 

It’s habitual. But there are ways to break the habit while turning belief statements into feelings that resonate with every single employee. Here are a few ways to do it:

1. Collaborate On Company Beliefs

Have honest conversations with your employees about what they value in work and in life. Keep the focus away from your company. Instead, allow people to dig deep into asking themselves the kinds of questions they rarely ask of themselves on their morning commutes.

erp company culture representation

A great way to do this: search for the “why.” Why do we get up every day? Why did we choose this type of work? Why are we looking forward to the future?

“If you are lucky enough to be someone’s employer, then you have a moral obligation to make sure people do look forward to coming to work in the morning.”John Mackey, Whole Foods Market

If you’re hesitant to ask these questions, it’s a sure sign that your workplace culture isn’t as strong as you’d like it to be. For that reason alone, you need to ask those questions. When you do, you’ll build stronger teams and bonds between people. 

When just a few people create company values, you’ll naturally feel like you’re enforcing them because you didn’t get buy-in from your employees. People will think: “okay, this is how I’m supposed to feel.” 

The more all employees can participate in the process, the more proud they’ll be to express shared purpose— because it actually includes them.

2. Turn Belief Into Action

Once you’ve established the shared values and beliefs that comprise your company culture, turn them into action. Ask yourself: what does this belief look like

For example, if it’s important for your company to be a part of your local community, think about how to express that. Set up volunteer days to get your employees working for a local organization or community initiative. Not only is it great for team building, it shows people what being part of a community actually means. 

There are other ways to do it, too. Hold meet-and-greets, host events, and let other people from your local community into your office. Communities and neighbors have the ability to support each other; give people a chance to experience it first-hand.

Now consider extending that belief: when your company responds to emails, speaks with customers, or sends out updates, how can they communicate a sense of community?

No matter what your company’s shared beliefs are, you need ways to express them in daily work. When that happens, people turn from just having beliefs to living them.

3. Emphasize Employee Talents

Chances are, someone at your company is a great visual artist. Someone else is a great storyteller. Someone else is a great musician.

Give your employees the opportunity to express your company culture in creative ways. Again, don’t enforce this— just build it into the architecture of your business.

Happy work culture

A great way to do this is to nominate a belief advocate on a rotating basis. Give that person full creative control over how they want to express the belief(s). Doing this makes people feel ownership of the values that comprise your company culture. Each person will be able to express a value that no other person can. 

You’ll also show your employees that their creative talents are appreciated. Those talents may have absolutely nothing to do with their daily work. But they could have a lot to do with the people behind that work. Never forget: company culture is about people, and really not much else.


You could read another blog with statistics about how important company culture is… as if that would convince you. Those stats miss the point entirely: great company culture is a feeling, a state of mind, and (at best) a creative expression.

Company culture is less about getting your employees “on board.” It’s much more about finding honest, open, and shared ways to inspire and support beliefs. With a little thought and planning, you can create a better workplace environment and nurture the heart of what makes businesses run best.

Want the Best Employees? Change Your Company Culture

According to Access Perks, 72% of workers said an “innovative culture was a factor in influencing them to join a company.” That’s the power of positive company culture. 

So what is company culture, exactly? It’s a lot more than offering casual dress codes and flexible vacation time– it’s the core values that your business stands on. If you’re wondering why organizational culture matters, don’t ask us– ask your future employees.

Job Choices

According to a study done by the Korn Ferry Institute, “The #1 reason candidates choose one job over another today is company culture.” Now more than ever, workers want to be employed by a company whose values emulate their own. They want a company that places a strong emphasis on creating a positive company culture.

Why Company Culture Matters

In addition to building and fostering an inclusive workplace, a positive company culture also can improve business metrics in several areas:

Fosters Loyalty from Employees

good company culture due to erp software

Employees want to work for a company that values their hard work. By placing emphasis on creating the best company culture you can, you’re showing your employees that you care about their well-being.

One way to place a newfound emphasis on company culture? Upgrade something that your employees use every day—your company’s software.

Additionally, positive company culture has been shown to reduce employee turnover rates. According to a USA Today article on the subject, “low turnover means that good employees stay and are more productive.”

Low turnover rates reduce the HR costs that would come with replacing those employees, so literally and figuratively, it pays to invest in your company culture.

Happiness = Productivity (and Profit)

According to, “happiness makes people 12% more productive.” Not only are employees more productive when there is great company culture, but “happier workers are more likely to solve difficult problems faster.” 

Workers desire to be a part of positive company culture– and contribute their best work to that culture, which will show in your bottom line.

Encourages Candidates to Consider You

Positive workplace culture is quickly becoming the most desired characteristic workers are looking for in a future workplace. People want to work for a company that they share similar personal values with.

According to an international study in Business News Daily, “77% of adults would consider a company’s culture before seeing a job there.” Additionally, “56% said they found a good workplace culture to be more important than salary.”

Let that sink in for a second.

More than half of those surveyed placed a greater priority on positive company culture than on their paycheck. This fact alone shows that having a strong workplace culture is essential to your business’ success.

How to Create a Stronger Company Culture

If you’re looking for the best prospective employees to grow your business, create a culture that they will want to be a part of.  Here’s how to do it:

Establish Company Values

company culture erp software

The starting place for businesses looking to build a positive company culture is creating company values. These values should be the driving force behind all the decisions your company makes. 

By establishing what your company’s beliefs and goals are, your employees are more likely to feel their work is contributing to a greater good. Make sure all of your employees understand your company’s mission and make sure their decisions fit within its framework.

Embody and Communicate Those Values

It’s one thing to establish company values, but it’s another to put them into practice. One of the most important things you can do to create a positive workplace culture is to lead by example

If one of your company values is to be a good community member, start the trend by using one day a month to volunteer at a local food bank. By showing that you take the company values seriously, you are paving the way for your employees to do the same.

In addition to being the example for your current employees, show prospective employees the value you place on creating the best company culture you can. Seek out candidates with the technical skills you desire and who you believe will embrace your company vision. 

During the interview process, include questions related to your organizational culture so that, right from the start, employees know what your company culture is about– and how they can contribute.

Encourage Feedback from Your Employees

Happy work culture

In a Forbes article on company culture, “86% of employees at companies with strong cultures feel their senior leadership team listens to employees.” If you’re looking to attract the best workers to your business, establish that your employees have a clear way to communicate their opinions to management. 

Encourage employees to give their honest feedback through engagement surveys using your company software. By making your employees feel listened to and valued, you’ll create a great company culture that employees want to be a part of.

Let Your Company Evolve with Your Business

As your company grows, so should your company culture—and your company software along with it. Make it a point to regularly check-in and re-evaluate both your people and your technology. Be open to changes and make adjustments that reflect your expanding business.


Positive company culture is an essential ingredient in the recipe for business success. A major factor in that is the software that your employees use each and every day. Although the returns aren’t as evident as they are with sales, having the right workplace culture in place will change every aspect of your company and whoever becomes a part of it.

More today than ever before, workers want to be a part of a company that has strong beliefs and values that influence decisions. They want to feel that they are making a difference in the world and are part of a company that is trying to do the same. 

By having a great company culture in place, you’ll attract those doers to your company– and keep them there for years to come.