Big Red Car here. Bit of a gloomer here in the ATX. Wet and humid. Looks like rain but it is May and that is when it rains here in the ATX. So bring on the rains.
Company culture — we’ve been chatting about it. It is a bit more complex to discuss than just having Taco Tuesday. But, hey, you knew that already.
Take a look back at our prior posts on this subject. I am keeping them all right here for you — The Company Culture Series. Look at these prior posts to bring yourself up to speed on the subject. [Or, maybe not — who the Hell is the Big Red Car to be assigning homework? Bang off, Big Red Car. Haha, the Big Red Car cracks himself up. Foot off the accelerator, Big Red Car.]
Who are the players in creating, growing and operating the Company Culture?
The players are:
1. the President/Chief Executive Officer;
2. the human relations department or individual responsible for such affairs in a very small company;
3. individual empowered team members; and,
4. the entire company.
The President/Chief Executive Officer
Just as life is divided into folks who can start fires, folks who can tend fires and folks who are wont to piss on your fire — the Company Culture has similar roles. Check this prior post — Do Not Piss on My Fire. Stay clear of those fire pissers.
The President/CEO is the fire starter. She is the originator of the Company Culture and she bears responsibility for its health and vigor. That does not mean that her role is obvious and that nothing happens without her involvement. No, Big Red Car, she can be a fire starter and leave the fire to be stoked and tended and maintained by others.
If you are a CEO, remember you are the fire starter.
Whoever is in charge of personnel or human relations is going to be the fire tender — the person who keeps the documentation pertinent to the Company Culture.
We have not yet explored some of the other ingredients of a robust Company Culture but as you can imagine they include policy initiatives, events, rituals, celebrations, rewards and other specific undertakings which require a bit of planning, communication and administration. The fire tender is responsible for this.
Make sure that you communicate these responsibilities to the appropriate HR person. It will not happen by accident. Make it so.
Empowered team members
One of the elements of strong Company Culture is the empowerment of team members to plan, communicate and execute critical elements of the Company Culture which they have been empowered to undertake.
This is a critical element of differentiating a “nanny state” Company Culture from an active and robust Company Culture in which team members are able to have a real input and control of their own destinies. This is a critical consideration.
When The Boss sees a Company Culture in which, as an example, the team members have an important voice in the selection of health insurance providers — he knows it is a robust Company Culture. He also knows that the CEO is whip smart as this is a huge issue today.
The entire company
The entire company must play a central role in the creation and maintenance of a strong Company Culture through their direct participation and buy in. If you have the greatest restaurant in the world and are providing exquisite food — you still need customers.
If everyone gets a tattoo of the company logo and motto — oh, you don’t have a company logo and motto? — then you have a bit of assurance that the Company Culture has begun to take root.
Test for this from time to time with an anonymous Company Survey which smokes out broad team sentiments as to what is and is not working. Don’t be afraid to hold that mirror up to the back of your head — hey, it’s just a little bald spot. Haha, Big Red Car, behave yourself.
So now we know the players and their roles in the creation of a strong Company Culture.