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Establishing a Company Culture Built for Long-Term Retention

Collie King

Among the most overused buzzwords in business today is “company culture.” Everybody knows they need it, yet nobody seems to have the same definition of it.

To me, company culture is not about having employee picnics, group lunches or team outings. It’s not having coffee and snacks in the office, and it’s not having a masseuse come in for massage breaks every once in a while.

These things are all perks, not culture. While it’s certainly important to have perks, culture is what keeps people coming back to work.

My favorite definition of company culture is: “What happens when people are left to their own devices.”

What are they saying about you when you’re not in the room? Are they still making sure they’re doing the best job they can? Are they cutting corners? Are they sacrificing quality?

Or, are they following the rules? Are they overachieving? Are they making proactive decisions on their own?

When you have a great employee culture, your employees actually appreciate leadership, and they aspire to grow within your company by doing a great job. When you have that, your employees stay longer, your clients are happier, and your company will grow at a healthy rate.

It All Starts with the Manager

Regardless of industry, having good people in leadership is vitally important. In the early stages of your company, you can rely on yourself and your close partners to be great leaders. But as you grow, it’s simply unrealistic to continue to have as much personal influence.

Consider this: according to a Gallup study, one in two people has left a company just to get away from a manager.

Are your site managers leading with an iron fist? Is their ego in the way? These are the things that destroy great company culture and let it begin to rot from within.

All of the BSCs and Security Guard companies we interviewed place a heavy emphasis on promoting from within for their site manager positions.

By growing into the site manager position, that person is more likely to maintain a great deal of empathy, understanding, and appreciation for the people they manage and the work they do.

Better yet, if the floor employee is feeling that from their managers, they’re probably also seeing a sense of pride from that manager. That is something to work toward!

If they know it’s a possibility for them to move up and reach that leadership role, there is a much greater likelihood they will be a great employee for a long period of time.

We’ve talked a lot about how important it is to have that site manager in the job interview. Not only does it help them identify who would be a good fit on their team, it gives them a sense of importance, pride, and ownership.

Ultimately, that is your real company culture. As your company grows and the C-Level team is no longer able to keep up with every employee, they must maintain close relationships with site managers to keep the culture healthy and retention high.

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