The data are in: Companies that have elite cultures outperform those that don’t.
Take Chick-fil-A, for instance. The company generates more revenue per restaurant than any other fast-food chain in the U.S., and it’s open only six days a week.
What’s the company’s recipe for success? It’s about much more than tasty chicken and waffle fries.
Chick-fil-A has developed a consistent, elite company culture that is obsessed with providing excellent customer service—with a smile. This consistency leads to customer trust, affinity and loyalty, which all fuel long-term success.
It’s unreasonable to try to replicate Chick-fil-A’s success, but there’s plenty you can do to revive or refine your culture. Let’s review five essential components that can make or break your company culture:
Effective leadership. The most crucial element of employee engagement revolves around the relationships between workers and managers. If you have front-line managers who aren’t effective at leading people, it’s hurting your company culture immeasurably.
A recent study showed that 75 percent of people leave their job because of their boss—not the company. Are your managers effective, empathetic leaders? If not, your culture will suffer.
Deep purpose. Millennials and Gen Zers have many differences, but both groups crave purposeful work—sometimes even more so than cash.
Organizations that can tap into this profound longing for purpose are likely to attract and retain the best talent. This requires strategic, consistent communication, starting with executives who clearly define and articulate the company’s mission, vision and values.
Talk must be backed up with walk, however. Executives who say one thing and do another will alienate employees and damage your culture.
Army of ambassadors. Employee engagement statistics can be scary.
Gallup found that 85 percent of employees aren’t engaged at work. Unfortunately, most people just don’t care that much.
Are your workers engaged, or are they mostly indifferent? The easiest way to gauge that is to determine whether your team members are ambassadors for your brand.
Do they talk about what they do with excitement? Do they recommend your business as a great place to work? Do they plan to work there in two years?
If you are unsure—or if you don’t like the answers to these questions—you probably have work to do in building a culture that naturally creates an army of ambassadors.
Optimistic belief. At the core of any successful business or team is a deep, unwavering belief in a positive future. Everyone craves hope. As Colin Powell said: “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”
Unchecked negativity, disbelief and pessimism can quickly rot your culture. You must consistently reassure, uplift and edify your workers, and instill a hope for a bright future.
Competitive compensation. Of course, money matters.
How does your company culture stack up? If you haven’t in a while, let your team take a culture survey to measure your progress and see which areas require attention. It’s a good start toward better understanding your team and gathering the data you need to create a healthy, thriving culture.