Establishing a company culture is an inescapable aspect of building a business — a culture will develop regardless of whether you intend it to.
Your company culture affects both employees and customers, and exactly how it affects them will be determined by how much you pursue culture, how you engage with it, and how proactively you nurture it.
If you don’t focus on culture (and depend instead on high pressure and stress to push employees to do their best), it can become a very expensive problem. When an employee doesn’t fit in with the rest of the team and decides to leave, it can cost the organization 50 percent to 60 percent of a person’s annual salary.
Furthermore, when employees aren’t happy at work, clients and customers usually aren’t getting the best treatment, either. So to keep both employees and customers happy, start by building a culture to thrill and delight customers — your employee culture will naturally be guided by it.
What a Customer-Focused Culture Looks Like
At Julian Krinsky Camps & Programs, our culture has been customer-focused for the last 40 years; it’s always been part of our core business. Over time, however, our team has become more deliberate about company culture by formalizing it and putting it into words for our customers and employees.
Of course, we’re far from alone. There are many other companies doing a fantastic job of building customer-focused cultures.
Trader Joe’s structures its workplace so that it focuses on harnessing the potential of each of its employees. The grocery store chain teaches its employees a variety of skills. Hourly store workers typically rotate between multiple jobs that include stocking shelves, managing the registers, and walking the floor to assist customers so their jobs stay interesting while learning more about how the store works. This, in turn, makes it easier for them to better help customers.
HubSpot created its own “Culture Code” to ensure culture remains an integral part of its core business, and the company explains on its website that the code is “not just a document; it’s a living, breathing commitment to our employees, candidates, and customers.”
Finally, the culture at Zappos is one that continually delights customers and team members. The e-commerce apparel giant’s mission to “deliver wow” is demonstrated through everyday interactions (like its now-famous customer service call that lasted almost 11 hours). Zappos’ employees are given the freedom to do what it takes to serve the customer, and there’s no doubt customers enjoy that kind of royal treatment.
Bringing Great Culture Into Your Own Office
In order to establish a customer-focused culture that fosters happy employees who are constantly growing, keep the following in mind:
- Know that the little things aren’t little.
These are the things many managers overlook because they may seem like minor aspects of a company. These procedures include where you park, how you dress, whether you take a lunch break, how you respond to other employees and customers, etc. The most basic procedures are the foundation of your company culture and your starting point around which you’ll build a stronger culture.
Values mean nothing unless they’re actually put into practice, so begin by determining what your core values are and how you can prove to employees that you practice what you preach. For example, if one of your core values posits that people are your greatest asset, show employees (and customers) that you’re willing to invest in them by providing flexibility, autonomy, and the tools needed to succeed.
To read the rest of the article, view the original article here.