How to Improve Your Company's Culture
TAMPA (MainStreet) -- There's so much talk about company "culture," it's easy to be cynical. But it does exist, and it is important to your business, says Bobby Harris, CEO of BlueGrace Logistics.
BlueGrace is a freight and logistics service provider founded in 2007. Given the strong growth expectations for the freight and logistics industry, the company began franchising in January 2011. It currently has 20 franchised locations and four company stores in 12 states.
|Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, with Bill Gates at Berkshire's annual meeting, the corporate world's "cultural" event of the year.|
Harris is a big proponent of good company culture. He believes it fosters positive work environments, which leads to employee retention and, of course, increased sales. BlueGrace even has a full-time culture coordinator who plans company events, potluck lunches and other initiatives as well as a community manager that manages all of its social media efforts. Combined they assist to keep a strong positive company culture, Harris says.
How do you define culture?Harris: Culture means something different for everybody. Is it a family-run business? Is it a corporate-run business? For me, having culture doesn't mean it's a good thing because you can have a bad culture. Culture is almost interchangeable with the word spirit. We believe the way the world's evolving so quickly, especially in our industry, at the end of the day we can count on two things: our brand and our culture.
What did you do to create the culture? Harris: You can't just use that as idol verbiage. You really have to come in every day with that commitment. You have to do little things every day to address it. Many times people don't get to know their CEO,
How does culture translate into sales? Harris: A good culture fosters happy people. Happy people are by far more productive people and happy people take better care of their customers. If you have the right culture, you're going to reduce turnover, your customers will feel it and your customers will stay with you a lot longer. A lot of people say success breeds happiness but it's the other way around: Happiness breeds success. What would you suggest to other businesses that may need to improve their culture? Harris: Really foster your employees to recognize each other. That's probably the most important thing. We have a peer-to-peer bonus program. We want them to recognize each other
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