“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Management guru Peter Drucker
Strategy is essential; without it your organization is like a rudderless ship at the mercy of the wind and tide. The success of any strategy or plan, however, depends upon the people implementing it. If the culture does not support initiatives and if your teams do not buy into the “why,” achieving key goals is – if not impossible – then incredibly difficult. Culture is the secret to success, and it begins with building a winning team that can, and will, drive change and growth in your company.
As home improvement professionals, you have likely felt the impact of the pressing labor shortage. This is identified as the most significant threat facing the industry. In construction, for example, some 600,000 workers left the field during the Great Recession – and never returned. The current workforce is graying, and fewer younger workers are taking their place. At the same time, demand is robust, and many professionals are scrambling to deliver on schedule.
Developing and nurturing a powerful culture is critical in building a strong team. Why?
Culture is defined differently by different leaders, from the “intangible glue” of a business and its “soul” to a “unifying force” and a “system by which employees feel empowered and valued.” It is not just “the way we do things around here.” It’s why we do it that way, what’s in it for you, how you contribute… However you define it, culture helps you build a strong brand identity. When you are clear on what this is, it makes it easier to identify candidates who will be able to contribute on a meaningful level.
In order to do this, you have to be honest and accurate about your company culture. If you tout a culture of open-door transparency, teamwork and integrity, for example, and managers are actually inaccessible and don’t care about what their direct reports have to say… well, you haven’t just set your new hires up for failure. You’re setting your business up for failure.
Millennials are often (unfairly) maligned by other generations, but they comprise 50% of the workforce. By 2030, this will climb to 75%. They are also the least engaged of all age groups. Why? Is it because they’re lazy, tech-obsessed, or [insert stereotype here]? No – it is because many workplaces do not fulfill their expectations. Sure, everyone wants to make a great wage, but millennials want a strong company culture even more.
In fact, they would be willing to give up $7600 in salary annually to work with an employer who provides a higher “quality of work life” for them and better company culture.
As mentioned previously, when your hiring decisions align with your culture, you reduce the risk that new hires will become quickly disenchanted and quit – leaving you holding the bag (and the bill) for the recruitment, hiring, and training process, while forcing you to go back to square one. It is equally effective in retaining existing employees: according to a Queen’s University Center for Business Venturing (Kingston, ON), companies with engaged cultures had 26% less turnover. Further, the top predictor of employee satisfaction is culture and values.
Other research has revealed that when employees rate their culture as “poor,” they are 24% more likely to leave within one year, and 43% of those looking for a new job say that company culture was the main reason.
When you’ve worked hard to attract and hire new employees, don’t let a poorly defined or disingenuous culture drive them away just when you need them most.
Culture sends ripple effects throughout the business. The Queen’s University study also found that an engaged culture led to:
Culture may seem like an abstract or intangible force – but it has bottom line impacts.
With a winning team, you can achieve key goals and take your business to new heights. Finding, recruiting, and retaining the folks who will drive results starts (and ends!) with nurturing a strong culture. This is your identity, your DNA, so to speak: begin to leverage it to win the war for talent.
Home Artisans of Indiana is a community of home improvement professionals who strive to building better businesses together. If you’re struggling with culture or talent shortages, join us to tap into our collective knowledge and experience.
Request your invite to Home Artisans today by visiting our website homeartisans.com.
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