May 2014 | Commentary | 3PL Line

5 Steps to Revolutionize Your Corporate Culture

Tags: 3PL

Successful business leaders understand that a company's culture is just as important to the bottom line as tools and technology. But workplace culture involves more than a company T-shirt and zone cleanup competitions. In strong companies, it is a highly structured and repeatedly measured discipline.

Company culture is a sustainable platform for long-term performance, encompassing everything from operational protocol to career development. When employees see that their career development is a priority, they feel a sense of ownership, leading to higher job satisfaction.

This results in fewer on-the-job injuries, improved service quality, and higher employee retention levels. Employee retention impacts not only time spent training, but also improved performance—both of which reduce costs and benefit partners across the supply chain.

Culture is a structured system companies can purposefully implement and analytically evaluate through the following five steps:

  1. Define core values. The beliefs fundamental to your company's mission set the professional tone and general attitudes for how employees make decisions and behave. If you do not take the time to define meaningful core values, mediocrity and laziness may take their place.
  2. Align core values. Implement core values across all levels of your company, from the top down. Leadership communications and actions that exhibit and reinforce behaviors consistent with the company's core values affect workplace attitude, work ethic, and daily routine, ultimately resulting in higher productivity and increased job satisfaction. Values-based culture drives performance.
  3. Reinforce core values. Reinforcing core values extends outside the organization to potential clients, partners, and vendors. It is important to choose an outsourcing partner or client whose values align with your own and who can integrate easily from a culture standpoint. This improves communication, cooperation, and efficiency, and results in enhanced performance and reduced costs.
  4. Measure the integration. The key to a meaningful and effective company culture is specific and measurable behaviors. Perform a Cultural Assessment to measure how well your company integrates core values into cultural variables.

    A Cultural Assessment measures how a facility's culture relates to operational performance, revealing opportunities for improving efficiency and increasing cost savings. Your facility may be able to more effectively engage employees through a regularly scheduled assessment.

  5. Build action plans. Performing regular assessments across the organization at all levels allows you to develop and implement effective action plans that include clearly defined expectations, attitudes, accountability, and metrics.

Meet regularly with leadership and teams to communicate issues and track performance by measurable behaviors to plan and prove value. Then build action plans and performance programs around these behaviors. Taking definitive action reinforces your commitment to your values, and cultivates a performance-driven culture. Increased performance equals cost savings.

The success of your bottom line depends on your commitment to implementing and maintaining a strong company culture.