Posted in:HR Governance
Seeing is Different from Looking
With dramatic changes and greater volatility in the economic landscape across the business, service, product, and labour markets we think a more balanced view will help business owners find the spark they need to continue onward.
Thinking back to the early days when you may have conducted market research activities, when you may have developed detailed SWOT analyses or PESTEL analyses. At that point in time you will have recognized that the market represents both opportunities and threats. You just have to take the time to see them. For many businesses, the threats and risks to their business survival have risen to a point that can break their company where they cease to be a going concern. If you have survived the last half a year, there is likely reason that you have made it this far. We urge you not to throw in the towel, rather to change your perspective.
Strong Cultures are Magical
We are surrounded by choice and opportunity in our daily lives. One of the greatest changes since the pandemic began is an increased openness to talk, listen, and acknowledgement that everyone needs a helping hand along the way. Don’t be afraid to ask, don’t be afraid to make decisions and reorient yourself.
It may be a good time to take stock of what constitutes your competitive advantage that is keeping your doors open. We would like to highlight one of the cornerstones of business success, a strong culture. In times of crisis, a strong culture can be the difference between your survival or demise.
Whereby, culture is a set of shared values, behaviours, attitudes, goals and practices connected with an organization. As you walk down the street you are bombarded by different companies and brands, each with their own identity. That essence is what gives strength to a business. From a financial perspective, you will be able to see it summarized as goodwill on a balance sheet. It is an invisible cloak that protects your business and has true value.
Values create culture, which are visualized through branding and experienced through decision making in the day-to-day lives of employees and customers. You can take that invisible strength and make it a visual display through logos, signage, the layout of your work environment, the rewards you provide to employees, your service delivery methods. Your culture and identity can be embedded throughout every aspect of your business, internally and externally.
A strong culture can help you attract a team that knows how to work cohesively, which in turn will bring great collective happiness and prosperity. If built correctly, it will also protect you from bad decisions when you make a mistake. Below are a few examples of companies who understand the strength of their culture.
Known to many as Google, this multinational technology company has built themselves into a giant using people analytics to inform their strategic decisions. They have found a way to leverage reams of data from applied experiments to build a culture that matches with their workforce. By doing so, they have created a high performing group of engaged employees who enthusiastically carry out the company vision. Essentially, Alphabet has found a way to marry science to the art of culture building. They know that investing in the happiness of their employees is how they will succeed together. Culture is that binding force for them.
Another company that has become a household name is Tim Hortons. They have a very strong culture that emphasizes giving back through corporate social responsibility and community sponsorship activities. For example, they strengthen their community with tuition reimbursement programs, leadership development and learning opportunities, and training initiatives that build a culture of inclusion. This is coupled with their rewards program, which goes beyond base pay, benefits, incentives. They bolster their rewards programs by investing in team development and providing a great work environment. All together these decisions are culture-based. Each cafe and restaurant is situated in a community. If that community is strong, Tim Hortons succeeds. For them, community is greater than their employees. They consider every stakeholder.
Storck is behind many candy and confectionary brands around the world. They started as a family business and that is kept alive despite their success that has turned them into an international company. They value diversity and joy, which translates into a culture that is focused on creating happy memories and togetherness. Their ability to maintain those bonds has created a positive feedback loop that allows them to maintain their market position. Again, culture is deeply rooted in their culture, language, behaviour, and decisions which propel them forward.
Take heart, pause to breath as each crisis hits, reassess your strengths and how they will help you build a long term sustainable business. Start at your core, reflect to find yourself, so you can share your greatness with the world.
Here to Help
If you need a second set of eyes to help you define your corporate identity and leverage the strength of your culture, we can help. Honiva Group Inc. can be reached for a free confidential consultation at +1-403-470-5350 or [email protected]
For further details on how Honiva can help you prepare your company strengthen itself, please view our service offerings.