An organization’s culture is developed, in most cases, through the activities of the people involved over time. The activities, by way of only a few examples may be:
- The way people speak to one another
- How they serve a customer
- The backdrop behind how decisions are made
- Empathy for customers and each other
- Or, from a long history of processes, procedures and policies
Sometimes a culture is borne out of an organizational creed, mission statement, prayer, or the leader in the organization.
It is entirely viable that a culture can attract people in the examples noted. “ABC company is a great company to work for,” one might hear. Do they pay high compensation? Do they give a lot of time off?
Maybe, but it is more likely that ABC’s culture is attractive and resonates with its employees.
Google continues to rank as the #1 best company to work for six years running. Why? Google offers tangible and intangible benefits like state-of-the-art workplace setting, collaborative environment, on-site restaurants and cafes, free flow of communication and a commitment to innovation. All these things help create the culture of Google. And, a correlation can be made between great culture and financial success. In the example of Google, its stock price has seen a 50% increase since the start of the year.
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We don’t often hear about a bad culture. Organizations with a negative culture, or one of confusion, for example, ordinarily do not last very long, or at least in such a state. Changes in leadership or management, while not always stated, are often made to create cultural change.
Companies that define their culture, communicate it to their employees, and make it a practice to check in on it [culture] tend to do best at retaining great employees and clients as well as attracting top talent.
In my experience, the most successful OPE dealers embody a culture that is inclusive and customer-minded. When you walk into their dealership, you sense a positive environment where the staff are empowered and feel invested in the business and the customer’s success.
So, while OPE dealers won’t be opening on-site cafes any time soon, there are lessons to be learned from the Google’s of the world. If you foster a culture where people feel welcome and are encouraged to collaborate and speak openly about ways to improve your retail operation, you’ll end up with a company where people want to spend their time and do their best work.