I recently attended an event where I was asked to speak to a group regarding how corporate culture is to millennials. To say it was an eye-opening experience is an understatement. In most ways, I found the concerns millennials have about culture and the modern working environment are the exact same concerns I faced early in my career. As the session moved on, I decided to keep my answers laser focused on what my company values in our culture: we believe the single most important thing about developing culture is that we are all responsible for living it in action (not just in words) all the time, regardless of one’s role within our business.
Our culture is the character, personality and heartbeat of our business. It’s what makes us unique, and is the sum of our values, beliefs, interactions, behaviors, and attitude towards each other, our customers and the community we serve. Culture does not just happen. It’s done with intention. And the intention has to be intentional. And that “intentional intention” has to be consistent across every person in the building, every second of every day. And we’ll only get there if we all believe in these common principles.
Put each other first: be as invested in your colleagues success as your own. Work as hard to help your neighbor succeed as you do yourself. They’ll in return do the same. You get the point…
Treat each other like family: we all have lives outside of work and having empathy for each other inside work is critical. Love the people around you. They’ll in return do the same. You get the point…
Hold each other accountable but be nice when you do it: creating and sustaining a culture of greatness is hard work. Tough conversations will happen. Just remember to be nice when you have them. They’ll in return do the same. You get the point…
My message to the group wrapped with change is necessary. That I’m not afraid of change and I’d asked each of them to embrace it too. Keep adjusting, listening to feedback and intentionally make improvements along the way.
Ready. Set. GROW.