This topic has been spoken and written about many times, but it’s good to be reminded of the subject from time to time.
While there are many reasons why some companies just exist and others are wildly successful, I believe the most determining factor is a company’s culture. Having worked for several diverse firms- from ten employees to a multi-national, the most successful ones all had cultures which treated their employees as people and not as “positions.” This included showing employees respect regardless of their job function. The goals of the company are always made clear to everyone, but equal (and sometimes greater) importance is placed upon values, family, and fun. While leadership policies are understood, autocratic rule is never present. Employees are trusted to perform with their best effort. Since everyone knows the goals, and respects the leadership, the company will do whatever it takes to attain success.
The best method for determining if a company has a favorable culture is to look at the average length of service of the employees, including turnover rate. If the average time frame is measured in terms of several years and the turnover ratio is marginal, then you know this is a very good company. Of course another method is how the CEO or owner treats people. All CEO/Owners set the culture for the company. By evaluating the management style, one can interpret how well the team does. While it is obvious, if an employee enjoys a company’s culture he or she will produce and work harder to make the company more successful.
An interesting aspect which contributes to the company’s success is- even though the company may be a good place to work, the culture has a way of evaluating which people naturally “fit” within this culture. So what happens? Natural selection will cause the individual who is not compatible with the company to either resign or not perform well and be dismissed. Not everyone fits in with all cultures.
I make these observations from experience as I have worked for companies ranging from an oppressive atmosphere to companies with wonderful cultures, and finally to my current firm, which by far represents the best leadership, values, and culture of any company in the market place.
Jeff Nardi- Business Development Manager- OCSSteel©