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  • Travis Jacob

3 Measurements of Winning Cultures

Over the past several months I have been interviewing and writing about companies that do business in the Lake Nona (Florida) area that are considered to have a strong and healthy culture. I call it a “winning culture.” The list of companies I have interviewed is diverse. They range from large, national companies to young, but growing companies. I consider this a list of the best of the best that includes: Publix Supermarkets, PDQ, the United States Tennis Association (USTA), Maven Creative, Marriott Courtyard and Residence Inns, and Heritage Park Realty.

Although each of these great organizations practice a different approach to building and maintaining culture, they all consider a winning culture to be a top priority and essential to success at every level. Each one has its own unique style, but there are three measurements that they all have in common. These measurements can be applied equally to any organization when considering the strength of their culture. In the individual articles you will observe that in these organizations, the methodologies vary, while at the same time, the results tend to be the same. Any organization can use the following three measurements while building the framework for their unique winning culture. How your organization is doing with each is determined by answering specific questions for each measurement.

1. Growth. How are our employees growing? What are we doing to support and encourage growth opportunities for our employees? Are we investing in the leadership development of our employees at every level? Are we helping our employees reach personal goals as well as business goals? Are we giving our employees the training they need to perform their jobs at the highest level possible? The answers to these, and other questions regarding the growth of your employees will tell you how much you value and trust your employees at every level of the organization.

2. Engagement. How engaged are our employees in their jobs? Do we see them going above and beyond to perform at the highest level possible, or do they just show up every day and do the least amount to collect a paycheck? How do we find out exactly what our employees think about their jobs? Their co-workers? Their superiors? The answers to these, and other questions regarding the level of engagement in your employees at every level can only be found by giving them a safe way to express their thoughts. This can be done very effectively through an engagement survey that works for your organization.

3. Experience. What kind of experiences do our employees have on a daily basis when they come to work? Is work a good experience or a bad experience? Do our employees have strong relationships with their co-workers, or are they distant from each other? Are employees comfortable talking to subordinates, colleagues, and supervisors alike? The answers to these questions provide the relational context of your organization. Building strong relationships is the essential building block of a winning culture.

The questions I pose with these three measurements are by no means exhaustive. However, they may give you a starting point when considering what kind of culture you may be trying to build in your organization. When assessing the current business landscape, one thing is clear- a focus on culture has become one of the most important issues facing organizations of any size and industry. The current workforce is not only asking for it, they are demanding an environment that has its foundation built on a healthy, winning culture. And why not? It is a win/win in any organization and/or industry!

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