The Holy Grail – Changing Company Culture


When running a business there a a whole list of issues. No matter what industry you are in there are some common themes: motivating employees, increase sales, and save money all without money.

Many people think that these are all independent and not related but there is a common underlining cause. It’s your companies culture; changing your company culture will actually help you in all 3 areas. Here are two examples of what it means to have a different culture:

1)Traditional businesses are managed from the top down, work is managed in silos (ex. engineering department, painting, welding,shipping) instead of by your customer (ex. 2 door sports car line, heavy duty truck line, minivan line).
2)Traditional businesses the responsibility for change falls on managers and engineers in traditional businesses instead of the people doing the work on a day in and day out basis.

The changes that come with culture are mostly small incremental changes but it can have a snow ball effect. Continuously improving and removing waste will reduce your costs. Standardizing the sales process and testing new ideas is crucial to increasing sales. The most important and most difficult part is when you get the culture right you have lower turn over due to higher job satisfaction. Employers with the most engaged employees will have increase earnings per share by 28% year to year (*2007 Towers Perrin survey, 18 countries, 40 companies, 90,000 employees). After money employees value these factors:

-Empowerment to Make Decisions
-Opportunities for Growth & Development
-Variety
-Mutual Support and Respect
-Sense of Purpose
-Desirable Future
(*2008 Businessweek article)

Lean addresses all the elements above and you can read further on “Motivating Employees Without Money”. Some results that I’ve seen have been 30-50% reduction in costs. 55% increase in revenue due to increased sales volume, and 19% turnover rate to less than 3%

To save money, motivate employees, and to increase sales try changing your culture. It can be difficult but it is well worth the effort.