The Six Key Components of an Empowered Company Culture
This week, it was announced that Trinity Logistics was named the #1 Top Workplace in Delaware. This award is based on employee survey results, and our unique company culture definitely shone through in each survey, ultimately adding up to this awesome achievement! In conjunction, we also won a special award for New Ideas, given to the company where employees feel most encouraged and heard when sharing their ideas. We’ve never been one to toot our own horn, so rather than dwelling on these awards, we instead want to take this opportunity to help other companies learn how to improve and transform their own company cultures by implementing the ideas we’ve been growing here at our own company.
Whether you like it or not, and whether you’re aware of it or not, your company has a culture. If you don’t spend time and effort shaping it into what’s best for your business and your employees, a culture may develop that is undesirable. Sometimes, this happens before you even realize it has occurred. A common example is what we call the “complacent culture”… employees in this environment tend to fear change, and they don’t feel pushed to innovate. They’re not growing and they’re content to remain static. They avoid taking responsibility and there’s no focus on building relationships. Whether your culture has regressed to this and you’re in crisis mode, or you’re just looking to improve the positive and growing culture you’ve already built, these descriptions of the cornerstones of our own company culture will likely be a great resource for you.
We’re going to talk about growth, appreciation, involvement, innovation, servant leadership, and continuous improvement.
Growth is perhaps the most important part of our culture. Of course, it’s vital for our company to grow – but we focus on the personal and professional growth of our team members and their leaders. We have quarterly goal-setting programs that we take seriously, setting action steps and holding accountability meetings to ensure we’re meeting our personal and professional goals. We offer tuition assistance for anyone looking to take a class and expand their job-related knowledge. We offer unique leadership classes developed in-house for all company & team leaders and for those who may eventually step into a leadership role. We constantly challenge our team members to be growing every single day.
Our team members consistently feel appreciated and recognized for the hard work they put in every day. We have an MVP program, which involves a huge bulletin board at the front of our office where team members post slips recognizing each other for going above and beyond. Everyone is encouraged to speak up and let others know when someone has done something truly awesome. Our CFO often wanders around the office with a couple of gift cards in his pocket that he’s ready to toss out when he’s learned that a team member did something remarkable. There are often day-long events and celebratory meals at the office simply meant to recognize and appreciate the hard work that everyone has put in. We’ve found that when your employees feel appreciated, they will work even harder and be even more incredible!
At some companies, employees may feel incredibly removed from upper management and the inner workings of the business. Basically, they feel like a little ant, practically invisible to the bigger and more important characters around them. That is not the case here. Our leaders are intimately connected with our team members, working together every day. Our CEO knows everyone here by name, and he holds quarterly meetings, open to all, to review company performance and our progress towards our company goals and vision. The fact that everyone who works here is intimately connected and has the ability to make an impact on the entire company really encourages the feeling of involvement and importance that is vital to our culture.
Our team members are encouraged to think outside the box and share their ideas without fear of judgment or repercussion. Our “Imagine A Bright Idea” program ensures all ideas will be heard and followed up on. Team members can submit their ideas, whether it’s about how to improve a process or a completely new concept entirely, and the idea is assigned to a relevant company leader to follow up and investigate implementation. As you may notice, these six aspects of our culture all ultimately start weave together…the new ideas that stem from this innovation encourage continuous improvement, the dedication of our leaders is a great example of involvement and servant leadership, and the guaranteed feedback about new ideas is another form of recognition.
At many companies, team members work for their leader, in a traditional pyramid model with the “workers” at the base and the chain of command headed to the tip of the pyramid. At our company, we’ve inverted that traditional model to embrace a servant mentality. Our leaders are the base, serving their team members. Our “upside-down triangle” model of servant leadership has been a major component of our culture because it’s ultimately enabled all the other aspects to come to fruition. Our leaders’ ultimate goal has always been to remove obstacles for their team. This factor allows our team members to truly feel the empowerment required to take this culture and run with it. With their leaders available as a resource for coaching, accountability, and assistance, anything is possible.
We have never been content with the average or the ordinary. Our team members are always striving to improve their productivity, their customer service, their daily processes, their interactions with others, and their overall impact. With the empowered culture to back them, this doesn’t feel intimidating or overwhelming – it feels exhilarating and meaningful. We’re constantly brainstorming about ways to save money, ways to automate tasks without losing the human touch, ways to improve our office relationships, and ways to improve processes that don’t even have anything to do with us! This is what allows our culture to keep growing and growing.
If you have any questions about our culture or would like to discuss it further, we love the opportunity to help others! Just fill out our ask a question form and we’ll get back to you with the information you’re looking for.