Healthy organizational cultures used to be something that only human resources professionals talked about but in recent years having a healthy organizational culture has become an important topic from everyone to Customer Service Managers to the “C-suite.” More businesses are seeing a direct return on investment in areas like customer service and bottom line figures.
“If you look at companies lauded for their superior customer service, you almost always find that those companies create a culture that supports excellence in customer service. It’s not that they simply train their employees in customer service skills” (Robert Bacal)
What is Organizational Culture?
Every business has a culture that exists within the structure of the organization. Organizational culture can be seen in values, customs and traditions within organizations as well as the professional atmosphere that is reflected in how their employees’ dress, conduct and ways of communicating internally and externally. The objective is to have an organizational culture that supports the goals of the organization. Business experts call this having a healthy organizational culture.
How Can a Healthy Organizational Culture Influence Customer Service?
“A healthy company culture that focuses on providing excellent customer service, regardless of their products and services, will have a much easier time teaching, coaching and reinforcing employees on the significance of providing excellent service.” (Sweeney, 2011)
There are many other benefits of having a healthy organizational culture. Kevin Eikenberry, the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, says that there are seven reasons organizational culture matters, “These seven benefits can help to reinforce existing customer service strategies and can contribute to greater results.” (Eikenberry, 2006)
- A strong culture is a talent-attractor. Your organizational culture is part of the package that prospective employees look at when assessing your organization. Gone are the days of selecting the person you want from a large eager pool. The talent market is tighter and those looking for a new organization are more selective than ever. The best people want more than a salary and good benefits. They want an environment they can enjoy and succeed in.
- A strong culture is talent-retainer. How likely are people to stay if they have other options and don’t love where they are? Your organizational culture is a key component of a person’s desire to stay.
- A strong culture engages people. People want to be engaged in their work. According to a Gallup survey at least 22 million American workers are extremely negative or “actively disengaged” – this loss of productivity is estimated to be worth $250-$300 billion annually. Your culture can engage people. Engagement creates greater productivity, which can impact profitability. Need I say more?
- A strong culture creates energy and momentum. Build a culture that is vibrant and allows people to be valued and express themselves and you will create a very real energy. That positive energy will permeate the organization and create a new momentum for success. Energy is contagious and will build on itself, reinforcing the culture and the attractiveness of the organization.
- A strong culture changes the view of “work.” Most people have a negative connotation of the word work. Work equals drudgery, 9-5, “the salt mine.” When you create a culture that is attractive, people’s view of “going to work” will change. Would you rather see work as drudgery or a joy? Which do you think your employees would prefer? Which will lead to the best results?
- A strong culture creates greater synergy. A strong culture brings people together. When people have the opportunity to (and are expected to) communicate and get to know each other better, they will find new connections. These connections will lead to new ideas and greater productivity – in other words, you will be creating synergy. Literally, 1 + 1 + right culture = more than 10. How is that for leverage?
- A strong culture makes everyone more successful. Any one of the other six reasons should be reason enough to focus on organizational culture. But the bottom line is that an investment of time, talent and focus on organizational culture will give you all of the above benefits. Not only is creating a better culture a good thing to do for the human capital in the business, it makes good business sense too.
For more information regarding return on investment and statistics of a health organizational culture, click here to learn about the Denison Model Statistics.
Eikenberry, K. (2006, March 19). Seven Reasons Organizational Culture Matters. Retrieved March 4, 2013, from Ezine Articles: http://ezinearticles.com/?Seven-Reasons-Organizational-Culture-Matters&id=164337
Robert Bacal, B. &. (n.d.). What is a customer service culture? Retrieved March 4, 2013, from Customer Service Zone: http://customerservicezone.com/faq/culturewhat.htm
Sweeney, M. (2011, July 14). The Impact of a Healthy Organizational Culture on Customer Service. Retrieved March 4, 2013, from Bright Hub: http://www.brighthub.com/office/human-resources/articles/121405.aspx