Keeping Up with Culture

September 19, 2019 | by Todd Pierce

I was recently in San Diego for a wedding (#humblebrag) and unexpectedly found myself in the midsts of an in-depth conversation about my job, its location and, more specifically, my work/life balance.

To give a little context, I was speaking with a fertilizer salesman from a small town in the Midwest, just two or three years shy of his retirement. Professionally and generationally, there was a definite gap between the two of us, making for an interesting back and forth and more than one instance of not seeing eye to eye.

One thing we could agree on: No matter the industry, companies values are going in a drastically different direction than they were 10-15 years ago.



Cultural Shifts are Across the Board

As the fertilizer salesman and I dove deeper into our company culture discussion, I explained to him how BatesMeron has seen a shift in our clients’ motivation for change. We’ve recently taken company after company through our discovery sessions, competitive analysis and messaging processes, all to get to the root of their core values and positioning. I then went on to explain how the culture of a company can be critical, amongst other values, if you want to create a long-lasting, successful and motivating place to work. It was something he could attest to after decades in his own industry.

Culture is one of the many growing intangible values that affect a company’s ability to execute its long-term strategy. A successful company culture can help you ensure each of your employees, from top leadership to entry-level, are working towards the same common goal, sharing the same bigger purpose. Employees today want to feel like they have a purpose when it comes to their daily work. It’s no longer the days of “workin’ 9 to 5, all takin’ and no givin'” (sorry, Dolly).

But don’t just take a random fertilizer salesman’s and my word for it. Global accounting firm EY recently found that “intangible assets” such as culture average 52% of an organization’s market value (and in some sectors, as much as 90%). Researchers have documented that in the US and UK, more value is now driven by intangible, rather than tangible, assets. (Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake, Capitalism Without Capital: The Risk of the Intangible Economy, Princeton University Press, 2017)



A Company with Culture On Lock

This all begs the question: Are companies actually making the needed cultural changes? Some have taken the hint and are in the midst of improvement while others are already hitting the nail on the head. Method Soap is one of the latter. The brand has taken its culture to heart and is constantly making strides to demonstrate those efforts.

Method’s promise is to make products that work, both for you and for the planet. That was the heart of Method’s “There’s Good Inside” campaign, which focuses on what’s good about the brand beyond their products. According to Doug Piwinski, Method’s Global CMO, the campaign “was meant to draw attention to the beauty of what’s inside our bottles–ultimately how we are connected to the homes and people who use and love Method.”



It’s a sentiment that’s right at home with the discussion I had back in San Diego. Companies are starting to understand that their purpose—and the they culture build around it—need to go beyond the product or service they’re selling. They have to demonstrate efforts towards an even greater purpose by “giving back” to their communities.

Method went further than simply giving back. They helped “create” far more than cleaning products by building the only LEED Platinum factory in the soap making industry, right here on the south side of Chicago. It brought new jobs and economic benefits to the Pullman community in hopes to revitalize the area’s once rich manufacturing history. Before breaking ground, Method made a commitment to hire locally wherever possible, and have continued to hire, train and build experts out of employees with no previous manufacturing experience. As of 2018, they employed 130 Chicago residents, with almost half of all employees living in Pullman and the surrounding communities.



Talk about a company with great culturural awareness! Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? And, on the flip side, who would want to work for anything less than that?

Whether you feel that a revitalized company culture is a desired change for your company or not is no longer the issue. Ultimately, there is a growing wave of a new kind of workforce coming in, looking to your company’s culture and values for something to identify with and stay loyal to. It is the new key to employee retention, the answer to employees switching between your company and your competitors. To ensure long-term success and long-term employee retention, it’s critical your company creates its core values—and then lives them, every single day.

All that info have you sweating over your new company’s lack of core values, or your longtime company’s outdated value system? We’ve got you covered. Let BatesMeron help you take a deep dive into your company and cultivate values that truly reflect who you are and the greater purpose you bring to the world (we promise, you have one).

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