Culture is Crafted, Not Duplicated

Culture seems to be a buzzword in today’s world of manufacturing. How can you create a culture throughout your organization that makes people want to come to work and make a difference? Retaining and keeping your employees engaged can come at a cost, but it’s vital to maintaining a successful company.

In September 2017, I had the opportunity to visit the Zappos Headquarters in Las Vegas. Zappos is known for their company culture, and it was clear how happy and engaged everyone was during my visit. Culture is something that Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, implemented from the beginning. The common theme employees kept referencing was “slow to hire, quick to fire.” Zappos has a long hiring process, but they want to make sure candidates are a right fit for their culture, and if not, they’d be let go quickly.

Luckily enough, I was able to experience the Zappos tour with numerous others, all in manufacturing sectors. The one thing that seemed to always come up was how to translate Zappos’ culture into our own organizations. The answer was easy – we couldn’t. Tony Hsieh had given Zappos an identity through their culture. He didn’t mimic another company’s ideals and values, he established his own.

Culture is something tailored to your organization. There isn’t a general roadmap you can follow that magically creates a great company culture. It comes from the people within the organization that all believe in the same vision. People that want to be working with each other to help achieve an end goal. Inserting a monthly happy hour or interviewing employees to see how to make the workplace better won’t necessarily solve your culture problems. It’s about having the right people there in the first place. It comes from the people within the organization that all believe in the same vision with similar values.

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