Corporate culture is one of the most important aspects of your self-storage business and a determining factor in its ultimate success. Entrepreneur magazine defines corporate culture as “a blend of the values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals, and myths all companies develop over time.” Corporate culture influences how your employees interact and communicate with customers and each other, how they conduct assigned tasks, how they behave while at work, and how they solve problems and address conflicts.
Values Drive Behavior
As the definition above indicates, culture is driven by values. On a personal level, it is easy to understand how our values drive behavior. The same is true in the corporate world. Corporate values are unique to the organization. If you have not taken the time to identify your company’s values, it is well worth your time to do so. Successful values statements generally include three to five elements that are relatively simple to remember.
Reinforce The Values
Once identified, your values should become a key element within the organization. Discuss them with employees and post your values statement in the office. Reinforce the values statement during each training session. There is a participatory element inherent to corporate values, and employees must understand and identify with them in order to take ownership in their implementation and learn to demonstrate behavior that aligns with the values statement. Therefore, employee participation is important in the process of identifying the values.
Your employees are not the only ones responsible for living up to the values. Corporate values are driven from the top, and executives and managers must set the example by embodying them. With that in mind, it is important to consider the company’s values when making hiring decisions in order to enhance the corporate culture and overall organization.
The Effect On Your Bottom Line
The sphere of influence of your values statement will likely go beyond the self-storage facility itself. Values project beyond the corporate culture and into the larger community, and this may have a positive effect on your bottom line. Whether your company participates in charitable drives, actively supports servicemembers and their families, promotes childhood literacy, or engages in other worthy efforts, current and potential customers in your market area may come to identify your facility with those values and reward you with their business.
The start of a new year provides an ideal opportunity for business owners to set aside time to identify and communicate their corporate values. Doing so can yield multifold benefits in enhancing company culture, improving employee engagement, elevating customer service, and boosting the bottom line.
President and CEO