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Member Article

Engineering a customer-obsessed, purpose-driven tech company culture

By Todd Riesterer, chief people officer, LogicMonitor

The relationship between company cultures that attract and retain the best talent, and those that encourage top-line growth and bottom-line profits is becoming progressively clearer. In fact, a joint study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Glassdoor found that 90 percent of CEOs and CFOs who were surveyed believe that improving work culture would increase their company’s value. Almost 80 percent ranked culture among the five most important factors driving their company’s valuation. On the other hand, employees that are actively disengaged cost their companies between $450 and $550 billion a year in lost economic performance, according to research from The Engagement Institute.

Nowadays, people care much more about the culture of the companies they work for, as well as its values. Brilliant employees who are passionately pursuing their craft – who are the kind of people employers want a disproportionate share of within their employee ranks – have multiple job options. Business leaders who are reassessing what goes into producing a great tech company culture, one that gets high performers to become customer obsessed and build a world-class product and business, should look no further than the three P’s:

Product

Creating a world-class, essential product is always listed at the top of those ‘how to build a business that lasts’ lists. Arguably though, it’s not just because it entices so many to buy. There’s no more powerful rallying cry – not just for tech talent, but also sales, customer success and all supporting functions – than being associated with a product that users rave about. When employees are proud of the product and brand they represent, they are more likely to see value in their own job roles and remain at that company. They are more likely to act as brand ambassadors who are engaged and able to help customers maximise value from that particular product. As a result, employers win because they benefit from a stable and motivated workforce that actively works to strengthen corporate brand, reputation, financial success and longevity.

People

Working adults spend a large proportion of their time engaging with work colleagues. The last thing employees want to do is work with team members who bring them down or don’t pull their weight. Iron sharpens iron, and top talent engenders more top talent as they spur each other on to do their best work, deliver a world-class customer experience, and grow together. It’s therefore important that leaders focus on hiring and growing the best talent. Customers and stakeholders all benefit from this in the long run.

Once top talent is on board, however, employers need to continuously offer a multitude of learning and growth opportunities. For most highflyers, as soon as the learning stops, they leave. It’s challenging to keep up with a mass number of insatiable appetites for development and ‘getting ahead’. But this is a go/no go proposition for employee bases and the wider company culture, so employers need to excel in it.

Purpose

A 2019 Gallup finding reveals that “only 27 percent of employees strongly believe in their company’s values, and less than half strongly agree that they know what their organisation stands for and what makes it different.” Company leaders should find this concerning.

A company’s purpose sets the tone for everything else: a strong customer value proposition, fairness, diversity and inclusion, philanthropic work, and solutions that make businesses run better and make consumers’ lives easier. Every stakeholder meeting, every sales call and every decision an employee makes should be motivated by their business’ purpose.

Companies must clearly define their purpose and the value they bring to their customers so that employees can connect their work, and also to something larger than themselves. When leaders, managers and front-line employees actively embrace this purpose, they will feel more closely aligned with each other, the business and the importance of their individual roles.

In a highly competitive world, the best organisations understand that to create something great in the marketplace, they must first build something great within their workplace. A positive work culture with a laser focus on customer success doesn’t just make employees happier, it makes the business more profitable and productive, which is a win-win situation for everyone involved.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by P Brown .

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