Who the Hell Cares About Culture?

5 min read



spartan-race-teamYour employees care about culture because they want to do something that they love in an environment where they can thrive. As an employee, I’ve had the opportunity to experience both good and not-so-good cultures, and the differences are stark. In cultures that were not-so-good, we had to pay more to get talent, and that talent was not committed to our success. They viewed their job as a paycheck, not as anything valuable to them or to the business. Conversely in an environment with a strong culture, we had our pick of talent, and they were committed to our success. They took our customer’s needs personally and did everything possible to make them happy.

welcome-new-studentsYour customers care about culture and want to work with you because you offer something great. Customers aren’t drawn to businesses that simply offer mediocrity. Your customers choose you because they believe in what you are doing. They believe that you will get them the results they desire. One local fitness organization has built a program of results based on a culture of community. They utilize a heart rate tracking system to create monthly competitions among their members. It is not necessarily the fastest or the strongest that get rewarded, but those that try the hardest and improve the most. This culture of community and results has people paying $279 per month to belong. [clearfix]

kettlebell-winnerYour partners and investors care about culture because they want to be a part of something awesome. They want to know that you can hire and retain the best talent. They want to know that you can attract the best customers. The end result is that your partners will have the personal satisfaction of investing in something that matters, and in turn they will receive an exceptional financial return as a result. [clearfix]

To be clear – a great culture is not about bringing your dog to work or having an onsite kegerator. Yes, those perks are great, but it is so much more than that. Your culture is made up of the values, beliefs and expectations held by you and your team. The more explicit you are with your culture, the greater the likelihood of your success. At Zen Planner, we evaluate a job candidate’s cultural fit with our core values before we hire, we evaluate an employee’s contribution to our culture during performance reviews, and we celebrate exceptional cultural examples each and every week with our ritual passing of the kettlebell. Because an organization’s culture is so important, but easily forgotten during day-to-day business operations, take the opportunity to recognize great cultural examples whenever possible.

The best thing you can do to establish a platform for a successful business is to establish the right culture for you and your business.

My name is Jeff Gardner, and I’m the CEO of Zen Planner. My greatest satisfaction comes from creating and building great businesses. My passions are fitness, technology and family. I’ve had the opportunity to run businesses as large as $2 billion and as small as $150,000 in revenue. Throughout these experiences I have learned much. Some of these lessons came by way of taking chances, some by taking advice, and many from making mistakes. In this regular blog discussion, I’ll share my insight and experiences with the intent of helping you build a better business.

Check out our latest eBook, Fitness Business Management Time Traps to Avoid. This guide will help you identify which tasks are taking up too much of your time, how to avoid these traps in the future and, most importantly, how creating efficiencies can help you better build relationships with your members.

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