During my visits to mortgage lenders last month, it was evident pretty quickly which firms had a strong culture and which ones did not. Why does having a strong positive culture matter in today’s marketplace? When everyone offers essentially the same products with about the same prices, what really differentiates a company from the competition is their people.
While Wall Street analysts focus on a company’s results and strategies, I believe that a positive culture is really what drives and sustains a company’s success. If the culture works, then everything else works better at a company.
While it is true that a company with a dysfunctional culture might be successful, the ensuing high turnover and burnout inevitably take their toll on performance. A burn-and-churn culture rarely if ever achieves long-term success. A variety of studies have backed this up, noting that companies with positive cultures experienced revenue growth six times that of their peers — a figure that translates into stock appreciation 10 times that of weak culture firms. Incredible! Furthermore, studies show that when a positive culture is within a division of a weak cultured company, the division outperforms competing groups!
What is positive culture about and who drives the culture at a company? A positive culture is where sales professionals not only believe the vision of the leader but are passionate about it. First-line to executive managers are the core influencers of company culture. It really does matter who is placed in these positions.
Unfortunately, managers are often appointed based on who they know and/or how much volume they have produced in the past. When recruiting managers, companies should ask: Are they more interested in themselves than the people they will manage? Do they receive satisfaction from coaching others and developing them? Are they willing to engage and adapt to changing times and challenges?
If the right questions are not being asked when hiring managers, how can we expect originators to be passionate about the vision and the company? A positive culture does not just pop up out of thin air. It starts when the right manager is in place to instill a positive culture. Do you have the right managers to lead your sales organization in these challenging times?