Influencing Company Culture from the Inside Out

 By Jen Piccotti

By Jen Piccotti

“There were nine AC units down, but he met with each of the residents and walked them through everything the team was doing to get the new units in as quickly as possible. The residents actually thanked him - and that week it was over 100 degrees!”

“My regional was so grateful that I covered for my assistant manager’s unexpected family emergency, that she delivered a gift certificate for a 1-hour massage in time for my first day off in over a week! It made me feel so appreciated.”

 Winners of the Pine Cone Challenge: Cabin #1

Winners of the Pine Cone Challenge: Cabin #1

“I look forward to her smile every morning. She brings sunshine into the office every day and shifts the mood to total positivity, no matter what craziness the team is facing that day.”

When RedPeak invited me to be “Camp Counselor” for Lori Snider’s Culture Camp brain child, I was beyond thrilled. Her goal, along with the executive team’s, was to reinforce the impact that these nominated individuals have on their fellow team members as Culture Carriers, no matter what their official job title might be. Among the 30 participants, there were managers, housekeepers, maintenance techs, assistants, leasing consultants, construction leads, accountants, service managers, and IT representatives. 

Dividing the group into 3 “cabins,” we began walking through RedPeak’s service standards. The goal? To hear specific, personalized examples of a team member putting that service standard into action with a focus on the result. I wanted to hear these culture carriers bragging about their team members in the field. I wanted them to practice recognizing, verbalizing and reinforcing company culture in action. For each example shared, that person’s cabin received a coveted pine cone. As the competition for pine cones heated up, the volume of stories increased. And the result was beautiful. And impactful. These were stories that hadn’t been heard before, yet from the smiles and nods around the picnic tables, the individuals being bragged about – and their actions - were very familiar.

 Camp Journals: Who Drew It Best?

Camp Journals: Who Drew It Best?

My current favorite definition of culture is: the response an employee can expect from the company in any given situation. While it’s easy to define “the company” as the executive or regional team, the reality is that each employee represents “the company” and has the power to carry on the cultural response they would like to see. In other words, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

If you want to be recognized for your problem-solving skills, your willingness to stay late or arrive early, your can-do attitude, your never-failing follow through… then recognize those characteristics in your team members. Recognize them in your supervisors. Recognize them in your residents. Your suppliers. Your prospects!

While it’s critical for company culture to be defined, communicated and nurtured from the top-down, it’s equally critical, and often more effective, when culture is supported and demonstrated from the inside out. Best case scenario? Do both.

And to my RedPeak friends? Mark my words: The Red Team is capturing the flag next year!  #CultureCamp #CampChampWannaBes #WhyIsTheFieldSoLong #MyLungsAreOnFire