Company culture is more than a trending article or buzz word. It is often a defining characteristic of success for a company and can either make people believe in the mission or have them exploring other options. In his book Fostering Culture, Shane Jackson, CEO of Jackson Healthcare (our parent company) explores the concept of fostering company culture beyond the perks that are listed on a Glassdoor company review. Jackson hopes to show the importance of having a strong company culture by sharing his one experiences about the role that culture plays at Jackson Healthcare.
Jackson’s book touches on the multifaceted process of outlining culture based on values by using personal and historic examples. He emphasizes the potential pitfalls for leaders during this process and the importance of understanding the subtle difference between beliefs and values. Jackson also states the importance of company’s cultural dynamics as it relates to people who succeed within a given culture and those who would be better suited for a culture whose values align.
The cornerstone values at Jackson Healthcare are: Others First, Wisdom, and Growth. Jackson explains each value in-depth how people at an organization learn those values; as his father likes to say, “People catch lessons- they don’t learn them.”
At Parker we share the same values as Jackson Healthcare. One of the most important ones is placing others first. From making sure we take the client’s needs into account and truly listen to what they want in a candidate to going beyond just asking standard interview questions of our candidates. We seek to understand where they want to go and how they would like to get there. We want to know what drives them and how we can find the best fit for them at a company. Putting others first in staffing is working as a team instead of letting individual competitiveness create barriers at the expense of everyone.
Jackson illustrated the inherent need to get new perspectives and to stay true to the process of discovering your values (as opposed to “slapping a poster on the wall”). He also cautioned against the danger of hypocrisy fostering culture and values that don’t really reflect what your company believes.
Fostering Culture proposes that strong company culture is beyond employee perks. It is an expression of shared values that come from shared beliefs and learning how you want that to be communicated to your company. From there you must understand the communication styles of your employees as well as what’s motivates them. Some things to keep in mind when starting the conversation about your culture according to Jackson: (Fostering Culture 82-87)
- Be honest about your values: “They must be more than a “poster in the wall”.
- Decide where you will compromise: “Spend time thinking about the priority of your values and beliefs.”
- Share your values with customers: “Consider how you can automatically share your values with clients and be true to them to create loyalty”
- Question your beliefs: “A curious driven person will seek the best information possible in making decisions. This means you should constantly challenge whether the assumptions that drive your beliefs are valid.”
- Develop your people: “As a leader one of your primary jobs is to develop your people.”
We hope that these tips can help you on your journey to fostering a successful company culture. To learn more about how Jackson purposefully shaped culture at Jackson Healthcare please check out his book Fostering Culture: A Leader’s Guide to Purposefully Shaping Culture.