Eric Rich II, CEO of Rich Roofing in Troy, Ohio, shared his secrets on creating a “first-class company culture.”
“The success or failure of every civilization, family, business and even an individual is most often determined by its culture,” said Rich, noting that culture is defined as the values of a group, social behavior and shared beliefs.
Rich said every business has its own culture, and its culture is the difference between success and failure. “People are what make a company great,” he said. “Let us imagine, for a moment, if all of their people cared about the customer and the company.”
Even in a down year, Rich Roofing saw 14 percent growth in 2009. “It’s all about people,” he said. “You set the example. If you don’t believe in your heart, they’ll know it. If you are not passionate, it won’t work. It’s about the success or failure of your business.”
Rich said determining whether or not an employee shares the company’s values is a key part of a manager’s decision-making process when it comes to hiring and firing. “We have to evaluate,” he said. “Getting back to organizational values is what makes people get together.”
If employees deliver on commitments and share the company’s values, obviously they should stay. When an employee misses on commitments and does not share the company’s values, a manager’s decision is also simple: “They must go.”
Then there are “Rock Stars,” he said. “These are employees who deliver on commitments, but do not share the company’s values. The decision of what to do with them is difficult.”
Tolerating them equals danger. “This is dangerous, very dangerous,” he said. “It’s a constant reminder. They know where they fall.”
Those employees who miss on commitments but share the company’s values might be trainable, so with help they might turn things around.
Rich said when it comes to keeping employees engaged, surveys show the top three motivators are interesting work, appreciation, and feeling “in on things.”
“You’ve got to keep your employees happy,” Rich said. “If you’ve got an employee who does everything, we send them a card that says what a great job they’re doing. That’s an ‘Oh, my goodness. I never expected that.’ They get emotional. In one way, shape or form, the company will benefit from it.”
Motivated employees increase productivity, boost profit and inspire people to do more, Rich noted. “The hardest thing for your competitors to duplicate is your most powerful advantage,” he said. “Engage their minds. Engage their hearts, to create passion. Then conquer the competition with passionate performance.”