Company Culture Is What Makes Tough Work Worthwhile

Craig Ferrara

Culture should be the glue to holds your company together.

Let me tell you how I know this:

Prior to my new gig here at kununu, I was a regular contributor to the blog at my previous company speaking to the challenges of managing a team of Business Development Reps at an outsourced services company.

Since our clients came from the emerging tech-start-up world, our sales approach had to take on an evangelical/ story telling style. That was tough since, as most of us know, you have about 15 seconds to capture a prospect’s attention. Those of us who’ve done it recognize how difficult and thankless that work can be. The cold calling world is an unrelenting beast!

Don’t get me wrong, I loved owning the challenge of motivating a team of reps getting beat up on the phones all day long, but needless to say there can be a few difficult days for all of us.

Guess what got us through those tough days? Our C-U-L-T-U-R-E.


company culture definition

Culture = giving a damn about your people

I recently looked back at the blogs I’ve written through the years, and it struck me that there were some very obvious themes that I naturally focused on in my writing. While I did spend quite a bit of time sharing my thoughts on cold calling best practices, what it always came back to for me was the culture. REALLY giving a damn about your folks.

It has always been pretty simple to me. As a manager, you owe it to your people to give them the sense that you’re in the trenches with them. I’m not saying that will resurrect a crap culture….but it’s a start. It’s not a matter of just pinning up a list of your suggested ideas in your employee’s cube and expecting your team to execute.

Yeah, your management team could say that they care about their work environment, but all the trust fall meetings and ice cream socials don’t mean doody if they don’t walk the walk with their team’s best interest in mind.

When a boss says ”we’ve always done it this way” also known as the  “deal with it” management style, you will inevitably lose your most talented folks. No question.

Be an example, not a distraction

Truly leading by example is what matters, taking the time to affect positive change that motivates the team- otherwise all of those fun corporate events are just another distraction that your average employee just slogs through.

Many of my long-time friends, employees and colleagues said that the transition to kununu was a logical one for me. It was simply a natural connection to what I’d been yammering on about over the years. Point is, what the last 15 years has taught me is that people genuinely care about company culture…otherwise why would 69% of the workforce not take a job with a company with bad reviews?? We’re paying attention people!!

So, what are you doing about your culture? Ask yourself, would you recommend your best friend with the right skill-set for a role at your company? If not, then why are YOU wasting your time there? If you’re planning to stay, what are you doing to impact the perception of your organization, both inside and outside the organization?

Culture is king. It’s time we all got on board the train.