It is easy to understand how companies get too busy to stop and discuss culture and values. Customers do not buy culture directly so there is no short term deliverable. Perhaps this dynamic actually makes those who do spend time on culture stand out even more.
This week I am doing four "Culture Sessions". While all new hires at Benefitfocus are educated about our company culture during their orientation, these sessions are designed to go a bit deeper on the topic with our new associates. I like to do the sessions myself, in person. It takes more time to do batches of sessions, but I would rather do a lot of sessions so I can give people the opportunity to attend at a time that doesn’t interfere with their customer commitments. I do love the use of video for many topics, but for culture I always do it live.
The material I use is rarely updated. Some of the slides I use are actually over 10 years old. I have some updated material with new photos of our campuses or new things that we are doing, but the core of the material has remained remarkably consistent.
We cover our four core values, talk a bit about the history of our company, look at other cultures and share some stories. We even have a few silly skits to make some key points. It is a lot of fun, the time flies by for me and I meet many new folks. We even have our customers or prospective customers attend.
I guess it is a bit like family dinner night. We are all very busy and that can quickly get lost. Someone has to stop the world from spinning long enough to talk about what is important, share some stories and discuss what the values are. You may not be in a position to do that entirely for your company, but I would encourage you to at least do it with your team.
If you would like to attend one of our sessions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also request our book on the topic at that email address. We do a new associate session once a quarter and we do a broader set of sessions for all of our associates annually.