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Culture is key

Over the past few years I have worked in many industries, each company having its own unique way of motivating its staff and keeping them interested in the company.

I must confess though that from all these companies, the one that does it best is Primedia Broadcasting. Our culture as a business is built on many things, our life experiences, our values, our beliefs, even down to race. In most cases these would be conflicting principles, I mean think about how race builds culture…

… heres a practical example, in the Online department we have as most government forms would state “white, black, asian (indian)” it’s a pity because all we are missing is a coloured person. That’s right our department has it’s own unique breed of culture. We don’t try to hide that we are different outwardly in fact it is those differences in skin colour and acent and lanuage that bond us so closely together.

Each of us plays on our characters and background cultures. I (as an example) am orignally from Durban and that spirit and culture has stayed with me – love spicy food, wearing shorts in Joburg (which as you know freezes all the time), being loud, having fun and always making a joke.

My friend Conny, is from the Limpopo province, thus she is a Pede girl. We both have a very similar character in that we like to make fun at each other. I have mastered my fun-making with a really simple trick – just tease Conny that she is Zulu instead of Pede… 🙂

In most other companies I would be fired I think just because it’s highlighting ones race, yet here  I stand, as one of the staff of probally the most successful broadcaster in Africa.

WHY – What makes a company this strong?

It is culture and characters of the team you have working in your business. Don’t get me wrong not every deparment in Primedia  is cultured this way, each department has its own way of building the bond. The point is, that there needs to be culture and it needs to be encouraged. There will neve come a time when someone tells me “Stop teasing Conny” simply because even though we play like children, we get the job done – and we do it with a smile. 🙂

If your business lacks culture start now, there is no better time than today. If you need greater reason then you need only look around you at the effects the Recession is having on the world, people now more than any other time, need to build companionship with each other and in so doing will be able to perform at there best because the spirit and culture is good.

Develop this culture in simple way,

 – Praise the right people when they need praising. I cannot stress how important this is. If someone does a task well and you can see the effort, it is your responsibility to praise him or her. It is just as important that you praise the right person, with so many levels of management these days, it is often just the managers that get the praise, always fogetting about the bottom of he bucket, those employees who get down and dirty to deliver.

– Tokens – Everyone loves gifts, and most people don’t care about what they get so long as they get something. You don’t need a special occassion for this, in fact it is most effective when there is no occassion, because then your staff know that you have them in mind.

– Free Spirits – Allows people to be themselves whereever possible. There are days when I walk into the office in my shorts, everyone is ok with it. Yes it’s because I don’t have to see clients and so forth but just make it comfortable for your employees, this extends further than just clothes.

– Laugh Often – We live in difficult times with so many evils around, to lighten people up, get them to smile and laugh.

– See Failure Correctly – Failure is part of the learning process and in cases where failure happened don’t just bark down someones throat, rather evaluate the situation and if there is room to allow your employee to learn from the failure then let him / her do exactly that.

These are just a few to get you started.

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  1. 12/09/2009 at 9:24 am

    Thanks for sharing the information on Developing the culture in simple way. It was nice going through your blog. Keep it up the good work.

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