Recently, I overheard a Human Resources Associate bragging about her company’s benefits and asking others, “What makes your company great?” I couldn’t help but think about cake, and I wasn’t hungry.
If you judge your company or others by the list of benefits they offer, you are missing the most important part: the cake.
What Kind of Cake or Organizational Culture Do You Have?
The benefit package that employers offer their employees really is the icing on the cake. It makes something good, even sweeter.
The cake, on the other hand represents an organizational health or organizational culture. I believe the cake is the most important part of this desert but commonly overlooked. You can’t have delicious cake without a healthy organizational culture. Most cake that is out there is stale, moldy and down right poisonous.
If your frosting isn’t great, you’ll scrape it off but you’ll still eat the yummy cake.
If you have great frosting and disgusting cake, what do you do? You’ll slide it across the table. The only reason you would eat this cake is because you’re starving! In other words, you’re looking for the next opportunity or something better.
Bad cake is hard to swallow but most companies cover it with the creamiest frosting they can find. They will spare no expense to have outstanding frosting but invest nothing to improve it’s organizational culture.
It’s easy to tell which companies have have good cake; their employees are smiling, enthusiastic and engaged with their customers, clients or patients. You might think this is presumptuous to say, but the front line people are a reflection of the leadership team and their leadership style. The leaders are essentially the bakers of the cake. Leadership dictates the culture of an organization.
Make Great Cake
You can survive with fair frosting, but you won’t last long with bad cake. Look at your attrition rate and employee surveys to get an idea how your cake is perceived Finding good talented people today is expensive and getting harder to do. Stop hiring warm bodies or settling for less than quality ingredients. Pick the right personalities for your organization’s culture or the right ingredients. The freshest ingredients make great cake. Concentrate on your cake before worrying about what various frostings you’ll offer this year.
Good cake will keep your talented people loyal and dedicated for a very very long time!