While working at a previous company back in the 1980’s, my human resource department floated a recommendation to the CEO about implementing a cafeteria-style employee benefit program where participants would be provided benefit dollars to spend on an array of health insurance options. The benefit proposal seemed like a logical win-win for both the company and employees.
The CEO was known for his gruffness, temper and adversity to most anything people-related. Showing his aggravated disapproval for the HR idea, he wrote across the recommendation using a red magic marker in big sweeping letters, “Why the hell do we need a cafeteria when we have two break rooms and a restaurant on the first floor!”
Needless to say, he didn’t really read the memo and we didn’t implement the cafeteria plan. In fact, we didn’t implement much of anything that involved helping the employees enjoy their work experience; at least not until that CEO was out of the picture. Then improvements began on the people side of the business. The personality of the CEO largely determines the climate of an organization.
Today, more than ever, I believe company culture is king and the CEO is the torch bearer and champion for building a great workplace.
Today, more than ever, I believe company culture is king and the CEO is the torch bearer and champion for building a great workplace. As a business leader, spending time on your company’s work environment is like money in the bank for all stakeholders in the long-run. The creation of a great company culture trumps the richest of compensation or benefits programs. When your culture is toxic, you may overspend on various incentives to tie people to their cubicles. However, employees can tolerate a bad workplace for only so long, even if the company has the best dental plan money can buy.