Company leaders focused on growth frequently overlook one key investment that will generate even higher returns: building and maintaining a positive team culture. Creating a positive environment that fosters trust, individual and collective growth, and strong alignment among all team members can help propel your organization’s overall success. Maintaining a positive team culture is of the utmost importance to us at Merchants & Marine Bank.
We’ve seen time and again that when we keep this oft-forgotten aspect of running a business in focus, it yields great results for both our bank and the talented bankers who keep it running.
Defining Workplace Culture
Workplace culture is what makes your team different from other organizations, what makes it stand out. It is the personality of your business – constructed from your mission, values, interactions, atmosphere, and mission.
Mission: Your mission guides your business, uniting employees through a shared goal and vision for the future of the company. This goes far beyond generating profits to the reason for your company’s existence.
Values: Your company’s values unite team members under a common set of ideals and community. They also establish a common framework for decision making and problem solving within your organization that can drive superior results.
Atmosphere: From your dress code, to office layout, to team member benefits & recognition, the overall look and feel of your business plays a huge role in defining its culture. Being intentional in crafting an atmosphere that aligns with your mission, values and business strategies is a sure fire way to improve buy in and drive stronger results.
Organizational Structure: The hierarchy and relationships in your business – both formal and informal – define why, when and how employees interact. This also determines how employees view their roles in the workplace when it comes to taking care of clients, surfacing issues that need to be addressed, or sharing innovative ideas that can push your company forward.
There are many other facets of business that help shape company culture, some of which vary based on industry and a specific business. However, the four pillars outlined above are consistent across all businesses and industries, even if they may carry different names. Taking the time to explore, discuss and define clear goals for each of these pillars is a key firs step for leaders looking to understand and improve their workplace c
Why Culture Matters
Company culture is easy for leaders to overlook as being less important than other, more tangible, business objectives. However, culture is something that touches every part of an organization every single day, even areas not covered by formal business plans. Developing a clear mission and investing in your business’ culture directly leads to higher team member engagement, productivity, client satisfaction, and success in the marketplace. Good company culture consistently cultivates stronger client & employee relationships, organizational growth and enhanced long-term profitability.
Great cultures motivate — when team members feel connected to their workplace, they feel empowered to succeed and will take pride in their work. They will also take pride in helping your recruit the best and brightest to join them, a key differentiator in today’s incredibly tight labor market. And, it goes without saying that highly talented team members are far less likely to leave a workplace where they feel strongly connected and valued,
If I had to list the most important elements of our culture, I’d highlight: our commitment to servant leadership; taking a long-term approach to every aspect of our business; and, putting our clients and communities first. These values guide all of our decision-making, whether it’s selecting a big-hearted person from among several talented people to join our team, or focusing on philanthropy that not only meets today’s needs but also creates positive generational changes in our communities.
Above all, we place the highest expectation and greatest level of responsibility to live out our unique style of servant leadership on our executive leadership team. In fact, we’ve long used an inverted leadership approach to leadership to help our team understand our philosophy on leadership and service. We look for servant leaders, not those centered on power and titles, to help serve our team and our clients. It’s a non-negotiable for us, in fact. The higher your title at Merchants & Marine Bank, the more you’re expected to serve and equip those around you.
In-depth Look at Our Blueprint for Culture
Learn more about our teams and our intentional drive for exceptional company culture.
Written by: Clayton Legear, President & Chief Executive Officer