Creating company culture

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One thing about company culture is that it doesn’t end when the fiscal year ends – it’s the attitude and mood barometer of a company throughout the year. Louis Capolino, vice president of Venezia, a 400-truck, family-owned company in Limerick, Pa., says that the company culture of an organization is more important now than it’s ever been. An increase in available qualified drivers and a fluctuating economic market can give you the best chance you’ve had in years to attract, train and retain good employees. One major benefit you can offer potential drivers is a supportive, fair management style fostering a strong company culture.

How do you define a company’s culture? “It’s a state of mind, like the conscience of a company. It’s what your employees do when nobody tells them what to do,” Capolino says.

Capolino offers these tips for steering your company culture in the right direction:

  • Share information. Share the good and bad news with your employees – they will work harder if they know what the stakes are.
  • Do you have a vision? Have a clear mission statement that defines where you are and where you are going and make sure everyone knows it.
  • Give your employees a lot of rope to succeed and fail.
  • Give them tools to be accountable.
  • Walk around a lot. Go on the road every now and then. Invite drivers to spend the day at corporate. Everyone needs to know what everyone else does.
  • Treat employees like you treat your most valued customer.
  • Hire people you will enjoy working with.
  • Give everyone a chance for his or her voice to be heard.
  • Now is not the time to cut back on employee benefits and perks. If you can afford it, keep it up.
  • Recognize one employee every day by giving a compliment or a pat on the back.

Capolino says he operates like a coach, always encouraging more work, more effort and more positive attitudes than people think they possess. He’s convinced that the current availability of good drivers is a huge chance to upgrade the quality of your employees. He also believes that nothing attracts and retains good employees like a strong, positive company culture. Quality employees and good company culture go hand in hand.

Chip Magner is publisher of Commercial Carrier Journal. E-mail Lmagner@eTrucker.com.