TZL 1390 (web)



Your core values are the foundation of your culture, so it’s critically important that existing staff live the core values you expect others to emulate. Maintaining culture in a growth environment

I am an ardent believer that a company’s culture is the ultimate predictor of its success. In 2015, I assumed leadership of the Southeast Business Unit of SCS Engineers. When I started in that role, my primary focus was to work on culture, as we had two recent acquisitions join the firm within this business unit. I wrote about this in a prior article for The Zweig Letter .

Eduardo Smith

Since 2015, we have added two offices, our leadership has changed substantially, with several of us taking other positions in the company, and we’ve doubled the number of staff in the business unit. So it’s not surprising that a colleague reached out to me a short time ago, wondering how we maintain the culture we had worked so hard to create. Should we have webinars to highlight aspects of our culture? Should we send out monthly communications or visibly celebrate when we see the culture being lived? While I think those things are fine, what kept coming back to me was that our culture should be obvious. Our core values are the foundation of our culture, and those shouldn’t change, no matter how many people we hire. Those values are a testament of who we are, what we believe, and how we behave toward each other, our clients, and other stakeholders. New staff should see it and

sense it as soon as they walk in the door – or in today’s world, as soon as they log on to their first Teams call. Our core values, and the culture and vision and goals that sprout from them, should be discussed not just in webinars and monthly communications, they should be part of our everyday speech because they should drive all of our important decisions. When discussing this with a colleague (she’s at least part Italian), she pointed out that she didn’t come out of the womb eating pasta. She was taught her cultural heritage – including her love of pasta – by her parents. So she reasoned that we also need to teach new staff about our firm’s culture. But I think we learn more about our cultural heritage by observing and just hanging out with our parents, than by being instructed. And I think it’s the same at work. Our culture

See EDUARDO SMITH, page 12


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