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7 Keys To Culture In The Workplace

Friday, October 6, 2017 - Joe Kiedinger

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Culture = Behavior. Behavior = Results. Culture = Results.

This is the simple formula introduced to me at Disney Institute. I will be presenting the keys to developing a great C.U.L.T.U.R.E. in the coming weeks. First, let’s explore why culture is important. It’s quite simple; a great company culture gets results! The bigger question is, how do you build culture? Let’s break this down:

Culture = Behavior. A collection of common values and behaviors is what makes up culture. When employees have a unified value system about behavior and decision-making (core values), then the client will feel this unified front and word will spread. That’s what brings us to Behavior = Results. Once we begin seeing results, the equation completes itself. Therefore, Culture = Results.

You can bet, while visiting Walt Disney World, that you will never see Cinderella sneaking around her castle for a smoke break. That would be shocking! As a matter of fact, guests of Disney are overly critical about their experience because they were sold a ‘magical experience’ and Disney’s reputation for excellence is well known. Therefore, expectations are high.

Let’s look at Disney’s The Magic Kingdom. In its simplest description, The Magic Kingdom is an amusement park. It falls into the same business category as Six Flags Great America. However, rudeness from employees is more accepted at Six Flags… why? Because Six Flags is not viewed as something special. The expectation is to experience rides, not to go on rides that create an experience. Therefore, Six Flags is judged by the quality of the rides, while Disney is judged by the overall guest experience. And people expect to pay more for that experience.

The four core values or pillars for employees at Disney are as follows: Safety, Courtesy, Plus the Show, and Capacity (sometimes referred to as Efficiency). These four pillars are repeated over and over again to their employees. Employees are celebrated and acknowledged for following these pillars. These behaviors are tracked and reinforced over and over again. When the employee gets it, it then becomes a part of them. The culture is so strong, as a matter of fact, that people applying for a “cast member” position, already understand that expectations in their behavior are high. They already get the brand and then they learn the culture.

Over the next several weeks I will be taking you on a journey of exploring the seven keys to a healthy C.U.L.T.U.R.E. We will first explore Communication and Cooperation. It’s the first critical area in the journey. Welcome aboard!

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