The 12 Commandments of an Outstanding Culture

Rick Capozzi | 09/28/17

Culture is always one of the first things that I discuss when I am helping a firm get to the next level because happy employees lead to better results all around. Happy employees make for happy clients, and having happy clients is always the primary goal. If your employees are miserable or just going through the motions, do your clients pick up on it? Yes, they absolutely do.

Here are the 12 Commandments of building an outstanding culture:

1. Everyone in the organization feels valued, recognized, and respected.

Does everyone feel relevant knowing that they are making a contribution to the big picture? Whether someone is your right-hand man/woman or the intern that you just hired, they know that they are important to the organization.

2. The organization celebrates diversity of people and ideas.

What happens in your office when someone brings up a new idea? Are they told to keep doing things “the way that has worked” or are they heard and acknowledged? No one has all of the right answers, and there are many different ways to look at the world. Embrace and build diversity, and you will have a much richer set of ideas and perspectives to draw from and win with.

3. The organization values speed and operates with a sense of urgency.

Two days to return emails or phone calls is not acceptable. A lack of urgency sends a message: “You are not important.” This goes for both clients and employees. If you are not operating with speed and energy, everyone can feel it, and it makes the recipient feel unimportant. Think about how your clients and employees will feel when they get immediate replies to their thoughts and inquiries. They will respond in kind with the same level of energy and excitement.

4. The organization’s focus is on solutions versus pushing products.

We are in the relationship business, and if we want to succeed, we need to bring people the solutions that they need.

5. The organization has a clear vision and purpose.

Leaders and employees can answer the following questions: Why do we exist? Where are we going? How are we getting there? How are we different?

6. People are recognized for taking risks and trying new things.

Collaboration is recognized and rewarded. Failing is okay. Learn and move on. Help people play with confidence.

7. The organization promotes complete transparency.

All employees understand why a decision is made and why a certain strategy will be implemented. This understanding goes beyond “because the executive office made a decision.” If we want everyone in our organization to feel relevant and to feel like they are doing meaningful work, then they have to understand why they are doing what they are doing.

8. Milestones are celebrated, and time is regularly set aside for fun.

Take the time to let your team know that they are worth celebrating, whether it is for an anniversary or just because they are doing a great job. Give them a chance to get out of their usual routine and blow off some steam.

9. The organization promotes volunteerism and works in communities to make a difference for those who are less fortunate.

Everyone should take some time to give back to their community. It is the right thing to do, and there are other fringe benefits as well. When you are in your everyday routine, your problems seem huge, and you forget how fortunate you are. Taking the time to help those in need changes your perspective and lets you see how lucky you are to have a job and work on a team with fellow caring and compassionate people. The renewed perspective is an experience that lasts.

10. The organization is a meritocracy, meaning it is performance-driven and client-centric.

If your team thinks that working hard and succeeding will not make a difference in their life and their career, why would they bother? When your employees see that your business is run fairly and that they can succeed by performing and putting the clients first, they will work to meet these goals. Clarity is power, and when people can clearly see the path to success, they are more likely to take the right steps forward.

11. Overall health is a priority, and everyone plays a role in creating a healthy environment, both physically and mentally.

People need to take care of themselves first if they are going to take care of others. Make sure that everyone in your office is at their best physically and mentally so they can create a healthy environment. When they are not healthy, clients feel the lack of energy.

12. The leadership team walks the talk. They lead by example.

As a leader, you need to be willing to do everything that you ask others to do and more. If you tell your team to be positive and energetic when they interact with clients, they better hear your positive and energetic voice when they transfer a call to you. When your actions contradict your standards, you are confusing your team and losing credibility. You need to be at a level that they aspire to.

What commandments do you follow? What are you going to focus on to take your performance to the next level?

If you want to learn how to build the right culture, click here for a free chapter on Culture from my book, The Growth Mindset coming out on October 7th, 2017.

Rick Capozzi is a highly regarded industry leader in financial services, author, and former National Sales Manager at Morgan Stanley. Rick’s notable 30-year track record of success spans across several channels, including private banking and trust, wealth management, and Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). Holding senior leadership positions with the world’s largest organizations, including TD Private Bank, Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo and UBS, Rick’s track record speaks for itself. As Regional President at Wells with over $30 billion in AUM and Regional Director at Morgan Stanley with over $35 billion in AUM, Rick led both regions from nearly last to first in the country by applying his sound principles, proven strategies and actionable tactics.

Rick is currently president of Capozzi Advisory Group, LLC, a boutique consulting and training firm. He is quietly opening his playbook to bring real-world experience and deep industry knowledge by offering managers and advisors proven winning strategies and solutions to achieve sustainable growth. Check out his book, The Growth Mindset, out on October 7th, 2017



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