Culture Under Construction

Culture (noun): the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group

also : the characteristic features of everyday existence (such as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time.

Today, everyone talks about “workplace culture”, but few companies truly understand how to create and nurture a healthy company culture. Companies with healthy cultures hold the key to surpassing their competition in hiring, employee retention, customer satisfaction, and more.

Katie Smith, CEO of PHC Restoration, embodies servant leadership as she continuously works on building and nurturing her company’s culture, and sharing her wisdom and experience with the entire restoration industry – and beyond.
Look for a fresh column from Katie on Culture: Under Construction in the first Restoration Today eNewsletter of each month! Don’t get our eNews? Subscribe here!

The Culture Guide

In the Onboarding section of the Employee Experience series, we briefly covered the value and purpose of a culture guide. A culture guide prepares a new team member to seamlessly integrate into your culture by clearly communicating what will be expected of them instead of leaving them to figure it out on their own.  A culture guide is not the same as a handbook. You can think of the handbook as a document for the employee, and the culture guide as a document for your team member. The handbook is the appropriate place to

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Maintaining Culture With The Monthly Meeting

Before we dig into this month’s topic, let’s make sure you’ve checked all the boxes we’ve talked about so far in the Culture Under Construction series: You know what culture is, and you’ve taken steps to measure how you’re doing You’ve created a healthy environment where people feel safe, loved, and appreciated You have clearly defined your mission and values and you communicate them regularly You have a recruiting and interviewing process that revolves around your culture You have systems in place to ensure you’re having regular conversations with your team and you’re investing

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The Employee Experience: Separation

Hide or Hug I have a litmus test to tell me how well I handled an employee separation. I call it “Hide or Hug.” Basically, it’s what I might do when I see that person out in public after we’ve parted ways. I’ve done my fair share of hiding from former employees. The first person I ever fired ended up in line behind me to board a plane not too long ago. I hid. I should have apologized to him for how I handled his departure, but I just avoided him and hoped he

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The Employee Experience: Recruiting and Interviewing

When restorers get together, there’s a good chance hiring and retention will come up in conversation. In fact, in last year’s State of the Industry report by C&R and KnowHow, hiring was the number one answer to the question, “What do you find as the biggest challenge for your restoration company?”   Hiring is harder than it’s ever been before, but there’s one thing we may be doing that’s making hiring more difficult than it needs to be: settling for any person instead of being patient and finding the right person. What makes someone

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The Employee Experience: Onboarding and Retention

When you’ve found the right candidate for the right seat and they’re the right culture and values fit, it’s time to get an offer in their hands. A written offer may seem like a basic thing, but I’ve heard enough horror stories from candidates and workers in the industry to know that employers have the opportunity to elevate their hiring practices, starting with offer letters that clearly outline compensation.  As with every other step in the hiring process, put yourself in the employee’s shoes to see it from their perspective, especially if your offer

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Communicating Culture

I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I expect people to read my mind. For example, during a recent leadership team meeting, I mentioned that I was frustrated because I had asked someone to do something and they hadn’t done it yet. A coworker asked me if I had given the person a due date. My response? No, I had not. Here’s what I was saying in my head: Do I need to give someone a due date? Shouldn’t they know that I want it done quickly?  Have you ever found yourself saying

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A Culture of Safety

Without people, a positive company culture isn’t relevant. Restoration company owners are in the people business, and the people we are responsible for just happen to restore damaged properties. We expect our team members to give us everything they’ve got when they’re at work. But how often do we stop and ask ourselves if we’re giving them everything we’ve got? If I asked you if your business is focused on safety, what immediately comes to mind? I bet the majority of us are going to say, “Of course! We conduct OSHA required training on

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What Is Company Culture and How Is It Measured?

Publisher’s Note: Welcome to an all-new regular column in C&R, authored by restorer, industry leader, and CEO Katie Smith. The first week of every month, be on the lookout for a fresh Culture Under Construction column from Katie where she will share wisdom, experience, and actionable steps you can take to continue to build a healthy culture in your company. If I asked you to describe your company’s environment and how your team treats each other using just three words, what words would you choose? I’ll give you a minute to think about it. Grab a

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