A Key Success Driver For ISS Solutions
A company’s culture is defined as the distinctive personality of the organization. It reflects overall attitudes of the company, how employees act, how energetically they contribute to teamwork, problem solving, innovation, customer service, productivity and quality. In essence, a company’s culture conveys everything that makes up the organization and how all of the parts work together to fulfill the needs of employees and clients.
It is well-documented that a company with a well-defined culture has a competitive advantage and usually outperforms competitors because the employees of these companies are more engaged and more enthusiastic about their work. Roger Connors and Tom Smith, cofounders of a worldwide corporate accountability training program and authors of Change the Culture, Change the Game: The Breakthrough Strategy for Energizing Your Organization and Creating Accountability for Results, cite that a strong, positive company culture leads organizations to grow faster and weather economic downturns better than its rivals. Brad Federman, president of a performance improvement company and author of Employee Engagement: A Roadmap for Creating Profits, Optimizing Performance, and Increasing Loyalty, agrees. He documented cases of increased employee engagement and a positive culture in the workplace leading to unexpected increases in profitability in organizations.
At ISS Solutions, it is our company culture that drives our success and we take great care in developing and nurturing it. One way we do this is by conducting anonymous surveys that ask our employees to tell us what our company culture looks like, what it means to them, and what areas we should improve. In employee responses, our team members have frequently described ISS Solutions’ culture as professional, amazing, awesome, and family-oriented. According to our employees, our culture is one of expert content knowledge, teamwork, and courtesy. “Service-oriented” is a term that employees feel best describe the environment here. Brad Federman knows that service excellence is what gives clients an edge: “Companies with service approaches that recognize that customer service really is about partnering and not parroting understand the difference between solving problems and documenting problems.”
This word cloud depicts the most common positive attributes of ISS Solutions’ culture mentioned in an anonymous employee survey taken in the Fall of 2012. The larger the appearance of the word, the more times it was mentioned in the survey.
Another common comment in our surveys was that ISS Solutions has a “trustworthy” culture. Roger Connors and Tom Smith link trustworthiness and accountability in company culture to “greater transparency and openness, enhanced teamwork and trust, effective communication and dialogue, thorough execution and follow-through, sharper clarity, and a tighter focus on results.” Their research also reveals that greater accountability, implemented correctly, leads to increased profitability. Malcolm Munro-Faure and Lesley Munro-Faure, an accountant and engineer, wrote The Success Culture: How to Build an Organization with Vision and Purpose about their experiences helping organizations around the world to improve performance and better meet customer needs. They report that integrity and honesty are two attributes prominent in successful organizations. Similarly, Brad Federman says that one of the most important steps to keep employees engaged in the workplace is to promote trust.
"A company’s culture is defined as the distinctive personality of the organization. It reflects overall attitudes of the company, how employees act, how energetically they contribute to teamwork, problem solving, innovation, customer service, productivity and quality."
~ Peter Brooks, President & CEO
Company culture can be positive, negative, or neutral. We are pleased that most of our employees view our company culture in such positive terms. Positive company cultures have often been associated with teamwork and service-mindedness. According to Malcolm and Lesley Munro-Faure, employees need “organizational purpose” in order to stay engaged on the job. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why many ISS Solutions employees described our company culture as rewarding. We believe that since many of our employees have a positive view of the culture at ISS Solutions, this undoubtedly translates into a high level of satisfaction for our client community. After all, as Malcolm and Lesley Munro-Faure explain, organizations with engaged employees and a shared sense of purpose are client-focused: “Customers get the products and services that they want and so they are likely to come back for more. The business reaps the benefits. Their profits enable them to invest and grow. Satisfied employees benefit from job stability, increased remuneration and a challenging environment.”In a company with positive culture, employees know that they are valued for their contributions to the success of the organization.
As we can only pursue perfection, not attain it, ISS Solutions often receives feedback from employees who point out areas where they feel improvement or change is needed. This feedback is the most important part of the survey responses because it allows us to receive candid feedback from our employees and we then take this feedback and turn it into meaningful action plans to address areas of concern.
According to ISS Solutions CEO Peter Brooks, “Our culture is built on combining individual expertise with communicating – we all have roles to fill, new skills to learn, and to be successful, we have to build relationships inside and outside of the company, often collaborating with others to get things done.” This approach is favored by Brad Federman, who writes that “relationships rule, collaboration is value, and that our systems and processes need to support that philosophy.” Brooks adds, “We are always striving to tweak our organizational culture along with how we do things to meet the needs of our employees which ultimately produces a high level of client satisfaction. By doing this, our employees are engaged, motivated and creative in the performance of their job responsibilities.” It is the culture at ISS Solutions that sets us apart from our competitors.
 Roger Connors and Tom Smith, Change the Culture, Change the Game: The Breakthrough Strategy for Energizing Your Organization and Creating Accountability for Results (Portfolio Trade, 2011), 7.
 Brad Federman, Employee Engagement: A Roadmap for Creating Profits, Optimizing Performance, and Increasing Loyalty (San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2009), 230.
 Federman, Employee Engagement, 214.
 Connors and Smith, Change the Culture, Change the Game, 2.
 Connors and Smith, Change the Culture, Change the Game, 20.
 Malcolm Munro-Faure and Lesley Munro-Faure, The Success Culture: How to Build an Organization with Vision and Purpose (Pitman Pub., 1997), 8.
 Munro-Faure and Munro-Faure, The Success Culture, 9.
 Federman, Employee Engagement, 205.