Situation: As a company has grown to multiple sites around the world they have lost some of the culture that originally bound the company together. Many new hires are hired locally by regional managers and don’t have a strong bond to headquarters or the broader company culture. How do you build a unified culture in a company with many geographically diverse sites?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Company culture starts with a common set of values. These values should drive everything, from hiring, through on-boarding and training, to performance measurement and evaluations. In a strong company, these values should be reinforced regularly and expressed in the day-to-day behavior and decisions of the company.
- Look at how you hire new personnel. Is alignment with company values part of the selection process?
- Next, look at your on-boarding and training process. Company values and culture should be thoroughly expressed and reinforced in the training process.
- There is no substitute to face-to-face meetings to build shared company values and culture. At least once or twice a year you should host national meetings that bring the regions together. At these meetings company values should be reinforced, there should be business content, and there should also be recreational bonding component to help employees get to know one-another.
- Consider an annual reward or recognition trip or special event, and include spouses at company expense. This creates a completely different level of bonding, and spouse involvement communicates a company commitment to the families of the employees.
- If you have a large number of locations, you should also have a human resources department. Among the important responsibilities of the HR department will be developing uniform selection criteria, uniform training which includes emphasis on company culture and values, and assistance in planning national or multi-regional meetings.
Key Words: Culture, Regions, Multi-site, Diverse, Values, Hiring, On-boarding, Training, Company, Meetings, Bonding, Award, Trip, Spouses, HR, Human Resource