Company Culture & Animal Husbandry
But something, somehow (call it, once again the twentieth century) went badly wrong, almost everywhere, as though great stretches of the globe had been inexplicably afflicted by a gastronomic amnesia and forgot that beef came from a cow, an animal that, like all animals, needed to be treated well.
—Bill Buford, Heat
Your staff is one of your company’s greatest resources and often your brand’s largest customer touchpoint.
But when we step back and survey the landscape it can often be hard to believe that every company actually takes it to heart.
In Bill Buford’s book Heat, he set out to discover the true way of Italian cooking. During a stint with a Tuscan butcher, he learns what makes a good cut of meat: “’Not the breed but the breeding’ — it was the secret password of the butcher shop.”
A good cow will garner a good steak.
Logical, right? But a lot has changed in the food industry. Many companies started valuing profit over quality, which meant losing the old way of animal husbandry because it just took too long.
This has sprung up in the corporate world as well.
Instead of properly developing employees and creating a nourishing company culture employees are pushed to produce, produce, produce until they are burnt out. It may garner a lot of work in a short period of time, but you are killing a valuable asset in the process.
If we approached those same company goals by cultivating cultures that allow employees to thrive, I would venture to guess you would see the same results, but with long-term success. When is your best work created? What do you need to succeed? Your employees probably need that too.
If you want to be profitable and have an authentically stellar brand,
instill positive values into your company culture — things like encouragement, trust, honesty, cooperation, and personal support.
If you take shortcuts and start feeding your cows fish to hasten growth, your beef will taste like fish. If you drive and demean employees you might get your way, but they won’t deliver excellent customer service because they themselves feel panicked and criticized. When fear is present, good work is stifled and your brand suffers.
You are in the business of making a profit — implementing culture husbandry is in your best interest.
Happy employees create better customer touch points. Beyond your business goals, it is just the right thing to do.
This may seem lofty, but it is my opinion that an accessible way to change the world is by treating coworkers, employees, and customers with respect and care. Imagine leaving work feeling supported and that you made a meaningful contribution. You are more likely to treat your friends and family well, have energy to give of yourself and make healthy choices like exercising.
Don’t forget that beef comes from a cow — and your company’s success comes from your employees and the company culture you create.
Kelly Lukes is a Sr. Account Executive at Macleod & Co. the Holistic Marketing Agency ™ based in Minneapolis. We believe that in a hyper-social world, culture drives success, every employee is a customer touch point, and every customer is a broadcast network. We live at the intersection of marketing and organizational effectiveness. And we see marketing as the entire process of bringing a product, service or business from inception to maximum ongoing profitability.