IABC MN Corporate Culture Panel Beehive partnered with International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Minnesota this week to present a panel on building positive corporate cultures. Panelists focused on the impact of culture on employees, investors, clients and customers.   Tammy Nienaber, Great Clips director of communications, facilitated the panel discussion. Here are a few highlights:

Why does having a strong corporate culture matter?

Panelists (left to right): Rob Goggins, Derek Nelson and Lisa Hannum
Panelists (left to right): Rob Goggins, Derek Nelson and Lisa Hannum
Derek Nelson, creative services manager, Anytime Fitness: “If you have happy employees, you’ll have productive employees and a better environment.”   Lisa Hannum, chief executive officer, Beehive: “We can’t live our purpose and client promise without living our people promise. The proof is in the numbers when it comes to nurturing our culture. We’ve experienced a 60 percent reduction in sick days over the last two years, zero voluntary separations in more than four years and revenue growth exceeding 40 percent in two of the last three years.”

What are some ways you bring your culture to life for employees?

Rob Goggins, chief operating officer, Great Clips: “Our CEO sets the tone. She makes sure cards with our values on them are out on the table at meetings. A couple times a year, she does cooking events and makes grilled cheese and tomato soup for everyone. We launched an idea that came from our franchisees, ‘Walking in Their Shoes,’ where employees spend four hours in another department or a salon. It shows them that you care. It’s wildly important.”   Nelson: “Our tagline is ‘Get to a Healthier Place.’ We invest in the personal and professional development of employees. For example, once a month, we offer ‘Ingredients Classes’ which are interactive opportunities for employees to learn and try something new, combining community, social, health and career. Employees can participate in things like fundraisers or instructional classes about cooking or public speaking.”   Hannum: “Our BeWell program is the foundation for living our people promise,” Hannum said. “It starts with intention. Our Feng Shui-inspired office space, commitment to exercise and sleep, healthy snacks and visual reminders everywhere create strong, positive energy.”

Do you have advice for executives trying to improve their own corporate culture?

Goggins: “Remember people’s names. I try to walk around the office and talk to people. I take them out to lunch and get to know them. The simple stuff really resonates, and it carries over to the entire organization.”   Hannum: “Creating consistent behaviors and authenticity are key. What you’re building is trust. It’s the Holy Grail of great cultures. It’s the hardest to gain and the easiest to lose. When you do that right, the results come.”

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