Culture is the Difference Maker

six woman standing and siting inside the room
Photo by Christina Morillo on

What ultimately is the biggest difference maker that gives our organization a competitive edge?



Because of all the things you do, of all he attempts at employee engagement and retention, of all the customer service programs you initiate, where the rubber meets the road is the culture that is experienced.

You see your culture says who you really are. It speaks louder than words.  You can have the greatest mission, vision, and values in the world.  You can launch the greatest initiatives.  You can train the greatest customer service program.  But, if your culture isn’t who you say you are, everything is for naught.

Culture is experienced.  What is experienced by our employees and what is experienced by our customers communicates who we really are.

Culture is felt.  It surrounds us.  It envelops us.

When you step into a Ritz Carlton Hotel you feel not only welcomed but respected.  It’s not surprising that starts with how the team members, from the CEO to the maid, treat each other.  Their moto is “we are ladies and gentlemen, serving ladies and gentlemen.”  There is an atmosphere of respect.  A culture of high regard for each person, from their employees to their guests.  Everyone matters.

If your leaders claim to have a culture of generosity, but when the time comes for annual raises, and you barley get a raise or are underpaid, you will likely feel something other than generosity.

If you claim to have a welcoming culture but you are greeted with something less than excitement you may need to rethink who you really are.  There is a fairly high-end restaurant in one of the casino’s in Las Vegas.  My wife and I have been there a couple times.  The food is good, but the receptionist is a dud.   She doesn’t smile.  She barely looks you in the eye.  And then she tells you how long the wait is.  Very matter of fact.  She may be efficient but she’s not very friendly.  That’s how I would describe their culture—not very friendly.

The challenge question for you is: how does your culture feel?  That’s who you really are.


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