After acquiring more than 30 companies, one of the most important things we have learned is that growth is more than a sales revenue number. It’s also about replicating our culture and brand in our newest markets.
I touched on this in a recent blog about our company – one year after we sold. But what does replicating a culture really look like? As we build Marco to be a $1-billion company, we also need to be mindful of how we expand the strong culture we’ve worked so hard to create to our newest acquisition markets.
We’re still not great at this, and we have some work to do. But this is what we have learned so far:
- Provide frequent communication, especially in new markets.
It’s easy for people outside of our corporate office to feel out of touch. To intentionally stay more connected with all employees, I conduct a quarterly company-wide video to give an update on our financial performance, corporate initiatives and what’s happening at Marco.
We developed a social media strategy years ago to actively spread our culture and share what’s happening across our markets and elevate our brand. Our Facebook presence has become a big part of communicating and connecting our culture with our workforce. I personally enjoy seeing all the pictures and know many employees have become friends because of our Facebook page. Be sure to like us at facebook.com/marcoculture.
- Hire for corporate jobs outside of the corporate office.
We know the strength of any culture is closely tied to the leadership in that office. One of the most impactful moves we’ve made to spread our culture is shifting our hiring practices that had traditionally been corporate office positions into other markets. This also has helped increase our workforce in other offices. More people in a given office provide more opportunities to have fun and live the culture. It’s hard to have fun by yourself.
- Personally visit.
One of my favorite jobs as CEO is to visit our offices, meet our employees and interact with them. Obviously this is much easier to do at our corporate office. Making the rounds has become more challenging as we’ve grown to 48 offices across a wide geographic region. To accomplish this, I intentionally plan field trips to our other locations with a purposeful agenda focused on employees. But it often involves client interaction as well. These personal meetings are always well received.
- Give back to the community.
At Marco, we believe in doing good, not just in our backyard, but in every market we do business in. So, we actively work with our employees in each of our offices to identify causes for us to support in their community. This has been a good way for us to localize in new markets.
- Create a “culture squad” to organize the fun.
We often think of new ideas to infuse fun into the workplace. But those ideas often come from the corporate office. We’ve found having a designated person in each office helps us execute those ideas in more markets. We host everything from company-wide Halloween costume contests to United Way drives to fun office events.
Making Marco a “great place to work” and replicating our culture in all our markets is so important to us, we made it one of our top five corporate initiatives for 2017. We have a lot of good practices in place, but now we need to ensure that all our employees share the experience. We have some work to do yet, but I’m confident we’ll make it happen.