July 4th or Independence Day as it is more properly called, has always been a day to celebrate our independence from Britain & the birth of a new nation (even though the Continental Congress technically voted for independence on July 2nd, for the history buffs). Regardless, there seems to be no end to the parades, decorations, fireworks, and other special events designed to instill pride in our country on this day. I recently attended the VIA’s Executive Forum on the subject of “How to get your employees to care as much about your business as you do”, and found that one of the central themes was to figure out ways to instill pride in each team member about the company and for the work that they do. While I would not presume to compare the beginnings of a new company to the creation of a new nation, it struck me that if celebrating the birth of our nation could instill pride, perhaps celebrating the birth of our company could do something similar.
For my company, we celebrated our 50th anniversary three years back in a big way with a family lunch cruise on Lake Michigan during the Chicago Air & Water Show. I received many positive comments on that trip and I dare say that I saw pride in many of our team members to know that their company wanted to include their families in such an event. While that was a memorable time for everyone that attended, I realized that we have not celebrated pride in our company on our anniversary since then, even in a small way. Running, let alone starting a company is not an easy task and I think we should all take time each year to recognize the beginnings of our own companies and just maybe it might help instill a little pride in what we each do on a daily basis. While I don’t think you need to book a family cruise for the entire organization, I do believe that celebrating your company anniversary or perhaps a Team appreciation day once a year to help build your culture and connect your team (and their families) with the roots of the organization, just might help them show a little pride in what they do, and in my opinion, that’s a big part of the battle.
The FREE Executive Forum, I mentioned was the best attended that we’ve had to date. A straw poll of the attendees showed there is a large amount of interest on the topic of organizational culture, so we will be attempting to schedule additional culture development programming in the near future. Perhaps even start a Culture Roundtable??? Let us know, we are here to help.
2018 Chairman of VIA