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Culture for the Win - The 4 Deadly R's of Culture


The labor force was the highest priority in 2022 for companies in the LBM industry. In 2023, that priority will not change.

I am asked repeatedly: "where can I find people to hire, and where have they all gone?" This question has baffled many during the last few years, and as the labor force in this country continues to evolve, it will take a different and concerted approach to build and keep the teams you want.

Let's begin by taking a long, hard look at our company culture and deciding our unique value proposition (UVP) while building our teams. We focus on our UVP daily with our customers when selling our products and services. Likely, you and your sales team can tell your customers why doing business with you is more advantageous than doing business with your competition. What is your cultural UVP? What makes working at your company different? What happens at the company that would attract employees or build careers with you?

A standard answer is, "well, we have the best healthcare benefit, pay a higher salary, or contribute x percent to their 401 K's." That is all good and necessary in a tight labor market. Still, according to Adam Grant, an Organizational Psychologist, and professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, company culture is 10X times more important as any other measurable factor that will drive people away from their jobs or be the main factor in a decision to join a company.

The word "toxic culture" is utilized often, but what is its true definition? One person's definition may be quite different than another. At its heart, a toxic work environment is really an imbalance in company culture. Grant explains the four deadly sins can turn a workplace culture toxic in a New York minute.

1.     Relationships – if you are concerned about upsetting people, and it prevents you from having candid conversations, the natural outcome will be that accomplishing goals will fall by the wayside. The result would be mediocrity, and the culture would not allow people to be held accountable. In this culture, the most successful employee would be the one that is the most likable.

2.     Results – this is the opposite end of the spectrum from a culture where relationships are the highest priority. Developing a results-based culture will often produce disrespect, cutthroat behavior, and unethical business decisions. Human decency pretty much gets thrown out the window and then run over by a bus.

3.     Rules – they give us stability and help to establish cultural norms. In these cultures, if you deviate from the established rules, the result will be swift in forcing that soldier to toe the line. If a culture is strictly rules-based, accomplishing initiatives and stifling creativity will be the outcome. This type of culture is soul-sucking at best.

4.     Risk – this culture is the opposite of the culture run by rules and bureaucracy. The culture of anything goes and all behavior is acceptable devolves into anarchy and chaos and is by far the least efficient as much effort is wasted.

Strive for balance of all the R’s in your organization, and you have an effective, productive culture where employees can achieve their highest purpose. Stray too far into one of these R's leaving the others behind, and you will damage your culture. Grant says that "Code can be rewritten. Products can be built, modified, or go obsolete. Investors can be bought out. But culture is like the super glue that is oozed into every nook and cranny, often beyond the reach of a jackhammer. The importance of categorizing, assessing, and discussion of culture must be very specific."  

At Misura Group, we understand the importance of building great culture not only for the overall success of your company but for your company's ability to attract and retain the team you want to develop. Our workforce is changing, and it's time to focus on the fundamentals.

Transforming companies by empowering leaders,


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