The Secret to Making Staff Culture a Priority


The Secret to Making Staff Culture a Priority

By William Vanderbloemen


Culture in the workplace is the glue that holds your company together. It’s more important than anything because it affects everything. What makes culture great in one place may not be the same in another. It looks different at every company because every company is unique.

But one thing is consistent—if you don’t make someone’s job to infuse your culture into everything you do as a company, it won’t happen.

You can’t expect people to volunteer their time on top of all their other job responsibilities, and if you expect people to do it in their “free time,” it will always be the last thing on the “to do” list.

If you’re serious about building and maintaining a strong organizational culture, you need to create a position for it.

In our office, we call this person the “Culture Whip.”

Here’s how to make this position work:

Figure out your culture first. Before you have someone drive your culture, you need to figure out if you have a healthy culture, what makes it healthy, and then how to maintain it. Once you do that, create a stand-alone position, or at least an intentional aspect of someone’s job, to drive that culture. Our Culture Whip spends about 30% of her job on our team driving our culture.

Shift responsibilities. If you’re adding it to someone’s workload, be sure to move some of their current work to someone else. Give them time and a budget to do it well. Unless you respect and value cultural values enough to make it a part of someone’s job, you’re not likely to see results.

Pick the right person. Put someone in the position who already lives the culture and can relate well to others in your company. If you don’t, then don’t expect anyone to be on board with their ideas. It’s also important to have your Culture Whip situated within the company because they’re more likely to know what’s going on and can see what’s working and what isn’t. You can’t outsource culture.

Set them free. Allow your culture person to be creative with how he or she drives culture. This freedom helps them to own that role. Our Culture Whips maintains our daily, weekly, and annual culture rhythms. She emails articles on topics related to our nine staff values every week and plans regular events that point back to our nine staff values. She fosters team communication and community.

You can’t stick an event calendar on the wall, fill it with events, and call that culture. You also can’t bring in an outsider and expect them to impart culture on your staff. The values your Culture Whip imparts through events and articles come from your people. The culture develops within your team, and infusing culture throughout the company has to come from within your own workforce.

Ownership of the culture has to be organic, from the ground up. The more drive you have working from the ground up, the more people are going to act like owners.

The Culture Whip fosters team communication, community, and buy-in into your mission and staff values. They facilitate the team building trust with each other, encouraging your team toward your mission, and keeping a temperature check on your organization’s culture health. The Culture Whip is the foundation of building and scaling culture as your organization grows.


This article is from the book Culture Wins: The Roadmap to an Irresistible Workplace by William Vanderbloemen.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1577″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]About William Vanderbloemen
William Vanderbloemen is an entrepreneur, pastor, speaker, author, and CEO/Founder of Vanderbloemen Search Group (VSG), an executive search firm that helps organizations find their key staff. VSG has been named four and three times to the top of’s Top Company Cultures list of small businesses and Houston Business Journal Best Place To Work list, respectively. VSG recently was named to Houstonia’s 2017 Best Places to Work list and Forbes’ 2017 list of America’s Top Executive Recruiting Firms. His latest book, Culture Wins: The Roadmap to an Irresistible Workplace, is available now.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]