Culture First – A Successful Organization’s Secret Formula

  1. Culture First

In our previous blog post entitled, Why Your Cloud Service Provider’s Company Culture Matters to Your Business, we listed four reasons why selecting a cloud service provider (CSP) whose company culture aligns with yours can influence your organization’s success. But how do you establish the foundation for a successful, enduring company culture? In his webinar, Culture First – A Successful Organizations’ “Secret” Formula, HOSTING COO Joel Daly recounts how HOSTING developed its company culture which is a key component of our overall business operations. Missed it? You can view the on-demand webinar anytime. In the meantime, we’ve listed some of Joel’s key points below.

Your employee experience drives your customer experience

Thanks to the advent and evolution of e-commerce, social media and mobile devices, today’s economy is mobile, social and local. Credit Amazon (whom many companies view as their top competition) with giving customers the power of choice (they can buy just about anything on Amazon) and voice (they can influence  influence product offerings and buyer behavior simply by posting a product review). For today’s empowered customers, offering the products and services they want at a reasonable price is just table stakes. Companies need to also provide a consistent, exceptional customer experience.

And that’s where great employees come in.

Forward-thinking organizations know that the customer lifecycle is based on the culmination of touch points and/or experiences they have with the company. A single misstep can cause a customer to take their loyalty – and their wallets – to a competitor. So they constantly recruit, train and retain top top talent that can “wow” their customers at every touch point. In order to succeed, they strive to create a positive employee experience as well.

So how do they do it?

Start with a vision statement

You aren’t going to have a great customer experience if you don’t treat your employees well. However, free lunches and company-issued smart phones are only the beginning. Knowledge is power so make sure your team understands and buys into the vision you have for your company. If your company is in its early stages, ask for their input in creating a clear, simple vision statement that communicates what the team is focused on achieving over time. Following is HOSTING’s vision statement.

To Provide the Best Customer Experience for Mid-sized Enterprises Running Mission-Critical Applications in the Cloud Supported by the Industry’s Best Team.

Your vision statement doesn’t have to be lengthy or complex. It just needs to provide your team with guidance regarding the organization’s future state.

Develop a core set of values

Prior to launching HOSTING, Joel and his business partner, Art Zeile, successfully built two startup companies from scratch. HOSTING was created through the acquisition of four different companies. And Art and Joel embraced the challenge of creating a culture based on the combination of these companies. What they learned by studying other organizations such as Netflix is that a company’s leadership team can only influence 20% of the values that dictate the company culture – 80% is driven by your coworkers. So they asked their team to share the particular behaviors and/or skills that they valued in their colleague. Based on these conversations, they created a set of core values for HOSTING.

  • Integrity – We communicate honestly and openly in a straightforward manner.
  • Dependability – We’re in lockstep with you on your business journey.
  • Our Golden Rule – We treat everyone we interact with as a VIP customer.
  • Motivation – Armed with a can-do, solution-oriented attitude, we rise to any challenge.
  • Innovation – We embrace change and look to innovate at every opportunity.
  • Passion – We are passionate about helping our customers and celebrating their successes.

Through our proprietary WOW Training™, we educate our team members on our core values, Simply put –  they drive how we serve and guide our customers through their business and technology journeys every day.

If creating a core set of values for your company seems daunting, remember that they are driven by your employees. So ask for their feedback early on.

Determine your company’s value proposition

Leverage your vision statement and core set of values into creating a value proposition for your company. Again, this doesn’t have to be lengthy or complicated. However, it will serve as a guide for how you hire and promote employees, serve your customers and operate your business. Following is HOSTING’s value proposition.

We secure trust with our customers by being the people behind the cloud.

While we kept our value proposition to a single sentence; you may need more. However, clarity and simplicity is key. You want your employees to be able to clearly communicate your company’s value proposition to anyone with whom they interact including customers, vendors and partners.

Now that you have established the foundation for your company culture, where do you go from here? Log into Joel’s on-demand webinar to learn more how HOSTING leveraged these elements to build and promote our customer-focused service culture, how we educate our employees through our proprietary WOW training and the importance of having an industry-leading Net Promoter® Score.




  1. Allison,

    I would like your permission to use the heart-shaped culture word cloud from your Culture First home page in my “Quality Matters” blog ( I am writing an article for ASQ as one of their Influential Voices of Quality bloggers on the topic of leadership to sustain organizational culture and its role to engage the younger workforce.

    • Robert, we don’t own the rights to that image-it’s been used all over the internet by hundreds of sites, so I don’t think it would be a problem to use.

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