When Jason Lippert, CEO of Lippert Components, set out to evaluate and develop his company, he realized if he wanted to elevate their culture, he would need to dedicate resources to it. Instead of looking to HR to answer for the workplace environment, he chose to create an entire department focused on defining and growing the company’s culture.
Below, Jason discusses the importance of offering personal and professional development opportunities to employees and the impact they have on people’s work and home lives. Keep reading to learn why Jason continues to be a strong advocate for servant leadership and how his commitment to culture has created an engaged team and improved retention.
Truth You Can Act On
1. Activate Culture Through Core Values
We use our leader qualities and our core values as our foundation for our culture. If you don’t have a successful culture, you’re not going to find maximum success. So, we filter everything we do through our core values and our leadership qualities, and we say, ‘Hey, if you’re a teammate at Lippert, core values are non-negotiable.’ You have to live them, you have to be aligned with them. More importantly, you have to figure out how you get better in each of those areas. And then if you’re a leader, you’re held to a whole different set of standards. You have to have the core values, but if you’re going to lead, you have to have specific qualities that are important to leading people.
2. Create a Culture Department
In most companies, culture lives in HR, and it’s always been the natural place for it to live. But HR is busier than they ever have been. Their jobs are complex. The environment’s more complex. They’re just dealing with more than they ever have. And the demands for culture are changing. People are changing, and their expectations are different for work. Culture’s become a bigger buzzword over the years and it seems counterintuitive to put culture development on HR. So we made a conscious decision several years ago to break culture away. HR and our culture department are really connected, but they’re separate. They’re both the frontline exposure to our team members, but they do completely different things.
3. Have a Growth Plan
We require everybody in this business today to have a personal and professional growth plan. We want them to understand what their goals and objectives are to lead themselves, their team, and the business better. Then we have them write the actions behind achieving each of those goals. Our goal is to have all 15,000 people here do that. We had 2,500 personal and professional growth plans written down last year from our team members, but our first goal was to have leaders do those action plans so they can take them to their team and say, ‘Hey, look, this is going to be good for you, your family, and the business,’ and then walk people through that process. At our company, being a leader means having a growth plan that shows where you’re going to grow and evolve as a human being and business leader.
- Lead Like Jesus by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges
- The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
- Everybody Matters by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia
Listen to the full episode: 193: What it Means to be a Leader Here with Jason Lippert