Stecker Machine Blog

How to Build Company Culture: Tips to Unite, Advance, and Succeed

10/28/2021 | Matt Oswald


Culture is the soul of a company.

It’s what motivates people to do great work each day (no, it’s not money or health benefits or time off … although those are ALL very important). It’s true: Over 50% of workers said that company culture is more important than salary when it comes to job satisfaction.

Company culture is obviously a vital part of a successful organization, but it’s a tough thing to define and even tougher to create. But, it’s not impossible, so we’re going to tell you how to build a company culture that elevates company pride, boosts morale, lowers turnover, and inspires productivity.

So, What Exactly is “Company Culture,” Anyway?

You can’t build a house without a solid blueprint to guide the way, so let’s first tackle what culture means to most people. To some, it may be the work environment, while others point to a mission statement or a company’s shared values. Still others see it as simply as living the “Golden Rule,” treating others as you would like to be treated.

In reality, company culture is all of those things and more! It’s employee behaviors and beliefs, policies and procedures, codes of conduct and ethics ... in other words, the “personality” (or soul) of a company.

At Stecker Machine, company culture shows itself in numerous ways. Being welcoming, respectful, and helpful to each other. Taking pride in products and working conditions. Thrilling customers at every possible opportunity. Overall, being passionate about the company, the products, and the people.

How to Build a Better Company Culture

This sounds great, doesn’t it? But, what about turning around bad company culture? Negativity can be powerful, too. And once a house is built, it can be tough to make foundational changes.

The idea of shared company values was mentioned earlier, and that shouldn’t be forgotten in this discussion. Having a solid, meaningful philosophy to always lean on can mean a lot! At Stecker, we have four core values that help with every advancement, every challenge, and every decision:

  • Integrity & Honesty 
  • Respect & Collaboration 
  • Innovation 
  • Accountability

Each one includes numerous additional statements to keep everyone focused. The point is, these unite the company and serve as the bedrock on which the company culture is built.

Two years ago, we published a blog, “4 Ways to Build and Maintain a Great Culture in 2020,” and although a global pandemic shook up how some work is done, it didn’t change why we work the way we do. The goal remains to fulfill the ever-evolving needs of our customers while standing out as a premier employer for our people.

Establishing Values Is Good. Now LIVE Them!

Yes, a company needs commonly shared core values to establish a great culture. However, emphasis needs to be placed on living up to them. When core values are turned into behaviors — by all employees: leaders, managers, janitors — the real magic happens.

Nothing happens overnight, and it’s perfectly acceptable to be a “learning organization.” That means a place where:

  • people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire
  • new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured
  • collective aspiration is set free
  • people are continually learning to see the whole together2

At Stecker Machine, this approach not only promotes growth in employee engagement, it boosts our employee retention. For our Human Resources department, that means happier people and less searching for new people.

Part of living core values is being able to understand when change is needed, which often translates to continuous improvement. Specific strategies open opportunities to improve performance in numerous areas — from people to technology — and expand Stecker Machine’s competitive advantage.

A strong company culture is obviously easier to build when everyone’s on the same page. Collaboration in times of need can unite teams, including ours. For instance, it’s “all hands on deck” when the engineering team tries out a new tool to speed production, or a prototype is needed to win a new project, or a customer timeline is especially difficult.

This 3-minute video features our company culture and is loaded with details on Stecker Machine’s benefits.

Opportunities in 2022 and Beyond

Soul. Personality. Heart. However you see the role of company culture, it’s a force that drives success, even when a team is separated by physical distance. It motivates people to work hard, contribute to the company’s ongoing success, and accomplish incredible things … together.

At Stecker Machine, we offer career-building opportunities at all levels of the organization:

  • Secondary education — Leadership development and tuition reimbursement
  • In-house training — On-site classes taught by instructors from local training and development partners and our subject matter experts
  • Off-site classes — Gain advanced training in specific fields

Who wouldn’t want to work for a company that strives to foster positivity, creativity, trust, collaboration, and loyalty? Even in a CNC machine shop filled with high-tech, automation-heavy equipment, people are the most powerful tool in the building.

If an empowering company culture and family ownership sound interesting, we welcome you to explore a career at Stecker Machine. Contact us today!


Matt Oswald

About the Author

Matt leads SMC's Human Resources and Marketing Team. He has worked for Stecker Machine for over 7 years on projects spanning CNC manufacturing, robotics, inbound marketing, and leadership. He enjoys applying his engineering background to any business challenge.

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