Treating Company Culture as a Profit Center
When it comes to company culture, leaders at Baird put their money where their mouth is. Speaking at the 2011 Great Place to Work® Conference, they shared insights on how they built and preserved their winning culture as a key strategic advantage.
Reporting by Marcus Erb
“We truly believe that our culture is a profit center. It creates more efficiency and bottom-line profit for our clients, and more profit for us.” — Beth Kavelaris, Senior Vice President, Director of Culture & Integration, Robert W. Baird & Co.
When asked to name their profit centers, few businesses would put their culture on the list. While many create and espouse corporate values, few make commit to their culture as a profit center, investing in its development and protecting it during tough times. One of these rare examples is Robert W. Baird & Co., one of FORTUNE's 100 Best Companies to Work For® for the past eight years.
Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Baird is an employee-owned financial services firm, with a stated mission, “To provide the best financial advice and service to our clients and to be the best place to work for our associates.” The firm has worked toward this goal by creating a strong culture based on teamwork, integrity and customer service among its 2,600 global associates.
This article details key insights and practices from Baird’s efforts at developing and protecting its culture. In addition, it highlights the returns the firm experienced, including recruiting better talent, stronger client relationships, resilient employees, and sustained revenue.