The most successful organizations in the world are ones that see their employees as their most precious assets, and are treated accordingly with world-class education, training and technology, an open-book approach to finances, flexible work schedules, wellness initiatives and support in times of need.
These pillars engage people and ultimately drive performance.
During her State of the Culture address to Mega Leadership attendees Keller Williams President Mary Tennant characterized this philosophy as “a culture of success.”
“Creating a ‘culture of success’ is vital to everything we do. It affects what market centers accomplish, what associates earn, and what leaders achieve. When I think back to my years as a team leader, I think about how much fun we had every day. Building a market center with joy and richness changes the energy - it’s a gift you get to give to everyone.”
Over the course of her speech, Tennant made it obvious that for Keller Williams Realty, it’s a gift that keeps on giving. “At the heart of our culture is our shared commitment to help those in need,” she said.
“Through KW Cares, we assist associates and their families who are struggling with unexpected hardships - from medical emergencies to natural disasters.” 2013 certainly saw it’s fair share of natural disasters and Keller Williams associates supported each other in big ways including the wildfires in Colorado and Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast.
In the aftermath of the Moore, Okla. Tornado, market centers were able to help associates through a local emergency fund while KW Cares was able to fill its role as an additional safety net, resulting in 41 grants totaling more than $175,000. Mo Anderson, vice-chairman of the board, was also on-hand to help connect people with resources.
Family members aren’t the only people receiving support. Keller Williams associates also took care of their communities during the fifth annual RED Day, which stands for Renew, Energize and Donate. On May 10, 2013 market centers across the world joined forces for a single day of service, donating hundreds of thousands of hours to improve the neighborhoods in which they serve. Tennant encouraged associates to save the date for next year's RED Day, which is slated for May 8, 2014.
While RED Day and KW Cares are very visible representations of the ways associates give back, a ‘culture of success’ means associates are happy and healthy. Tennant then announced the launch of the KW | Wellness program - an initiative that ensures Keller Williams associates holistic needs are provided for.
A day earlier, more than 250 associates showcased their commitment to wellness during the inaugural RED Rally, which consisted of a 5k run and 20k bike ride.
“Our first RED Rally was not only a great event,” she said, “it benefited a great cause - The KW Family Fund, which was set up to help our friends in Greater Des Moines.” (You can read the full story about the Greater Des Moines market center and how the KW Family Fund has contributed to keeping them whole.)
A “Culture of Success” leaves clues. Perhaps the biggest evidence is in the everyday behavior displayed by associates. For example:
Susanne Crenshaw, associate with the Edmond, Okla. market center was named a finalist for the REALTOR Magazine Good Neighbor Award. For two decades, Crenshaw has been working to improve the lives of the elderly and disabled.
The Laurie Finkelstein-Reader Real Estate Team with the Plantation, (Fla.) market center became the center of the whole world’s attention when the 12-member team shared their $1 million Powerball pool winnings with the one employee who, in an effort to save money, did not participate in the pool.
Tennant ended The State of the Culture address thanking associates for their continued commitment to creating a “Culture of Success, Caring and Opportunity," saying, “Thank you for your passion and thank you for your commitment to helping associates in all aspects of their life. We’re honored to be in business with each of you.”