Building a culture of good engages customers, employees and drives business results – Interview with Ryan McCarty and Scott Moorehead


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Doing Good

Today’s interview is with Ryan McCarty and Scott Moorehead, founders of Culture of Good and the authors of a new book: Build a Culture of Good. They join me today to talk about their company, their mission, their new book and how companies can boost their revenue and improve employee engagement by helping their people create positive change in the world on a daily basis all while doing their jobs.

This interview follows on from my recent interview – Creating a customer obsessed culture and going from NPS -4 to +80 – Interview with Amy Downs of Lifesize – and is number 208 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.

Here’s the highlights of my interview with Ryan and Scott:

  • Ryan and Scott have just published a new book: Build A Culture of Good: Unleash Results by Letting Your Employees Bring Their Soul to Work.
  • Culture of Good, the company, and the new book came out of the Culture of Good programme (an employee engagement initiative) that Ryan lead at TCC, the largest Verizon Authorized Retailer in the USA, where Scott is the CEO.
  • As others heard about the success of the programme they started to receive enquiries about how they could help others build their own ‘Culture of Good’. That lead them to establish the Culture of Good business and go on to write the book.
  • The book is effectively a case study of what happened at TCC.
  • Initially Scott tried to get some free advice from Ryan (he was a pastor at the time) on how to build a better culture and how to establish the what and why for his employees.
  • However, discussing this over chips and salsa Ryan countered that his advice wasn’t free and that Scott should hire him. And so, he did.
  • Their philosophy is based on the idea that to build a culture of good you have to operate where customers, employees and your cause intersect. That point of intersection is your company’s sweet-spot or soul.
  • They believe that if they can get their employees to care more then that will rub off on customers who will then take that experience back to their communities and that, in turn, will attract more customers.
  • They started their journey by giving the employees at TCC localised, regional budgets so that they could get involved with their communities and causes of their own choice.
  • But this didn’t work. People weren’t utilising the budgets or taking their volunteer days off.
  • However, things started to change when they organised a national event where they gave away free backpacks, full of school equipment, to school kids.
  • That moved their whole culture of good initiative from people’s minds to their hearts.
  • As a result, their employees started to use their local budgets and take their volunteer days off to get involved in local causes and communities.
  • To make their initiative work they learned that they needed to better understand who their employees and their customers were in order to better understand why the backpack cause/initiative mattered. Doing so would help them understand how they could replicate their success.
  • They learned that connecting with their customers and supporting the people and the community where they do business at a hyper-local level makes all the sense in the world.
  • Whilst the backpack initiative focused on children, their next initiative focused on teachers. They knew that every community around TCC’s stores had schools and that their teachers had needs. So, they set up a Teachers Rock! supply giveaway. And, the initiative worked (again).
  • Some companies have not bothered to find their soul in quite some time and others haven’t even defined their soul.
  • TCC’s success was helped by their show of commitment to this new approach to their employees, their customers and their communities and how it would be a business driver of their future success.
  • Moreover, employees saw that it was not just as a new ‘flavour of the month’ programme and that the culture would grow as the business grew.
  • In terms of business impact, since TCC launched Culture of Good:
    • Their overall staff turnover has reduced by 40% (they are now in the 60% turnover range) in an industry where it is not uncommon for retailers to face an annual turnover rate for full time staff of 100%.
    • The turnover cost of each employee in terms of recruitment, training, lost productivity etc etc is around $12,000 per employee. As a result, TCC has saved themselves about $5.7 mln per year.
    • In an industry that is plateauing in terms of sales, their same store sales have gone up by 42%.
    • 85% of the employees at TCC are Millennials and place a high value on companies that do good. 93% of TCC’s employees say that Culture of Good shares their values and TCC is a place that they want to work.
  • Despite the amount of attention and support that these type of initiatives receive, Scott believes that these type of initiatives are not more common in business, particularly in the US, because business has gotten stuck in the quarterly cycle of delivering returns to shareholders. That means that if companies can’t deliver ever advancing results on a quarterly basis then they have to abandon any long-term idea in exchange for a short-term win.
  • But, you can do good and generate business benefits as the Culture of Good demonstrates.
  • There is no shortage of companies that want to do good.
  • But, most are caught in the quarterly cycle and lack the commitment and tenacity to make a culture of good work for them.
  • Most companies are tackling their employee engagement, customer management and CSR programmes as three totally separate initiatives rather than seeing each of these as being aligned and purposeful for each other. Moreover, there is usually no accountability or connection between them either.
  • And that is the biggest challenge….bringing those three things together.
  • They define culture as being what most of the people are doing most of the time.
  • Helping employees understand that they are showing up for a bigger reason that is tied to the business, themselves, customers and their communities makes the bad days a little easier and the good days a little bit happier.
  • It’s all very well empowering people but you also have to help them learn what that means.
  • The hyper-local part worked for TCC but that doesn’t have to be a part of every single culture of good. The hyper-local part made sense to TCC as it spoke to their business and business model.
  • When it comes to building your own culture of good, Ryan and Scott recommend starting with ‘chips and salsa’.
  • More seriously, they recommend finding your own sweet spot by:
    • Defining who your employees are on every level and what their essence is,
    • Defining who your customers are and what their essence is,
    • Defining what your business plans and strategy is,
    • Finding a cause that makes all of those things propel, and then
    • Build a long-term vision of what that could look like in the end state.
  • Wow experience for Ryan is doing the things that other companies are not willing to take the risk on, doing it for the right reasons and doing it so that it gives employees and customers a ‘why’ that speaks to more than a financial transaction or a pay-check.
  • For Scott, wow is making an authentic promise to customers and employees that you will do the right thing for the right reason at the right time and sticking to it just because you can. Doing so you will be shocked at how many people say ‘Wow! That’s kinda cool.’
  • Grab a copy of the book: Build a Culture of Good and if you want any help establishing your own culture of good then reach out to Scott and Ryan at Culture of Good.

About Scott and Ryan

Ryan McCarty and Scott Moorehead
Ryan (left) and Scott (right).

Scott Moorehead

Scott Moorehead is the Co-founder of Culture of Good, Inc. and CEO of Round Room, TCC, and Redux.

Scott is a recognized thought leader and subject matter expert in what it takes to create and develop purposeful for-profit organizations that abide by the philosophy of doing well by doing good.

Under Scott’s direction as CEO, TCC has grown from annual revenues of $135 Million to over $1 Billion. TCC was named to the Inc. 500/5000 list of the nation’s fastest growing private companies for four consecutive years. TCC has maintained a position in the rankings of the Hire Power Awards from Inc. Magazine as one of the country’s top job creators. On top of this, Scott has been named to several different 40 under 40 notable executive lists, including the Indianapolis Business Journal and Dealerscope Consumer Electronics Executives.

Scott’s involvement inside the philanthropic world revolves around several organizations. He co-founded The Moorehead Family Foundation, which to date has given away nearly $2 Million. He also founded Culture of Good, Inc. as the first certified Benefit Corporation (B-Corp) in the State of Indiana.

Ryan McCarty

As the former director of customer and employee relations at TCC, the largest Verizon Authorized Retailer in the nation, Ryan McCarty is no stranger to empowering employees through a powerful cultural movement.

Under Ryan’s guidance through TCC’s “Culture of Good,” which enables others to do good in their communities for the value of the investment rather than the return on investment, TCC donated $1 million to Riley Hospital for Children; provided 250,000 backpacks full of school supplies to children; gave away supply packs to 5,000 teachers; and contributed $100,000 in grants to organizations focused on improving the environment.

Ryan created Culture of Good, Inc. to inspire other businesses to create truly altruistic programs that make the world a better place.

Ryan believes in order for a company’s Culture of Good to be successful and meaningful, giving back must be engrained in the foundation of its core values. Through Culture of Good, Inc. Ryan helps other organizations engage the hearts of their employees and empower them to make the changes they wish to see in their communities.

Grab a copy of the book: Build a Culture of Good and reach out to Scott and Ryan at Culture of Good if you need some help. Connect with Scott and Ryan on LinkedIn here and here and say Hi to them on Twitter @CultureofGood, @scottymohead and @RyanMcCarty.


Photo Credit: torbakhopper Flickr via Compfight cc

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adrian Swinscoe
Adrian Swinscoe brings over 25 years experience to focusing on helping companies large and small develop and implement customer focused, sustainable growth strategies.


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