Every month Prairie Business asks business leaders in the region a question and they give their insight and perspective. The question we asked for November 2022 is, “What role does company culture play in employee development at your organization?” Below are the responses from four exemplary business professionals.
Chris Heidrich, director of production, JLG Architects, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Which came first, the leadership or the culture? It’s a symbiotic question as old as time. At JLG Architects, staff development is founded on a culture of empowerment and investment in bright ideas. We pay attention to what staff are saying, give them the tools they need, maybe a gentle nudge in the right direction, and get out of the way; they take care of the rest. The result is bottled lightning.
When staff feel empowered and supported to be masters of their own development, it creates an understanding of how they fit into the JLG fabric. Every JLGer has a career advisor, a trusted mentor that they can go to for feedback; that someone in their corner at every step of their career journey. This culture of support allows them to continually develop and create a rewarding career with JLG.
Our outcome has been employee owners who are excited to come to work, continually better themselves, and have a clear vision of where they are headed. That shows itself in palpable energy in our JLG offices. We may never know which came first, but we know that a strong culture owned by our employees begets strong leadership.