Company Culture: The Ever-Moving Target

Guest Post by Erica Lockwood
Executive Partner & Managing Director
Joseph Chris Partners

2021 was weird. Okay, maybe not as bizarre as 2020, but it had its moments, right? The clear and definitive onset of the “Great Resignation” was certainly something to see transpire and will certainly continue to trend in 2022. All told, over 38 million workers quit their jobs during 2021. While incredibly out of the ordinary, I think we can all agree that unprecedented is a relative term these days.

So, how do companies respond to these ever-changing movements? With at least four primary generations in today’s workplace, the variations of what really “matters” are all over the board. And although the various generations have some uniqueness related to what is of most importance, I believe several areas align within each generational span today.

Every person, regardless of their level of experience or title, seeks the opportunity to be impactful in their respective skill set. Everyone truly desires the ability to “do what they love and love what they do”. The power to pursue a professional career with passion and purpose within an organization that possesses a defined culture is a regular topic in my daily conversations. While the statement “people don’t quit a company, they quit a manager” has proven to be valid, a company is still negatively impacted when turnover occurs.

The aspects of company culture that matters most to employees are altogether not complicated to achieve. While there are several, let’s touch on two that I believe are at the top:

  1. Employees want to feel respected: By far, everyone who feels respected and valuable in their job and company will be happier and more productive. Being treated the right way by leadership, peers, and even customers daily is the most basic yet important factor for anyone. A culture of respect starts at the top and is cultivated throughout the entire organization and team. “What we allow or tolerate is what will continue” is incredibly valid in this instance.
  2. Leadership has an impact – for better or worse: Everyone has a boss. Sometimes more than one but it is accurate to say that there is not one person who would “choose” to work for someone who is not supportive. Supportive leaders are responsive to requests, offer encouragement and accommodations to their team. Leaders also live a company’s core values. Not only live it but truly feel aligned with those values and so much so that each interaction and decision making will positively reflect that belief.

What is at the core of a company’s culture are the people who make up the organization. It is necessary to have a defined hiring process and to make hires and promotions based on something more than the “gut feeling”. While our industry is experiencing a surge of activity it is easy to make hiring decisions out of desperation. While it may be a possible short-term means to an end, one wrong hire can negatively affect company culture in a very real way. Our industry is most often acting in reactionary mode versus proactive and having the right people in leadership roles who are committed to mentoring and developing others is critical. Employee development and mentoring not only foster a positive culture but also serve an invaluable purpose in building a strong talent bench and shaping tomorrow’s leaders.

Company culture is always changing because it should. Creating that environment takes commitment. As said (very well I might add) by John Maxwell – “The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders, and continually develops them”.


Erica Lockwood is a distinguished Executive Recruiter and Managing Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Joseph Chris Partners. She is focused exclusively on the construction industry and has been instrumental in securing top talent for builders nationwide for over twenty years. Erica has evolved into a respected industry thought-leader by continually nurturing relationships and staying connected with today’s influencers and up-and-coming leaders. She recently completed her “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace” training certificate through the University of South Florida and is currently serving on a subcommittee for the newly formed NAHB DEI Task Force. You can find Erica on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Contact info:
Erica Lockwood
Executive Partner & Managing Director
Joseph Chris Partners
4501 Magnolia Cove Drive, Suite 203
Kingwood, Texas 77345
(281) 359-2142
[email protected]