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How We Built the Dasher Culture

Building the Dasher Culture

As a first step, we thought about employees at Dasher who personified our commitment to deliver a customer experience that makes working with Dasher attractive and productive for our clients. If we could identify an ideal employee or a group of ideal employees, who would they be? We thought of those people and we asked, “What is it about these people that makes them so great for Dasher? Maybe they would not be so great for someone else’s company, but why are they are great for us?”

By going through that process of thinking about those wonderful employees and what it was that made them so special to us, we came up with these values:

  • Positivity
  • Customer focus
  • Caring and respect
  • Accountability
  • Able to learn
  • Teamwork

Because we had teammates who already possessed these core values as evidenced by their work, we did not have to embark on an extensive campaign to change the behavior of our entire team to fit with aspirational (and possibly unrelatable) core values.

No matter how clear we considered our core values to be, we suspected that ambiguities would most likely erode attempts at living our core values. Exactly what is teamwork? What does it mean to be positive? We had to make it easy.

Our next step was to identify the specific behaviors we thought defined these core values. If someone on the Dasher team exhibited one or more of these behaviors, then that person would be demonstrating their adherence to that core value.

To identify those specific behaviors, we looked at a variety of sources, including lists of behaviors from many different companies. We looked for behaviors that other companies have identified as important for their employees, and from that list, we culled the behaviors that we wanted to assign to each of our core values.

The sources of inspiration for Dasher’s behaviors include the Ritz Carlton , the Dave Ramsey Organization , a wide variety of business websites, and the book Fundamentally Different by David Freidman, principal in High Performing Culture, LLC .

Once we identified the values by thinking about our best people and identified the behaviors by going through this process of looking at all the many possibilities, we developed “The Dasher Way” – a written explanation of our culture that promotes consistency and sustainability.

We created a visual representation of “The Dasher Way,” put it into a brochure, and shared it with our team after several weeks of lead-up discussions that prepared them for the introduction. We had a very intentional and important introduction to our employees about “The Dasher Way” and what it meant, with examples.

“The Dasher Way” is our shared set of norms, where everyone understands the rules the same way. This is the way we behave. It gives us a common language and a common way of being that is shared by every individual.

We don’t lose sight of the fact that everybody is an individual. “The Dasher Way” (our culture) gives us a baseline that allows each person to be treated differently, as an individual, in accordance with their needs. We take this a step further, believing that long-term success depends on the celebration, validation, and respect of each individual, as an individual. For example, Dasher teammates living in accordance with our behaviors and core values can be: emotional, colorful, outgoing, introverted, fashionista, Goth, perpetually casual, reserved, laid back, all business, a dreamer, a thinker, a jokester, a hugger, a seeker, and any personality type.

 

In our next blog entry, “What is SDOH and Why Do you Care?”, we explain some of the factors that influence employee performance that may never have occurred to you. 

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