Why Corporate Culture Really Matters

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Jason Murphy, CEO of distributor Flip Electronics

Jason Murphy, Flip Electronics

Choosing the right distribution partner seems pretty easy. Who has the right products at the right price when we need them? But you need to do more than that. Take some time to understand your partner’s corporate culture. It could make a big difference.

For your partners, supply chain struggles and semiconductor shortages are only one kind of potential challenge. Critical employees are leaving their job in droves—and “quiet quitting” is now a well-known phrase. Lack of engagement at work is its own pandemic. Gallup, which tracks employee engagement, reports some scary statistics around post-pandemic burnout: only 32 percent of employees feel engaged at work and 44 percent report experiencing stress for much of their previous day.

As you try to build a strong relationship with your distributors, their ability to retain and engage their workforce is a critical component to the success of the partnership. For employees, feeling fulfilled is key to the component to their ability to do their best at work. Two-thirds of employees report that they would change jobs to feel more fulfilled and yet two-thirds of those surveyed report that their jobs leave them feeling unfulfilled, according to the 2023 Global Culture Report from the OC Tanner Institute. They identify four areas that organizations can work at to earn their employee’s loyalty.Chart showing worker engagement in contest of corporate culture

These elements resonate with me as I think about the organization that I lead. We work to help every member of the organization understand the purpose of what we’re doing each day, from the warehouse to the sales organization. We aren’t just pushing chips—we are helping our customers create life-saving, life-enhancing, and innovative products that will help people. We are strategically buying products that will future-proof the supply chains for our manufacturing customers. Everyone must understand the bigger picture. When someone understands how their work supports something bigger it makes all the difference.

Of course, job satisfaction goes beyond doing meaningful work. We spend so much time at work that it’s important that employees feel like they can work hard but still have fun and enjoy life. I want our employees to know that they are the cool kids in the industry. Not only do we want our folks to have a good work-life balance, but we also try to have some fun at work.

For example, we bring our people together for Flip Week each quarter, currently about 100 strong. Not only does this cultivate relationships and teamwork across all departments, but we also focus on giving people a chance to talk about things that really matter, like accountability and attitude—and tell stories about how those things play into the work they do every day. That builds a positive attitude, energy, and teamwork. When we feel that way, we can engage with customers in a friendly way that keeps customers coming back. We’ve seen the success in measurable ways—our business keeps growing.Chart showing how corporate culture can engage employees

When the product price and delivery are similar I believe clients like to work with folks who are good citizens. That is important to me and that’s a culture of giving back…are the distributor’s employees involved in the community as an individual and as a team?

Finally, we put a big focus on building the right team. We want to choose people who can find fulfillment, and grow with the company. We use cross-team interviews when we are hiring because people with passion and fire gravitate toward people who have that same energy.

Electronics is a tough business, and so corporate culture matters. Look closely at corporate culture and you’ll be one step closer to building a long-term successful partnership with your distributor.

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