I Love Working Here

winning cultures Dec 16, 2021

These are the words every owner or leader wants to hear from their employees. Right?

I heard these words from a beautiful woman at Stinnett & Associates when I was visiting yesterday. I was there to run a meeting for SoarOklahoma (but that’s another story).  I encountered this person in the kitchen of the company offices. I remarked, “This kitchen is nicer than mine.” She smiled and said, “It is beautiful. I love working here.”

At first blush, you might think that she was referring to the wonderfully appointed office atmosphere, with this incredible kitchen fully decked out. Who wouldn’t love that? And yes, that’s an important way to show employees they are valued.

By the light in her eyes, the smile on her face, her calm and peaceful demeanor, it was clear she was referring to something more important, something deeper than access to a kitchen that easily fulfilled her daily physical needs. So, what was it?

I happened to be in these offices because the company offered me a space to host SoarOklahoma coaches. Not only is their kitchen one that could make Architectural Digest’s greatest office kitchens, but the same could also be said of their training room. Fully appointed. Amazing space!

In fact, every space in the office makes this Architectural Digest worthy! All the office spaces are large, beautifully appointed both technologically and aesthetically, and very welcoming. The training room is amazing and this group of people I hosted was able to accomplish so much there. Such a great space to work and collaborate and accomplish great things.

As we were there several hours, and it was the second time they welcomed my group, I was able to catch a whiff of some things going on there. And it’s clear they would get the award for “Winning Cultures.”

Every employee we saw greeted us and welcomed us with a smile and bright eyes, clearly glad to have visitors in their space. At one point, I looked up and saw balloons floating through the hallway commemorating an employee’s baby shower. That reminded me of the office I passed in the morning that was draped in black crepe paper commemorating a milestone birthday.  And look at all those scrumptious-looking cupcakes lined up on the long island in that gorgeous kitchen made by one of the employees.  They really celebrate one another.  Maybe that’s why everyone seems so happy to work here!

And there’s another thing I see in their offices.

Every person has their CliftonStrengths prominently displayed on their desks.

Clearly, their owner, Melinda Stinnett, and the Senior Manager, Employee Engagement, Jennifer Roberson, have discovered the keys to a Winning Culture.

They will admit that it didn’t happen overnight. In fact, their rapid growth at one point had a detrimental impact on the culture and that’s when they went to work to create the culture they have today.

Here are a few of their keys to creating a Winning Culture:

  1. Establish your identity as a company with:
    1. A purpose statement to give meaning to the work you do every day;
    2. Guiding principles that describe who you are to one another within the company; and
    3. Core values that describe who you are to your clients and other stakeholders.
  2. Discover and learn the talents of your employees and provide opportunities to develop their strengths so they can do what they do best every day.
  3. Give employees a voice in shaping the culture and understand that shaping the culture takes continuous work, not a one-time event.
  4. Set an environment and a tone that is welcoming, celebratory, and affirming to anyone who comes through the doors, especially those working here.

This company is a great study in how time, talent, and treasure can be leveraged to create a Winning Culture.

What’s your story? Do you have a Winning Culture? Are your employees saying, “I love working here!” to random strangers?


Cynthia J Stewart, principal at EverMore Services, is a strengths-based business coach and consultant working with small business owners to create Winning Cultures.

Stinnett & Associates is a regional, professional services advisory firm with offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas. Permission was granted to publish their story.


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