How Great Leaders Create A Family-Like Culture


One of our oldest client relationships is a global manufacturing company.

They have one of the most envied and highly regarded workforces in international business. Several studies from recognized institutions have regularly shown that their team performs better, has longer retention rate and outdoes all of their competitors.

What’s strange about their particular situation however is how they do this.

They’re nowhere near the top in terms of salary compensation compared to other companies in their space. Other firms definitely have more training resources. And their company does not encourage crazy working hours – most people work nine-to-five and have a healthy work-life balance.

No, what makes their company different is something that very few organisations are able to do.

They’ve created an amazingly special Family-like culture.

It’s apparent to see throughout the organisation. Starting with the CEO and going all the way to interns, everyone in the organisation loves being there. Staff commonly work extra hours for no extra pay. No internal politics, just respect and wanting to see each other succeed. Although commonly approached by recruiters and other organisations for “bigger” opportunities, the loyalty and commitment to the mother ship is unbreakable.

Creating such a culture has taken over 20 years of commitment from the highest level. Yet in ten years as a hiring specialist, I can say with confidence that the rewards are well worth the effort. The most successful people in any industry often have this rare ability to create a family-like culture that acts as an insurance against failure.

Here are some ways how great leaders create a family-like culture.

They care about things other than work

It’s hard to treat each other like family if all conversations are centred around profits, targets and performance.

A bit like your Mom only asking you about how much money you’ve saved.

Being interested in about our workplace issues is something that we all expect our managers to be interested in. After all, it’s essential to their own personal performance. But great leaders are more than just great managers. They aren’t simply interested in things that will benefit themselves personally. To become a great leader, it’s essential to go the extra mile.

Great leaders understand that everyone has different interests, priorities and personal situations. Just like a great parent takes an interest in what’s going on in the playground or why you you’re feeling low for no reason at all, they care about the wellbeing of everyone on the team.

To be treated like family it’s essential to go deep.

It’s where the really powerful connections lye.

Great leaders go deep.

They ensure the rules are the same for everyone

The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.

When trouble comes, it’s usually our family that comes to our rescue. When times are great, it’s usually our family that we want there to enjoy it with us. A great family usually leads to a great life.

Why do our families create such powerful emotions?

One of the key factors is equality. As hugely social creatures, we crave reassurance and in the warmth’s of our trusted family we feel safe. For most parents, all children are equal and this fairness leads to mutual respect and co-operation.

Great leaders understand that a true family like culture can only be built on equality, fairness and respect. There’s no place for “special ones” or privileges. The best organisations I have ever worked with encourage collaboration and openness at every level of the organisation.

Showing everyone is appreciated the same – whatever the level in the organisation – brings everyone together.

Great leaders ensure the rules are the same for everybody.

They value harmonious conduct

The great industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, once famously statedthat he would never retain a worker – no matter however high the quality or quantity of their work – unless he or she was able to work harmoniously with others.

What a different place the business world would be if every leader applied the same rule!

The truth is often the reverse. Many organisations are often desperate to “hang-on” to “star-performers” who have superior knowledge, experience or recent success. Or who work harder and longer. Even though they alienate everyone else around them, foster a culture of high maintenance and insist on special privileges.

Great leaders actually value an attitude of harmonious conduct tremendously. It’s not just some phrase at the end of a job description secondary to the main list of qualifications and experience.

Skills can be learned. Experience is developed.

But treating others like family is something that is much harder to find.

Great leaders value a harmonious attitude.


Family is not an important thing.

It is everything.

Great leaders don’t just want to build great revenue streams or profit margins. What’s much more fulfilling is to create a family-like culture that lives forever.

Do you work in a family-like culture?

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