4 Steps to Build a World Class Culture

Building a top-notch workplace culture is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity in today’s hiring environment. Whether you are looking for executive level talent or building the bench to execute your operational game plan, taking deliberate action steps is critical now more than ever.

When most people think of culture, they think of pie-in-the-sky ideologies: ping pong tables, paid luncheons and other soft perks. Company culture refers to a company’s core values and is reflected in the attitudes, behaviors, and practices of an organization and its employees. 

Poor leadership, bad workplace environment, little to no training, lack of engagement, poor compensation and benefits, complacency, and lack of good hiring practices all contribute to talent problems. 

“Your employees are the engine that powers your business, and your company culture is the fuel; are you choosing regular unleaded, or premium? The advantages make it worth upgrading your time, attention, and effort,” said David Silbert, who is a content writer for the Predictive Index.

Building a world class culture doesn’t happen overnight, but here are four steps to get you started, or to help strengthen your existing programs. 


Often leaders aren’t clear on who they are, let alone what their organization is about. Understanding your motivators, drives and what gets you fired up will be helpful in setting the tone within your operation. Spending time to identify and discover ourselves is the first step to building a world-class culture. 

Identifying and articulating your values not only provides decision-making guideposts, but also can help guide actions for your organization. Examples of values can be innovation, teamwork, integrity and communication. If you need assistance, there are a number of assessments such as Strengthsfinder 2.0, Predictive Index, Enneagram, DISC and Meyers-Briggs that can provide insights into yourself. 

As you transition into thinking about your organizational culture, what key behaviors do you hold sacred, and what matters most to your existence? What are your core beliefs or convictions? These are feelings and sentiments that we will defend no matter the odds and at the risk of being the only person in the room sharing them. These beliefs are important to our employer brand because they clearly communicate who we are underneath the surface. 

Let’s look at Oprah’s personal values: perseverance, generosity or kindness, appreciation, and sincerity. By her own admission these seem to be the most consistent values she mentions: (Read more on Oprah.com — What Defines Me: www.oprah.com/inspiration/oprah-what-defines-me.) 

The majority of the Oprah Winfrey Network’s (OWN) programming and public activities exemplify those values. OWN’s shows are inspirational and educational. They tend to empower others and focus on personal development or enlightenment. 


A strong company culture supports a positive work environment, which improves employee satisfaction, reduces time-consuming conflict, and empowers team members to take pride and ownership of their contribution to the organization as a whole. 

Here’s the secret sauce: you have to integrate your team into the process. If they are not part of the process, they will not see any value in solicitation of their input because it will feel as if it is not valued.

In your next management team meeting, poll your team members on the following questions.

  • What is our purpose in what we do?
  • What are the core traits that make us unique?
  • What angers you or frustrates you about the existing work environment?
  • What are our goals in the next year to five years?

Finding a company which aligns with the goals and values which matter most to the employee is important to new hires, especially in a competitive job market.

Employees who appreciate an organization’s values and have a strong sense of belonging are ultimately happier at work, and therefore, more productive and invested in the company’s success. By engaging your new employees from the start with effective onboarding practices, it will stimulate the employee and have them excited to take on the job they’ve been hired for.

You don’t need to wait for a big ‘AH HA’ moment to inspire employees. Frequent check-ins during the work day — out on the golf course or in the break room — is a simple strategy to build rapport. Setting one-on-one meetings or quarterly reviews is a practice we recommend more than the annual employee review. It allows the employer to gauge where the employee is seeing success or struggling and effectively put in place a process to deal with either situation.

Most importantly, reward behaviors which align to your values. On-the-spot recognition is a simple strategy to ensure your team feels acknowledged for demonstrating the right values.


Every company’s culture will vary depending on the organization’s mission statement, leadership styles, behavioral expectations, and shared values. 

However, what shouldn’t be left up to chance is intentional mentorship or employee development, including your own. Instituting continued education and development shouldn’t be reserved for senior managers only. There are endless resources at your disposal to increase the hard and soft skills of your employees.

Basic online education from our regional or national associations, industry publications, YouTube, and other services such as Golf Safety are cost effective and replicable. 

Many companies are creating their own internal development programs to expose their team members to various industry experts. 

Scheduling time for your team to engage in these training sessions is your biggest challenge. What doesn’t get scheduled won’t get done, so mark it on a calendar, send it out in a Google calendar invite or other scheduling tools. 

Don’t reserve continued education only for the months of November through February. Create time once a month for a 20-30 minute presentation, video or discussion within your team. Consider topics beyond just the typical on-the-job competencies, such as leadership development, wellness, financial management and other areas. As you broach topics in these sessions which revolve around life outside the job, you show you care about your employees as people, and not just cogs in the maintenance machine. 

Whatever the platform may be, creating a once-a-month training and education for your team is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity in the competitive labor market. 


A key component that often is missing and the hardest part of the job for any manager or team leader is providing feedback and accountability. A crucial component to providing feedback is identifying successes and failures, and developing a strategy to bring action and behaviors into alignment with your stated goals. However, if there is no follow up then ambitious goals fizzle out. 

Gaps in feedback allow for toxic relationships and environments to grow. Whether issues are developed from poor policy, communication failures, inconsistent leadership, or individual employees, addressing the issue at hand is paramount. 

It’s important to state the facts you have as a manager, but equally important to give the employee a chance to explain their side of the story. More often than not, by revealing their rationale, they’ll actually help you coach them through how to approach the situation in the future. 

Here are five approaches which can help employees grow and improve through feedback:

  • Make feedback timely
  • Be truthful
  • Be specific
  • Take an unassuming approach
  • Don’t rush positive feedback

Building a world-class culture takes time and effort. There are many components to producing a positive company culture, including compensation and benefits, innovation, and goal-setting. Taking the time to build an impressive company culture, employees will be empowered to feel like they’re truly part of any success the company achieves.

And with empowered employees, you can accelerate all of your organization’s efforts to build toward success.

About The Author

Tyler Bloom is the founder of Tyler Bloom Consulting. A former golf course superintendent and turf professional, Tyler’s love of all things golf began at the age of six when he stepped onto the course for the first time. 

Tyler has an Executive Certificate in Talent Acquisition from Cornell University and a degree in Turfgrass Science from Penn State University. With 20 years of experience in the golf and turfgrass industry, Tyler has worked directly with reputable club leaders at some of the most prestigious clubs to place over 100 professionals in executive and management level positions throughout the United States.

Are you ready to build a top-performing team that drives results? Our proven framework, methodologies, and implementation is based on our personal track record of developing world-class teams. In addition to talent acquisition, we provide leadership development and ongoing consultative services for the golf course and club industry. Our team has personally coached and mentored dozens of future golf course superintendents across the United States.