By: Wendy Farrand, Owner Of WFarrand Consulting
T’was the DAY before Christmas, when all through the woods,
Not a creature was stirring, all asleep like they should.
The skidders were parked on the landing with care,
In hopes that their operators soon would be there.
The cutters were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of tall timber danced in their heads.
I kissed Ma in her kerchief, and donned my skullcap
Then headed to the jobsite, and not for a nap!
When I arrived on the landing, there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my cab to see what was the matter!
Away to the hardwood, I flew like a flash.
Then I turned on a dime, and fell onto my Ash.
The sun on the crest of the new-fallen snow,
Made me feel I was dreaming with nowhere to go,
When all of a sudden what should I see,
A right jolly old elf peering out from a tree!
From the ‘People Power’ column in Timber Harvesting magazine
By: Wendy Farrand, Owner of WFarrand Consulting
They say “culture eats strategy for breakfast,” which means a logging contractor may have the best business strategy in the world, but if the culture is weak or corrupt, it can destroy strategy in a heartbeat. So, if you have a low bar for what your business stands for, or how employees interact on the job, most certainly your crews are not producing at their maximum potential.
Leaders in the woods should not leave culture to chance. Company culture is more important now than ever. Focusing on culture can improve business relations inside and outside of your business. From the inside, if you put culture first, it will have a positive impact on morale, production, communication and turnover. From the outside, a strong balanced culture can attract the best operators and support staff into your business.
Culture is important in any type of business, but for those who work to move the wood, it’s more important than ever. A strong ethical culture can help set the bar for how the public views the industry we love, which always seems to be under a tightly focused microscope.
What Is Culture?
The culture of a company usually reflects the owner’s ideas for what he or she sees their company standing for. Stated in the values the company wants to uphold and reinforced by the mission statement, a company’s culture lets the world know how they will be conducting business. It’s often considered a company’s personality. Culture can propel a business forward, or hold a business back from reaching its maximum potential. It’s another one of those intangible things that consists of elements invisible to the human eye. So yes, in the woods your crew has a culture, and if you haven’t been paying attention to that culture, it may be working against your business strategy.
Culture sets the standard for how employees interact with each other. A culture where crew members feel criticized can breed secrecy. When dealing with expensive equipment and extremely dangerous situations the last thing you want in the woods is secrecy. So in the logging industry a company’s culture may eat strategy for breakfast, right after it devours your employees for a midnight snack. Respect for safety is one element to building a strong culture within a logging company.