LOUD Security: Develop company culture before it develops itself

Events, engagement, teamwork make everyone more successful, John Loud says
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ORLANDO, Fla.—At LOUD Security, employees aren’t allowed to bring personal cellphones to work and “Casual Fridays” are sporadic at best.

But John Loud, owner of the Atlanta-based security company, thinks he’s got a top-rate company culture. Leading a session on “Creating a Culture People Love” at Honeywell’s Connect2014, held here Nov. 13-16, Loud explained how he has built that culture to be engaging and fun.

It all starts with company leadership, he said, and it’s all about doing things for your employees.

A positive company culture attracts talent, retains talent, engages people, creates energy and momentum, changes the way of “work,” creates greater synergy and makes everyone more successful, he said.

“If you don’t develop your corporate culture, it will develop itself,” Loud said. “If you don’t get culture right, nothing else matters.”

Personal phones can distract his 57 employees from doing their jobs; they all have direct phone lines so they can be contacted in case of personal emergencies, he said. Casual dress days often lead to doing everything casually, and that’s not what he wants for his company, Loud said.

But LOUD’s events, engagement and teamwork make employees proud to work there, he said.

Events include an annual turkey fry, company picnics and cookouts, employee recognition, community events, a chili cook-off and a cookie challenge. The company even had a Halloween costume contest, he said.

“It’s about doing things for your employees,” he said.

Also, he advised, don’t forget about employees out in the field. They’re thinking, “We’re out here busting our butts and you [in the office] are having a Halloween party,” he said. Bring them in, show them their hard work is valued, he said.

And it’s not just all about parties and free meals, he said.

If an employee has planned to go on vacation, set up a team to help them prepare to go, he said. Help them get their work done, and don’t let their emails and voicemails pile up while they’re away. Then, he said, welcome them back.

Loud advised those in the audience to invest in R&D, which he said he defines as “rip off and duplicate.” Look at other companies’ successes with corporate culture, champion it and share it, he said.