How to Cultivate an MLM Culture that Drives Growth
Every company has a culture, whether you actively cultivate it or not. For growing multi-level marketers (MLMs), defining and nurturing the culture you want to create is absolutely essential for growth.
A company’s culture forms based on the shared values, attitudes, and beliefs of the organization’s members, combined with business goals, strategies, and structure. Companies with healthy cultures are 1.5 times more likely to experience revenue growth. And, eight in ten CEOs say a strong company culture is a competitive advantage.
Due to an MLM’s direct selling model that relies on recruiting and retaining representatives who are part employee and part entrepreneur, culture plays a heightened role in an MLM’s success. According to Glassdoor’s 2019 Mission and Culture Survey, 77 percent of people consider culture before joining a company, and almost half say they would leave a current job to work for an organization with a better culture, even if the job is lower paying.
Clearly, cultivating a strong culture makes good business sense. How do you do it? Read on for a step-by-step plan.
Step 1: Articulate and communicate. (Repeat.)
It’s not enough to announce your MLM’s purpose and values. Team members must buy in. From headquarters to field, each person needs to recognize a shared sense of purpose and understand how their role fits. The first step is to get everyone on the same page.
Start by putting your company’s purpose, mission, and values in writing.
- Purpose: Why your organization exists (Your larger purpose, beyond simply financial gain)
- Mission: An ambitious but achievable statement that reflects your Purpose and articulates how your organization will change the market or your customers’ lives.
- Values: The specific beliefs, philosophies, and principles that will enable you to accomplish the Mission and deliver on your Purpose.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or refreshing your existing statements, assess where you are by asking questions like, “What five words would you use to describe our company?”, “What’s really important around here?”, “What behaviors get rewarded?” Listen carefully to what people say. While some of the answers may surprise you, you will get a good idea of how much work you have to do to create the buy-in and culture you want.
Once the purpose, mission, and values are articulated, communicate them broadly. A roll-out campaign with some razzle-dazzle is a nice touch, but a true culture shift happens when you embed these messages into all communications, processes, and experiences, and then repeat them over and over, over time.
Step 2: Live it.
Communicating your mission and values is key. But translating the words into a culture that drives success comes from living and breathing it – all the time.
It starts at the top. MLM leaders must share their vision and inspire the team to adopt it as their own. View decisions and strategies through a company culture lens. Each action, conversation, and product offering should add up to authentically convey and reinforce your culture to your team, potential team members, and customers. In contrast, when something doesn’t line up, it will be immediately noticeable.
Focus on weaving your purpose and values into all aspects of your business. When everything from your policies and training programs through the tools and support you provide to your representatives reflect your overall culture, it’s easy for the team to carry the values forward as they interact with customers and each other. Successfully cultivating a strong company culture takes the entire team, but leadership is responsible for overseeing the activation and ensuring it remains top of mind.
Related: Relationships Matter: The Right MLM Software for Success
Step 3: Celebrate.
The best way to reap the growth benefits of a strong MLM culture is to have fun with it. Actively engage your team every step of the way, and build in ways to incent and reward behaviors that tie back to the organizational culture.
Done well, your culture creates an inclusive community for leadership, headquarters employees, and field representatives. You’ll have your own lingo, branding, and rewards that reinforce the culture while also empowering each individual to achieve their goals as an important part within the whole.
Two programs play a critical role:
- Recognition: Along with monetary rewards and incentives, recognition – both formal and informal – is a powerful way to create a strong MLM culture. A congratulatory call from leadership or shout-outs on social media recognize contributions from different team members and inspire others.
- Training and development: The company’s purpose, mission, and values should be a focus during onboarding training. But don’t stop there. Look for opportunities to create developmental and specialized training that continues to build culture awareness and related skills long after onboarding is finished.
When culture is a cornerstone, MLMs set their representatives up for success and the organization up for growth. Luci can help. A sleek front-end software platform designed with MLMs’ unique company cultures in mind, Luci helps you deliver the cutting-edge tools and support representatives need to succeed. To learn more about how Luci can help you grow your business, contact us for a demo.