The Memphis Daily News recently featured a column highlighting the importance of company culture that CEO Stacy McCall crafted.

Company culture should be at the top of every leader’s priority list.

With pressing items like maintaining visibility in the marketplace and increasing bottom lines, company culture may seem to be less important or even get lost in today’s business environment.

However, I have found it to be the key to continued success.

As CEO of ServiceMaster by Stratos, I believe in the importance of the “two Cs” – culture and communication. Through open communication channels based on core values like integrity, accountability and respect, our team has developed a strong internal culture over the last 36 years. It’s a delicate balance trying to be a headstrong leader and trusted teammate, but it is worth the struggle.

Because of the importance of company culture, it’s imperative that all candidates be vetted to ensure a good cultural fit. Sometimes during an interview, hiring managers can tell right away if the person would fit well in the company’s culture; however, some are great interviewees and are able to hide their lack of compatibility.

Those in charge of the hiring process must be aware and dig beneath the surface during interviews to weed out those who are not a good cultural fit. Remember, you can train for skills, but not for culture.

In May, ServiceMaster by Stratos took over the professional custodial responsibilities of 45 Shelby County Schools facilities, resulting in us needing to interview a large number of applicants and evaluate if they were a match for our culture. With more than 400 applicants, it looked to be a daunting task.

A great company culture is going to attract talented job seekers, and more importantly, keep them there. That means less time training new employees and a better chemistry among your team.

Stratos works in an industry that typically sees a great deal of turnover. However, after more than 30 years of dedication to maintaining company culture, we fall far below the national turnover average, which has ranged anywhere from 75 to 400 percent over the years according to Cleaning Business Today!

If you are retaining dedicated employees who are performing well, this translates into a high client retention rate. reports that cleaning companies lose up to 55 percent of their customer base every year as a result of poor service.

Even if you are not in this arena, a statistic like that should encourage all to pay attention to who is hired.

Moving forward, dedicate yourself to improving company culture. If you are not meeting the needs of your employees, you will never meet the needs of your clients. Make your workplace a safe haven where employees can flourish and share that joy with others. Whether you are the CEO or a front-line employee, there are always ways to improve company culture. Remember, rising tides raise all boats.

Stacy McCall is CEO of ServiceMaster by Stratos.

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