By Exec Edge Editorial Staff
“A rising tide lifts all boats,” as the old saying goes. In the corporate world, a positive, uplifting company culture inspires every employee to thrive in their personal and professional lives. At Hughes Marino, this “can do” attitude infuses every project the dynamic company takes on. Team members support each other, working towards a common goal. And not surprisingly, Hughes Marino consistently inspires other companies to step up their games.
An Inviting Workplace Sets the Stage for Success
From the business’s inception, the Hughes Marino CEO and COO have viewed the company’s employees as an extension of the family. Through careful hiring, the leaders know all their team members embrace the company’s 10 Core Values. Team members are also dedicated to each other’s success. Knowing this, the leadership team wanted to provide their team with a comfortable “home away from home” work environment. In turn, this positive work setting would foster collaboration and creativity.
With this goal in mind, the Hughes Marino COO furnished the company’s corporate offices with plush, vibrantly colored furniture and décor. Striking artwork graces the walls, and whimsical touches abound throughout the open, expansive main area. Team members are encouraged to gather here and in the office’s well-equipped game room.
Not surprisingly, the Hughes Marino team enthusiastically embraced their new office digs. Buoyed by the results, the COO transformed the firm’s additional offices in key markets. Each setting infuses a regional flavor, and each one boasts the signature Hughes Marino game room.
Speaking of games, team members often engage in informal competition during their downtime. Lively tournaments also spring up on occasion. Looking at the bigger picture, every one of these metro-area offices has the appealing ambiance of a comfortable home.
Hughes Marino CEO Benefits from Culture Coaching
A pleasing work setting is certainly conducive to team members’ achievements and company growth. Exceptional company culture is the foundation of these accomplishments, and that doesn’t happen by accident. The Hughes Marino CEO recognizes Golden State Warriors basketball coach Steve Kerr as a major source of company culture inspiration.
For background, the Golden State Warriors had just completed a successful five-year run. The team won three NBA championships and appeared in the finals five times. However, the 2019/2020 season was a different story. Transfers and injuries contributed to a rare losing season for the celebrated lineup of athletes.
Although many experts thought Kerr’s focus should be on how to resume winning games, this insightful coach believed a different priority was needed. “For those in the organization, a different, less results-oriented definition was more immediately relevant.”
“The goal should not be to win a certain number of games or to go deep into the playoffs. Instead, it should be to reaffirm the team’s culture and core values and to find ways for the team to operate in accordance with them,” Kerr said.
Coach Kerr had developed this culture and core values focus when he first came aboard as the Warriors’ head coach. Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll helped Kerr identify four key core values. Not surprisingly, the Hughes Marino CEO says Kerr’s values markedly resemble the firm’s own moral and ethical building blocks.
Regardless of the arena, regular competition will help to develop the frame of mind that leads to success. Where the Warriors regularly include contests in daily practice, the Hughes Marino leadership weaves friendly competitions into its team meetings. A monthly billiards tournament has become especially popular with team members from varied departments. Regardless of the outcome, the team continues to reinforce its winning mindset.
Coach Kerr says that everyone deals with some type of adversity. Therefore, having compassion for teammates and opponents is important. The Hughes Marino executive echoes this approach. Stated another way, company leaders should integrate more compassion into their business strategies. And finally, compassion should be a key element of interpersonal relationships between team members.
Coach Kerr acknowledged that playing basketball was the players’ job. However, he also emphasized the importance of keeping it fun. During the Warriors’ practice sessions, loud music and laughter have become the norm. This helps to increase the fun factor and promote teamwork. Hughes Marino also embraces this approach, infusing joy into everything the company does. Happy, enthusiastic team members can transform a routine client interaction into a positive, memorable experience.
The concept of mindfulness recognizes the value of savoring the present moment. Coach Kerr also stresses the importance of a player’s ability to enter (and stay in) the elusive “zone.” This altered mindset is key to attaining superior performance. To get there, the Hughes Marino CEO suggests companies focus on process-driven rather than value-driven goals.
A Challenge to Fellow Business Leaders
The Hughes Marino executive emphasizes the importance of connection with fellow teammates. Challenges can also inspire the team (and each team member) to greater success. He issues a challenge to fellow business leaders who want to elevate their own company cultures.
“A final thought—as leaders, the buck stops with us and how we build our team, grow our companies, and elevate our culture. We must lead by example through competition, compassion, joy, mindfulness, and more, as coach Kerr and Carroll have done so successfully over the years. By keeping these concepts front and center, any business can be a champion, in culture, operations, and financial success, for many years to come!”
Why an Uplifting Company Culture is Important
A company’s corporate culture tells potential clients and competitors a lot about the firm. By viewing its policies and communications, the business world (and surrounding community) can see the company’s values in action.
Company leaders’ activities and initiatives will show whether key leaders “walk the walk” or pay lip service to its mission. At Hughes Marino, the CEO and COO have been living the business’ 10 Core Values since the business’ inception. They embrace the values in every aspect of company operations.
Three Advantages of an Exceptional Company Culture
A company that truly values (and supports) its team members have three major advantages. For starters, this demonstrated respect attracts clients compared to a business that regards team members as commodities. This elevated stature creates a competitive advantage, separating Hughes Marino from others in the industry.
Because of Hughes Marino’s exceptional company culture, other firms have come on board as culture consulting clients. And for the third year, the business has received a top honor in Entrepreneur’s “Top Company Culture” competition. Fortune has also recognized the firm for having a superb company culture.
Finally, the desirable Hughes Marino company culture continues to attract superior team members from around the country. Each associate’s intelligence, expertise, and determination are matched by their cultural contributions and infectious sense of fun. Combined, they help to make the company (and themselves) a force within the commercial development industry.
The Hughes Marino Cultural Transformation
In the highly competitive commercial real estate brokerage industry, most brokers must compete against others from their own company. At Hughes Marino, however, its entire team of experts work together in a non-competitive fashion. At the same time, everyone maintains a commitment to operate with integrity and ethics. In other words, it’s a “win-win” for everybody.
By all accounts, Hughes Marino delivers unmatched service experiences and positive client outcomes. However, many businesses reach out to the firm because of its steadfast adherence to its 10 Core Values and admired company culture. From this perspective, the firm is one of a few rarified businesses with truly transformative company culture.
Evolution of Hughes Marino Company Culture
The Hughes Marino company culture didn’t magically spring into existence one day. The Hughes Marino CEO says the company holds four key beliefs that set the stage for realizing cultural goals.
The Best Team Members Are Key to Success
The Hughes Marino team is dedicated to excellence, and that is reflected in its hiring practices. Company recruiters take as much time as they need to find the best candidates. The right team members will be talented, considerate, and completely aligned with the firm’s 10 Core Values.
When a superior candidate steps up, the Hughes Marino team welcomes them into the fold. From the top down, every new team member is eagerly embraced with a red-carpet welcome.
Individual Growth Spurs Team Growth
Every Hughes Marino team member is encouraged to push their boundaries professionally and personally — every day. The phrase “Get Uncomfortable!” often echoes through meeting rooms, lounges, and even the company game room.
To stimulate team members’ growth, Hughes Marino leaders invite renowned authors and speakers to share insights with the group. The firm also looks for ways to help team members take their communication and leadership skills to the next level.
This can mean leading a company initiative, writing a company blog post, or speaking at a community event. By constantly raising the bar for themselves, Hughes Marino team members keep broadening their horizons. In turn, the company keeps delivering new challenges and opportunities.
Enjoying the Journey is Key
Every Hughes Marino team member boasts an enviable work ethic and excels at their job. At the same time, they are encouraged to find ways to enjoy their time with fellow team members. Viewing a colleague’s vacation photos, playing a lively round of pool, and enjoying lunch on the terrace are good examples.
Committed to the Long Haul
The Hughes Marino leadership knows every dedicated team member has contributed to the firm’s enduring success. From the original associates to recent new hires, everyone has gifts and talents to share. The CEO and COO are committed to maintaining a supportive setting that encourages team members to flourish and grow. Over time, the associates’ successes will keep moving the company forward.
Hughes Marino Goes “Above and Beyond” for Its Team Members
In today’s fast-paced business world, many workers feel like they’re nothing more than a cog in the company wheel. This feeling of insignificance might even surface on the employee’s first day on the job. Without anything to dispel this impression, the worker might soon be hunting for another position.
Hughes Marino Delivers a Memorable First Impression
An employee’s first day at work is generally filled with paperwork and orientations. At Hughes Marino, however, these logistical tasks are joined by fun activities that warmly welcome the company’s newest hire.
In addition, the talent engagement team offers an orientation along with a well-stocked inspirational goody bag. This positive first impression may improve the odds that the new team member will enjoy a long company tenure.
Consistent Workplace Recognition is Key
At Hughes Marino, employee recognition is a regular occurrence. The CEO and COO take every opportunity to express appreciation to team members, often at company-wide meetings. In addition, the firm’s “Wow Cards” initiative has become a way to honor fellow team members who went “above and beyond” in some way.
As the year begins, each team member receives five “Wow Cards” with which they can show appreciation to fellow associates. Every team meeting includes several “Wow Card” presentations, uplifting the recipient along with everyone who shares the experience with them.
Hughes Marino Integrates OKRs to Accomplish Big Goals
Setting (and reaching) big-picture goals can present challenges for many organizations. Hughes Marino’s transformative company culture led it to embrace an out-of-the-box goal achievement strategy that has certainly paid off. Kleiner Perkins Chairman John Doerr first introduced the “Objectives and Key Results (or OKRs)” framework to the business world.
This two-part strategic exercise begins when top company leaders set overarching organizational goals for a defined period. Next, departments and individual team members design their own concrete objectives. Collectively, accomplishing these objectives will help the company reach its big-picture goals.
How Hughes Marino Sets (and Achieves) OKRs
Before each quarter begins, the Hughes Marino CEO and COO discuss the company-wide OKRs with team members. Each large-scale goal is designed to move the firm forward in a specific way.
This transparent approach provides each department and team member with their own goal-setting framework. Equipped with this information, each person selects one or more quarterly tasks aligned with the company-wide goals. These are the Key Results. In certain cases, two or more teams collaborate to accomplish mutual Key Results.
After the quarter ends, the team member and/or group state whether they achieved one or more Key Results. This practice promotes accountability on all levels. If necessary, the team member, group, and/or company refines their OKRs for the next quarter.
Over time, the entire Hughes Marino team improves its performance in significant ways. In turn, this progress enables everyone to set their sights higher during the next OKR cycle.
Hughes Marino Shares Its Transformational Company Culture
Companies in diverse industries have taken note of Hughes Marino’s dynamic company culture. In response to numerous requests, the firm’s COO consults with businesses that desire to craft their own affirming cultures and attract top-tier job candidates.
Although each company has distinctive needs, the Hughes Marino COO emphasizes the business’ 10 Core Values and rigorous hiring process. Most importantly, she says Hughes Marino’s much-admired workplace recognition practices can contribute to every business’ success. She encourages every company to “pull out all the stops” to inspire its team members toward the next level.