Family Business Culture

Client Success: The Culture of A Family Business

One of the most personally rewarding experiences for me is celebrating client success.  They constantly elate me.  But, never more so than last week when I was an invited guest at a company hosted dinner event. I found myself at the Trenton Country Club surrounded by the phenomenal HM Royal family.  

Let me tell you about the experience.

Family Business Culture 

HM Royal Inc. is a family (literally and figuratively) business with more than 90 years experience in material distribution and currently led by Joe Royal.  His brothers and cousin all hold leadership positions.  Like many family businesses, HM Royal is driven by this sense of connection and identity the family members feel about the business.  They foster a tight-knit company culture that thrives on partnership and personal growth.  

It’s Not Surprising 

A few years ago, Joe asked me to be a partner in developing new managers into high performing future leaders.  That’s when I met Tami Puccio who was being promoted to customer service manager.  Coaching offered Tami a personalized approach with evidence-based strategies.  Plus learning to accelerate her leadership growth.  

I quickly learned that this tight-knit company culture cascades down from the top and reaches beyond.  Yet culture is about more than the ongoing “feel” of a place.  Culture directly impacts key decisions and can either strengthen or weaken the company.   Recent research on culture of family businesses suggests that there is a positive correlation between superior financial performance and superior corporate culture. HM Royal is no exception to that data.  

Recognize, Reward and Respect 

On this particular evening, I was in awe of everyone’s happiness and admiration for one another.  It was a celebration of achievements, anniversaries, and appreciations.  Suppliers from as far away as Japan were in attendance.  And, on behalf of the entire company Joe received the “Distributor of the Year” award for exemplary sales growth.  While the honoree Tami Puccio celebrated her 30th anniversary and personal transformation.  (Note 30 years exceeds the median employee tenure.)

Impossible to Imitate

What’s interesting about culture is that on some levels you can observe it and possibly describe it. Yet it is impossible to imitate, primarily due to its complexity. This makes culture unique, like a fingerprint.  A strong culture emerges from the permanent prints left by the founder and the core principles that have guided the family, often for many generations.  Congratulations and well done, HM Royal Family!

What is the culture you want to emerge?

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