Q&A Interview: Creating A Company Culture That People Want To Work For (Feat. Chris Ciulla)

August 24, 2022
Creating a company culture that people want to work for

When it comes to finding and retaining top talent, creating a company culture that people want to work for, along with an environment that fosters trust, is truly the recipe for success. When colleagues consistently come into work with a positive mindset and feel inspired by those that they work with, they will give each day 110%.


In our latest interview, Chris Ciulla, President of U.S Operations and Cross Border Services, shares tips on how to build a strong company culture that will help your colleagues and organization win. 


To start, could you speak to the importance of a strong company culture? Why is it so important for everyone to be working towards the same goals?

Chris Ciulla: The goal of any business is to grow and drive results. The foundation of a strong company culture is built with common core values to guide desired actions in an organization. This is how we help our candidates, clients, and colleagues win.


Could you spotlight Comrise WeCulture and how it shapes the organization? How do you inspire and motivate your colleagues to stick by these values?  

Chris Ciulla: Comrise WeCulture is built on our common core values and Four-Win Principle.  Our core values are what drive everyday activity for every colleague to drive results. Comrise core values defined:

  1. Be Positive: People who say they can are usually right. We approach every challenge with a solution-focused mindset.
  2. Be Collaborative: When people work together with a “can do” approach, there is no limit to what we can do.
  3. Be Honest and Ethical: Information should be shared with transparency. We share both internal and external information to the organization, even when the sale is on the line.
  4. Be the Spark: Innovation comes from our best resource… people!  Our colleagues, candidates, and clients have great ideas to help us all win. As we work together, we also listen and respect new ideas to improve our service. 


Our Comrise Four-Win Principle is top of mind as we make tactical and strategic decisions. We filter every choice we make with the goal that all parties win.

  1. Candidate: Our job is to help our candidates find their next best opportunity. When we do, the right candidates get a better job than they had before meeting us.
  2. Client: As we partner with our customers, finding the best talent comes first. The right talent helps our clients grow and thrive in their market
  3. Colleague: When our internal colleagues win, the company wins. A leader’s job is to measure by their ability to help their colleagues WIN!
  4. Comrise: If we help our candidates, clients, and colleagues win, the success of Comrise is guaranteed


When it comes to maintaining a strong company culture, hiring the right people is key.  Do you have any strategies that help you determine when someone is a good fit for the organization?  

Chris Ciulla: Most companies prioritize skills and past accomplishments when hiring new colleagues. At Comrise, we evaluate potential new colleagues with a patented approach that determines if they are a good match with Comrise core values and core competencies. 

A person’s core values, as they relate to work, are formed early-on in their life.  This will determine how they view their job and interact with others. Core values also govern day-to-day actions and influence strategic thinking. Going along with this, core competencies are attributes that are required to be successful in your role. They are key indicators of how a potential colleague will learn and perform while interacting with others. While we do screen for skills and past accomplishments as well, skills can be learned provided the potential colleague is a right match for our Comrise core values and core competencies


Could you spotlight the importance of “trust” in the workplace? When people know that their colleagues, managers, and leadership team have strong trust in them, how does this impact their work?  

Chris Ciulla: I have heard many leaders in business say “people have to earn trust” when referring to their colleagues. Trust is the bedrock of any relationship and it is critical that organizations offer new colleagues trust at the onset of the business relationship. When we offer trust first, we can build relationships faster because our colleagues can focus on performance in their respective roles. Think about it… why would you hire a colleague if you don’t trust them? Why would a colleague trust an organization where the leaders don’t trust each other or the colleagues? If we have trust, information can be shared faster, colleagues at all levels can be honest and ethical, we can identify and solve problems faster. In turn, we can then provide great service to our customers. 


How has Comrise maintained a positive and collaborative work environment during the covid-19 health crisis?

The pandemic changed the way we worked almost overnight.  We changed our internal work habits from fully in the office to remote without notice. Moreover, client interaction went from onsite visits with consultants in the office to an 100% virtual experience, with a few exceptions. Our clients changed their buying patterns and our consultants needed to transition to the new normal. This was a true test of our Comrise core values and our Four-Win Principle in a crisis. Be Positive helped everyone look at the challenge saying ‘WE CAN’ and helped us find a solution. Be Collaborative kept our focus on working together to meet the needs of our clients and candidates through an unpredictable and unprecedented situation.


Going along with this, what role has communication played in maintaining strong trust?

Communication was key and core value #3 Be Honest and Ethical reinforced the value of sharing information internally to Comrise and externally to our candidates, clients, and customers. We were fully transparent on CDC guidelines and the impact on work schedules. We maintained constant communication through various channels such as email, text, video meetings, and recorded video messages so that all parties could be informed in real time. As we shared information, we looked for outcomes where our candidates, clients, and colleagues were safe and in the best position to win. 

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