With culture, if you don’t keep watering it, especially with positive feedback, it can get away from you.

Noreen%20Beaman Noreen%20Beaman

Noreen Beaman

Chief executive, Brinker Capital

As Brinker Capital celebrates its 30th anniversary, it is taking the opportunity to revisit its culture. As a 28-year veteran of the company, CEO Noreen Beaman has been able to guide that culture — for the good of the company and to make sure it remains a place where she wants to stay.

"As a leader, you must ensure that you're living your values at work," she said.

Her goal is for the company to be a meritocracy and an inclusive, caring place to work.

"You measure your culture by the clients you serve, whether it's shareholders, other employees or client advisers," Ms. Beaman said. "It's a feedback loop on how they perceive the service level."

Culture is also assessed by measuring outcomes, such as the representation of women and their progress through the firm, she said. One form of support is the practice of benchmarking jobs against outside indicators of what they should be paying, rather than looking at what job holders have earned in the past. This affects both compensation and advancement opportunities.

It is important that employees care about each other and feel they are being heard with each interaction, Ms. Beaman said.

It is a constant challenge, she said. "With culture, if you don't keep watering it, especially with positive feedback, it can get away from you."

— Deborah Nason


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