Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of hearing Sherry Deutschmann, CEO of LetterLogic, speak at the Entrepreneur Center’s monthly coffee series.
She shared the story of how she started her business, a lettershop company that prints and mails statements and invoices for companies.
For seven years, Sherry worked for another lettershop company, but she was frustrated because they did everything wrong. They made so many mistakes that Sherry felt like a professional apologist.
So, she quit and set it out to create the company that did it better.
Creating an Amazing Company Culture
Although her story of starting the company was quite compelling (she had a weeklong yard sale instead of taking investor money to get things started), what really struck me was the company culture she created.
Sherry shared some of the key aspects of LetterLogic’s company culture:
- Employee profit sharing. Employees split 10 percent of the profts EVENLY because Sherry believes everyone’s job is equally important.
- Health insurance. LetterLogic pays for 100 percent of their employee’s health insurance.
- Housing. LetterLogic helps employees with the down payment on their first home.
- Employees come first. Sherry tells all of their clients that they do not come first. Their employees do. At first, clients balk at this but then realize the benefit that comes from running the business this way.
- Pets and kids. Sherry knows what it’s like to be a single parent, that’s why she lets employees bring pets and kids to work. She went on to say that employees use this, but they don’t abuse this perk.
- Organizational chart. When Sherry was building the org chart, she was frustrated to see one of their employees — a nightshift worker — at the bottom of the chart. This employee required no supervision and was a key player to the success of their company. So, Sherry reengineered the org chart to be set up like a wheel — she is the hub in the middle and the rest of the employees are the spokes. That way, no one is the least important in the organization.
- Support entrepreneurs. Employees with an interest in entrepreneurship are given the opportunity to move from job to job within the company to learn the business. Then, LetterLogic helps pay to fund the employee’s startup.
- Promote health. The company pays employees $1 per mile if employees walk or bike to work. She said one employee makes an extra $200 per month by doing this!
- Weekly lunches. Sherry sets aside one day a week for employees to have lunch with her, which gives everyone in the company access to her time.
- Leadership review. Every year, the senior leadership team gives sherry and evaluation and she does the same for them. This helps the entire leadership team get stronger.
When you hear about a company that is so dedicated to their employees, you can’t help but want to work with them. After all, if they treat their employees so well, don’t you think they do the same for their clients?
Also, Sherry has demonstrated what many companies miss — when you have happy, motivated employees, you have a stronger business. Sherry has created a positive company culture where the employees are so highly valued that they are truly invested in the success of the business.
Corporate Culture Creates Differentiation
LetterLogic’s culture doesn’t just make for a strong workforce — it also one way they differentiate their business from competitors. There may be plenty of other companies that do exactly what they do, but when you hear about how LetterLogic runs their business and treats their employees, it clearly sets them apart.
Not to mention, this is the kind of stuff that has helped LetterLogic win a number of awards and gain a great amount of media exposure.
In addition to their stellar culture, LetterLogic also stands out because they are the only company in their industry to guarantee the delivery of their mail. If any piece of mail is returned as undeliverable, LetterLogic issues a full refund check to their clients — regardless of the reason the mail was returned.
How is that for differentiation?
My hope is that this compelling brand story helps you see some ways that you can differentiate your business and create a compelling brand story.
Have you seen other companies model this well? Does your corporate culture help you stand out in your industry?
2 replies on “What LetterLogic Can Teach You About Company Culture & Differentiation”
Thanks for the ping, Laura! 🙂
You are so welcome, Margie!