Terroir & Growing Company Culture

By: Gary Miller

Terrior and Growing Company Culture

Terroir is a French term that most wine enthusiasts know well.

Terroir is the reason why no two wines taste exactly alike. Even wines from the same vineyard will vary from one year to the next.

To the vintner, terroir (ter-wahr) describes the soil, microclimate, sunlight angles and all the other elements that affect a crop of grapes. Terroir also includes the winemaking process, i.e., when the grapes are picked and the type of barrels chosen for storage and aging. Some even say that the mood of those picking the grapes has an impact!

Your company has its own terroir, or character, conceptually similar to that of a vineyard. Exploring your company’s terroir starts with considering the factors that shape your culture.

Some of the high-level elements of your terroir may include:

  • What is the leadership’s background, values and aspirations?
  • What is the location and size of your company?
  • Is the workforce remote or local?
  • What is the age, ethnicity and language diversity of the employees?

The minute details of company life are perhaps equally as important and may include:

  • Do most of your employees have children?
  • Does the staff enjoy sports?
  • What is the office dress code? Does it matter with Zoom meetings?
  • Do the employees socialize outside of the workplace?
  • Are there holiday/summer parties?

The list is endless, and, certainly, no two cultures of any two companies in the world are identical. What makes yours unique? How do you describe your culture to a potential new employee? What do you want them to experience? What will they be part of when they join your team? How will they grow?

In conclusion, will your company’s “terroir” leave a forgettable, bottom-shelf experience for employees and customers or produce a top of the line fine wine, that will be savored and enjoyed by all?

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