Based on Episode 3 of The Core Of Success Podcast
What would you say is the most vital part of your business? Is it the people working for you? Might it be the physical layout or the functionality of your facility? Sure, these are ESSENTIAL to the success of any business, gym, or fitness center, but they might not be the most important thing.

At The Abs Company, we would argue that the most essential facet of any business is company culture; how is it that you execute and achieve the things you’ve committed to doing? On Episode 3 of the Core Of Success Podcast, Abs Company CEO Sean Gagnon and VP of Sales Mike Ritter discussed the immense importance of company culture.

First thing’s first: company culture is not the same thing as ‘perks’. It goes a lot further than casual Fridays or the occasional pizza lunch. Instead, it should be looked at as a way of being. Sure, the employees and the physical workspace are the skin and bones of any company, but culture is the life blood. We’ve got 12 Core Values and Beliefs that guide us through our mission - ‘We Change Lives From The Core’, and these values have proven time and time again to be the blueprint for success.
Why you might ask? Sean and Mike believe that people naturally respond and perform to the sense of being a part of something bigger than themselves. “Human nature is that we want to belong,” Gagnon says. “You want to be in a group where you belong. And one of the things that helps you belong or ‘fit in’ is a common set of beliefs. And again, that's what the core values are. So we put them out there all the time.”

From ‘leading with gratitude’ to ‘always giving back’, it’s these values that we search for in our team members, the vendors we work with, and even our customers. “It's not just for you, the CEO or me, the VP of sales, it's everyone,” Mike Ritter says. “Everyone must guard that culture. So if you see someone that is not living by those core values, it doesn't matter where you are on the continuum, you must say something. You must guard that like you're the CEO, like you're the president, whoever that is. When you know you have the culture then that's going to get you the win.”

When the culture transmutes from an idea to a way of being, success will follow. But the real million dollar question is, how do you ensure that happens genuinely and organically?

The answer is that it needs to be ingrained into the day to day execution of just about everything. At The Abs Company, the company culture is LITERALLY ingrained in the beautiful conference room table that’s become the centerpiece of the offices. Sean Gagnon thinks of it this way; “It’s a reminder that when we sit around those tables, we are surrounded by our values at all times. Because here's the bottom line about the core values; they're non-negotiable, right?”

But putting your company culture on paper (or in wood) won’t be enough. For us, the culture truly resonates when it's braided in with our day to day interactions. “What's really resonated with me personally is as we go through our daily All Hands Meetings we go through as a team and each person reads a Core Value. I'll tell you what, you can just feel the energy in the room. Like that really resonates. And it may sound like something really simple, but it's true. It gets you. So it really puts you in that great mindset to get started to work, to win.”

At the end of the day, you can have the most incredible, state-of-the-art facility with the most experienced and dedicated employees on earth, but if you don’t have the stable backbone of a strong company culture, it’s all likely to count for nothing. So ask yourself; have I done enough to define and empower my company culture? Am I taking the steps to ensure that my teammates don’t only identify with the culture but that they’re also proud of it?

No, you don’t need to engrave your core values in your conference table (but if you’d like to, we’ve got a guy!). But remember, company culture isn’t something that happens once a week. It happens every single day.

To find more great blog posts about fitness insights, perseverance, teamwork, and more visit our Core Concepts Blog.