• Americas

Culture as a Competitive Advantage

by Afton Trail, Senior Managing Director

shutterstock_174539279Rick Federico, Executive Chairman of P.F. Chang’s, once said, “You have to be a place that’s more than a paycheck for people.” Here at Cushman & Wakefield, it is all about the culture. Globally, our firm has a vision and mission statement that focuses on being the best at what we do. We strive to employ the best talent and to retain that talent. Within Asset Services, even the newest professional on our team understands that consistency produces quality.

What is the secret to maintaining the best and brightest on a team? Most workplace experts say the key, integral part is engagement. The groundwork of responsibility for creating a great work environment cannot be established solely at the top of an organization. It is critical that the leaders of a company establish a clear vision and set an example of those values, but it is incumbent on every employee to ensure that the culture remains intact.

At Cushman & Wakefield, we understand change and its impact on culture. Last year, our firm merged two legacy companies to become the new Cushman & Wakefield. Despite the changes, our firm remains highly competitive and is becoming the employer of choice in many markets. How do we sustain this?

If you are a leader or a manager:

  1. Encourage career growth. Allow your team to be a part of your direction. Solicit buy-in from the team.
  2. Take responsibility to correct and redirect inappropriate behavior.
  3. Take time to recognize the efforts of your team. Give credit where it is due and accept responsibility for the failure of any team member.
  4. Do not tolerate gossip.
  5. Communicate, communicate, and communicate. Knowledge is gold. A message from the top is only as good as the delivery from the leader.
  6. Ensure that your team members know they are more important than any task at hand.
  7. Be a champion of change.
  8. Keep your emotions out of it. Provide positive reinforcement during times of challenge.
  9. Encourage the sharing of ideas and collaboration. Host consistent meetings and team building events.
  10. Remember to have fun!

If you are an employee:

  1. Take control of your career path. Ask for assistance, opportunity, and growth.
  2. Take responsibility to correct and redirect inappropriate behavior. Do not take part in gossip and remind others as well.
  3. Volunteer for activities, committees, and advisory boards. Get involved!
  4. Speak up when you believe something is headed in the wrong direction.
  5. Take responsibility to affect positive change. Be a problem solver. Don’t lay it at the feet of your supervisors.
  6. Participate when in a group meeting. Share your ideas.
  7. Engage with outside industry groups and others in the business.
  8. Carry your business card with pride and set the example in any environment.
  9. The new Cushman & Wakefield is a great and growing company. Shout it to the world!
  10. Remember to have fun!

Culture is a competitive advantage. Compensation is an important factor, but a few extra dollars is not worth an unbearable work environment. A company’s culture can be enhanced with a unified team. At Cushman & Wakefield, we strive to become the employer of choice in every market we operate in and to deliver exceptional service to our clients. We are more than a place where people come to collect their paychecks—we are a team.

How do you play your part in sustaining your firm’s competitive edge?



As the West Region Lead for Asset Services, Afton is responsible for the executive level oversight of  13 markets and more than 167 million square feet in the West Region. She focuses on client care, leverages best-in-class service delivery, and drives steady growth.  



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