Intentional Culture at EMR

Q&A: Intentional Organizational Culture with EMR president, Caroline Kauffman-Kirschnick


Caroline Kauffman

What is an intentional culture?

Creating an intentional culture is the practice of deciding and defining who you want to be as an organization. What do you want your “personality” to be as a company? What do you want to stand for? What do you want to be known for by your team and by your customers? Every organization has a culture. It’s just something that will happen naturally. You can either leave it up to chance and circumstance or you can intentionally decide what you want it to be and then create it. You dedicate yourself to driving that intention into all that you do, every day – your language, your behavior, the way you make decisions. This will diffuse into the the entire company when done effectively and consistently.



What initially piqued your interest in organizational culture, moving EMR’s to the top of your priority list?

I realized early on in my career that the culture of your company directly correlates to the desire and motivation of the people you rely on to make the business successful. My first experience and observation of this was an employer I had in high school and early years of college. She displayed authentic care, concern, and nurturing, both personally and professionally, toward all of her employees. And even as irresponsible teenagers we would have bent over backwards for her. We never wanted to let her down because she was always there for us and truly valued us as individuals and as people. This stuck with me.


As I evolved into my own management style, I rejected the traditional idea of “you can’t be friends with your employees”. Remembering the dynamic from my younger years where my employer viewed and valued us as friends, as people she loved and cared about, I knew the correlation of how that motivated us to perform our jobs at a high level, and be as responsible for her business as we possibly could be. Those who couldn’t get on board with that symbiotic relationship didn’t stick around. It was a lesson in synergy I learned early on and never forgot.



Why is a culture of intention so important to how you run EMR?

In any company and any industry, but in particular blue collar trades where the talent pool is steadily shrinking, finding and retaining good people is critical.  Your culture will define your company. That definition is what will draw good people to you and then motivate them to stay!  We need good people for EMR to be successful. I can only achieve success with a team, so having a company full of incredible people is of the utmost importance to me. 


I believe that the culture you create should be a reflection of the leaders’ core values, beliefs, personality. Or should I say it is easiest to create a culture that is a reflection of said leadership. If it is real and part of the passion of the leaders, it is much easier to infuse into the very fiber of the company.

What three tips would you give to a business leader looking to affect cultural change within their organization?
  1. Be intentional – think about who you are, who you want your company to be, what you want to stand for and be known for. Then get creative, think outside of the box in the ways you can make that come to life!
  2. Commit to your culture — do not compromise! Do not let people stay in your organization that refuse to support and uphold your culture! If you do, the culture will be watered down and eventually lose it’s power.
  3. Involve your people — Just like you can’t run your company by yourself, you cannot build your culture all by yourself. Get TONS of input, feedback, idea, opinions. LISTEN to your people…they have invaluable insights that will collectively add to this culture of intention and support it as it evolves and grows with your company.
Posted by: emrco | Categories: Well-Being - EMR General