Company culture is rapidly emerging as the essential weapon in winning the war for top talent. At Monster.com one study found that applicants who were a good cultural fit would accept a lower salary and departments with cultural alignment had 30% less turnover.
“Company culture is an integral part of business. It affects nearly every aspect of a company. From recruiting talent to improving employee satisfaction, it’s the backbone of a successful workforce.” Forbes.com
SO WHAT IS CORPORATE CULTURE??
Corporate culture refers to the shared values, attitudes, morals and beliefs that characterize an organization and its members. It is rooted in an organization’s goals, strategies, structure, and also its approach to employees, customers, investors and community.
Company culture includes a variety of elements, including work environment, company mission, value and ethics. Google is an example of an organization with a clear company culture. According to its website, Google still aims to feel like a small company with an informal atmosphere despite it incredible growth and magnificent size:
“At lunchtime, almost everyone eats in the office café, sitting at whatever table has an opening and enjoying conversations with Googlers from different teams… Every employee is a hands-on contributor… no one hesitates to pose questions directly to company directors in our weekly all-hands meetings – or spike a volleyball across the net at a corporate officer.” Google.com
WHY IS CULTURE “THE KEY”??
Many top companies of the twenty-first century, such as Google, Apple and Netflix, have embraced less traditional management strategies which include fostering creativity, collective problem solving and greater employee freedom. It could be argued that their positive cultures are the key to these companies’ success.
According to Forbes.com, the benefits of a strong and positive corporate culture include:
- Recruitment: A strong company culture give companies a competitive advantage with potential employees. People want to work for companies with a good reputation from previous and current employees.
- Employee Retention and Job Satisfaction: A positive culture fosters a sense of employee loyalty. Employees are much more likely to stay with their current employer when they feel they are treated right and enjoy going to work every day. Employers who invest in the well-being of their employees will be rewarded with happy, dedicated employees.
- Stronger Collaboration and Team Work. A positive culture where everyone shares in the vision and purpose facilitates social interaction, teamwork and open communication.
- A Healthier, Less Stressed Workforce. A positive company culture can significantly reduce workplace stress, which helps boost employee health and lower absenteeism.
- Productivity. Employees tend to be more motivated and dedicated to employers who invest in their well-being and happiness. A strong culture also gives employee focus and allows them to feel more empowered.
- Profitability. A well defined and shared company culture gives employees direction and a sense of purpose. This combined with recruitment and retention of top talent, stronger collaboration and team work, greater productivity leads to greater profitability overall.
According to Glassdoor studies, Company Culture is among the top five factors people consider when weighing a job offer. Squamish Personnel recently surveyed local employees and candidates and found the top 3 things the majority are looking for in a job are (1) a flexible schedule, (2) meaningful work they enjoy and (3) supportive and respectful leadership – all key aspects of Corporate Culture.
HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT CORPORATE CULTURE.
According to the Harvard Business Review the most important characteristic of a successful corporate culture is a compelling Corporate Vision followed closely by shared Corporate Values.
Step One: Have A Compelling Vision And Make Sure Everyone Is On Board
A good Vision provides the entire company with a sense of purpose, gives employees focus and guides every decision they make.
For example, Squamish Personnel’s Vision is to resolve the employee crisis in the community and enable businesses to achieve organizational success by ensuring that both the businesses and the candidates we serve thrive with a perfect fit. No small task. And yet this mission guides our whole team and makes us feel like what we are doing makes a real difference.
Step Two: Identify your Company Values and then Stick to Them
If the Vision is the WHY then the Values are the HOW the company intends to get there.
A Company’s Values offer a set of guidelines for its actions and behaviors that shape and guide business decisions. They outline the company’s commitments to its customers, employees, community, environment and shareholders.
According to Huffpost, the 5 best values for ensuring corporate success are: Integrity, Accountability, Diligence, Perseverance and Discipline. And while these characteristics are certainly admirable and may contribute to a company’s bottom line, they may not give employees a compelling sense of purpose or lay the groundwork for a strong corporate culture. One of the best examples of a compelling and time-tested set of corporate values comes from Disney: “Openness, honesty, integrity, courage, respect, diversity, and balance.” Which company would you rather work for?
No matter which values a company chooses to embrace they must be a true and authentic reflection of that company’s actions and culture. In order to succeed, a company’s values must be at the core of every decision and action that the company’s leadership takes – from which suppliers to use, which products and services to offer, which clients to serve, which benefits to provide its employees and which people to hire and promote within their organization.
Step Three: Create a Positive Work Environment
At the core of every company’s culture is its people – in fact, without people there is no culture! So the final ingredient in creating a successful Corporate Culture is to center it around your people. Figure out what makes them tick and then find a way to deliver what’s important to them.
Here are some of the key elements to building a positive work environment:
- Listen to Everyone’s Ideas – let employees know that their input is valued and seek it out
- Recognize Hard Work – be generous with public praise and rewards
- Show Your Respect and Trust – step back and let your employees do their jobs
- Communicate Openly – clearly outline expectations and give frequent honest feedback
- Have Some Fun – bring more enjoyment to the office and allow time for team-building
One of our favorite sayings has always been: “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. So we strongly believe that the key to attracting and retaining great workers, who are motivated and focused on building success for the company, is finding and embracing ways to build a positive Corporate Culture in our workplaces.
SOURCES: We’d like to credit and thank the following sources for contributing ideas to this article:
- Harvard Business Review: Six Components of Corporate Culture
- Huffington Post: 5 Core Values for the Workplace
- Forbes.com: How to Build a Positive Company Culture and The Top Companies for Culture and Values
- Investopedia.com: Corporate Culture Defined
- The Balance Careers: What is Company Culture
- Bplans: Creating a Positive Work Environment