As someone who has had the pleasure of owning and operating multiple businesses, I know firsthand that building and maintaining a positive corporate culture needs to be placed high on the priority list. Good or bad, corporate culture contributes to your company’s personality, identity, mission, and values; it can also positively (or adversely) affect everything from employee retention to your bottom line. Below are some compelling reasons why you should pay special attention to how your company’s culture is viewed by others.
1. Employee retention and productivity
Put simply, the personality of an organization has an ever-present importance in retaining and recruiting employees.
It is inevitable that employees are likely to be satisfied with the workplace when they fit in with the culture. As Harvard Business Review explains, “Why we work determines how well we work.” People work for a company for a variety of reasons, whether it be for monetary purposes, the company’s reputation, because the employees’ values align with the company’s values, or maybe because they feel appreciated in their position. Regardless of the reason, culture makes waking up every morning to go to work worthwhile.
A great culture correlates with an increase in productivity and a lower employee turnover rate. Although the happy hours, occasional free lunches, chic office furniture, and Fridays off in the summer months are nice perks, company culture embodies more than that. Think of the way your business operates, the relationships employees form with your clients, your organization’s reputation and corporate values. If an employee feels that his or her values aren’t in sync, productivity is likely to decline, employees may lack passion for their work, and deliverables may not be met efficiently and in a timely manner.
If you are a business owner experiencing a high turnover rate by your employees, take some time to observe why. I recommend that you keep an eye out for the following warning signs that your culture is working against you:
- Lack of communication between managers and employees
- Over-bearing competitiveness between employees
- Poor disciplinary action taken when problems arise
- Lack of collaboration among team members
- Inadequate team bonding opportunities
- Lack of strong leadership
2. The reputation of your brand
Imperative for both employers and employees, company culture incorporates vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, beliefs, and habits. Although having a great corporate culture has been a selling point for decades, it has morphed into a “must-have,” rather than an added benefit. Millennials have shifted the priorities of the workforce. Forbes reveals, about 75% of the workforce will consist of millennials by 2025. Culture has become increasingly significant with millennial employees. Studies show that some would even take a pay cut if a business was known for their desirable corporate reputation. Keep in mind, a poor reputation could negatively impact hiring qualified candidates. Applicants will work for other companies that honor their specific values and ideals.
In order to attract, retain, and engage the present workforce, you should be aware of how your brand entices prospective candidates. Ask yourself these questions about your organization:
- Does it have a commitment to corporate social responsibility and community involvement?
- Does it have a passion for preserving the environment?
- Do your employees collaborate well as a team?
- Does it have an inviting atmosphere that allows for professional development?
- Do you offer flexible hours and flexible vacation time?
3. The success of your business
Corporate culture is the foundation of a successful business. The satisfaction of the staff reflects in their work and in their conversations with clients. As a leader, you will see an increase in employees’ motivation and the way they carry themselves if they feel appreciated and trusted. It is important to motivate employees by offering constructive criticism, initiating an open-door policy, encouraging employees at all levels to speak their mind and offer their perspective, and allowing flexibility within the workplace. These tactics will help attribute to your success.
There is a correlation between customer satisfaction and employee contentment. If a member of your team is pleased with his or her work setting, the work produced will be more thought-out, elaborate, and client-worthy (hence, leading to more long-term customers).
Alternatively, clients can also sense a lack of cohesion or collaboration within an institution. It may leave a bad taste in their mouths if they are aware of employees’ distaste for the company’s values.
A successful business encourages an open channel of communication, allowing for people with varied backgrounds to lend their input into improving your organization. I encourage you to collaborate with your team, generate conversation, and ask for feedback. This will help you to determine what company culture means to your organization and will attribute to your success.
Learn firsthand about what some Calypso team members have to say about company culture:
“To me culture here is invisible. While it embodies summer Fridays and all the tangible benefits, our real culture is a deep understanding of our mission to serve clients, respect and support each other, and continuously build a team that leads innovation in the world of communications.” — Kevin S
“Company culture is important to me because it’s the reason I enjoy waking up and going to work in the morning. I’m lucky I work with an amazing group of people who I truly like to be around. I think perks like summer Fridays, outings, and open floor plans help to raise productivity and reduce the stress that can sometimes come from demanding workloads and schedules.”—Caitlin E
“I find being surrounded by people who are not only great at what they do but are passionate about their work gives me a constant fount of knowledge out of which I can pull inspiration. It makes the work I do that much stronger when I have a roomful of unique perspectives off of which I can bounce ideas.” — Marc C
“I think a good company culture gives employees the freedom to take ownership and make suggestions (and even decisions) that benefit the organization. Having a role in shaping the company and its practices makes work more enjoyable because you feel like you are truly part of something.” — Kelsey O
“The people within the workplace make it amazing. It is important to make an effort to get to know every member of the team, listen to any opinion, and welcome questions from fellow coworkers (with a smile intact). — Maggie D
“A company that trusts your motives and welcomes your perspective is something I truly value. I enjoy working for a company that spends time collaborating and working to reach goals as a unit.” — Chandler I
We want to hear from YOU! Tell us what you think makes a great company culture on Twitter: @CalypsoTweet