Company culture (or corporate culture) is a hot topic in the modern workplace. You have most likely heard it before. The purpose is to integrate your business with the community and make a real difference in its development. Employee engagement as a result of this positive impact is considered one of the top ways to improve your competitive advantage in the labor market.
As the modern workplace continues to evolve, corporate culture is inevitable to employee satisfaction. In this article, we’ll discuss what great company culture is, its significance, and tips on how to maintain it.
What Is Company Culture, and Why Is It Important?
According to the Harvard Business Review, company culture is a set of values, beliefs, and behaviors that employees use to guide their decisions and actions. It’s fundamental to an organization’s high performance and affects customers, employees, and investors. The prevailing cultural norms and values can reinforce or block an organization’s goal achievement.
As such, your company culture should align with your mission statement and goals, and it should be something that you’re proud of. Take Zappos, for example — they have a love for doing the right thing, a mission to provide happiness, and most importantly a focus on people. All these values ensure their continuous pursuit of improvement, innovation, and transparency.
In addition, a good company culture creates a healthier and happier workplace — leading to better productivity, retention, and strong relationships within the company. Also, businesses with strong, unified company cultures outperform their competition in various ways, whether that’s employee engagement or customer satisfaction.
Here’s a full list of why a great corporate culture is beneficial to an organization.
Contributes to a Company’s Identity
Establishing a corporate culture is the best way to ensure that your company keeps its values clear and strong. It can influence the work of your employees and the way they behave. For example, if your culture is focused on achievement, your team will be more likely to set and meet their own goals. Without culture, there is no set direction for your employees to follow, and their values will become muddled and confused.
Enhances Retention of Talents
Compared to companies with a bad culture, corporations with a strong culture have been shown to retain their employees for the long haul. As a result, you can save time and money recruiting and training new hires. Those employees also tend to be more pleased with their jobs, which can result in less error-prone work.
Besides mitigating turnover, positive and cohesive identity is a competitive advantage in the workplace. It makes it easier to attract new talents who are a good fit for the organization.
Boosts Your Brand’s Image
Maintaining a positive culture is also critical to a company’s branding efforts. Employees who feel respected, valued, and happy will feel better about themselves and their job. This shows in the quality of their work, as well as in how they represent you to your customers to increase brand following.
Aspects of a Good Company Culture
As with individuals, organizations have cultures that influence the way employees act and operate. A strong organizational culture yields engaged employees who are productive, committed, and passionate about their work. This, in turn, helps companies become the best in their respective industries.
So, what is good company culture? There is no one perfect company culture. Every organization has a different way of displaying and reinforcing its values. However, a good culture will:
- Give importance to creativity and innovation, as well as collaboration
- Encourage employees to be open-minded and proactive in their work and reward them for taking risks
- Foster a work environment that respects the diverse backgrounds of its employees, which can help the organization understand how to serve its customers better
- Value its employees as assets rather than resources
In addition to these characteristics, good company culture has a sense of humor and fun. This is essential because it helps keep employees engaged in their work, even if things get challenging at times.
The Company Culture of Millennials
If you’re going to look at the company culture of millennials, it differs greatly from the previous generation. They are often characterized as being more sensitive and less likely to conform to traditional workplace models. What’s more, they don’t focus on salary but instead on the workplace environment. They value flexibility in their jobs and are willing to change careers if necessary.
What does this mean for your business? It means that if you want to attract young talent, you’ll need to adapt your workplace culture accordingly. For example:
- Offer flexible hours and remote work opportunities
- Provide training opportunities
- Allow employees time off for family emergencies
- Encourage collaboration and feedback from managers
- Give time off for volunteering or community service projects
- Offer mentorship programs where older employees can help younger ones learn new skill sets and strategies
What Is Bad Company Culture?
Can you imagine a plant placed in a toxic environment? It won’t thrive and will eventually die. In other words, the plant should have yielded the best results if it was grown in an appropriate environment. The same goes for human beings. A negative working environment and culture will only make workers feel sick and give them low motivation — eventually leading them to look for a job elsewhere.
No company wants to lose its employees, but it’s entirely possible if you don’t act quickly and efficiently. If you aren’t sure about the status of your corporate culture, maybe it’s time for a company culture audit. A culture audit gives you an inside look at how well your values are working. When used properly, it can help you identify areas for improvement to become a healthier, more productive organization.
For instance, you may use a culture audit to gauge how well your weekly meetings are helping the development of your employees’ skills, or how well your company’s core values are expressed.
Audits are conducted to make sure that workplace culture is on track. Most leaders constantly monitor their corporate culture to ensure that it aligns with the organization’s mission, vision, and values. A good culture is a competitive advantage, so it’s recommended to conduct a culture audit periodically since there are many factors that can affect your organizational culture including mergers, employee turnover, and new initiatives (among others).
How Company Culture Affects Employee Engagement
The concept of employee engagement is a measurement of how strongly an employee feels about his or her work and the organization as a whole. Engaged employees feel like they have a stake in the company’s success, and they feel motivated to achieve goals because it will benefit them personally.
While it’s essential to consider the quality and capabilities of your company’s work environment, employee engagement is a highly individualized concept. The most engaged employees are exhibiting high levels of productivity and performance and have found their place within the framework of a healthy, supportive team.
For that reason, it’s profound for companies to be able to communicate the values and mission of the organization, as well as its vision for the future. This helps employees feel like they’re working toward something greater than themselves, which can lead to greater job satisfaction and higher levels of employee engagement.
The way employees are treated is also a consequential part of company culture. When employees feel they are valued, they are more likely to be engaged at work. This can be accomplished by providing training opportunities, encouraging teamwork, and offering opportunities for career advancement within the company.
Company culture sets the tone for employee engagement. Engagement is essential to improving a company’s brand and standing in its market. This is where you, as a leader, come in. Here are some pointers on improving your company culture.
Build a Clearly Defined Culture
Just like you do with your business strategy, clearly define your values based on your mission, vision, values, and expectations of behaviors. Keep in mind that every employee is unique. They have different personalities, backgrounds, and needs. It’s paramount to create a culture where everyone can be their authentic selves, make the best contributions possible, and feel comfortable within the workplace.
After defining the culture you wish to implement for your company, the next step is to establish a clear core message and reinforce it with a documented vision, mission, set of values, examples, and cultural touchstones. You will use the document as the basis for workplace culture, public-facing messaging, and internal employee communications. It serves as a reminder to your employees of how the brand operates day to day, so it is easy to recall when called upon in an emotional or stressful situation.
Feedback is an inevitable thing for analyzing and improving your company culture. By taking time to ask for feedback or conduct surveys, you can understand what you do well and what could be improved. In addition, you can grow your company into something that focuses on its employees as much as it focuses on its bottom line.
Involve Your Employees in the Process
Culture is about your employees, so putting your staff at the heart of your culture strategy is number one. Management should be transparent by holding an open forum to question factors that affect employee engagement. If possible, set up focus groups to gather their feedback and build trust in your company’s direction. This approach helps you to understand what really matters to them and evolve it to drive better results.
As an employer, you have a more competitive environment to attract the best talents. In this increasingly competitive world, you can no longer sit by idly and wait for passive candidates to come to you. You have to go after them. If a candidate doesn’t feel challenged or excited by your company culture, they will look for a job elsewhere.
What Is the Most Important Part of Company Culture?
The single most important aspect of company culture is the senior management team of the company. Great senior management teams invest in their employees and empower them to do their best work. This commitment to empowering employees sets the bar for other aspects of company culture.
For a strong company culture to exist, the senior leadership team must be committed to cooperating fully with one another and offering every opportunity for success. In other words, they should operate with high levels of teamwork, service, respect, trust, and care for each other and their team members.
When senior leaders consistently put the well-being and growth of team members first, they naturally create a great work environment. They understand that a culture of excellence is better for everyone because it directly promotes profitability and quality performance.
The Best Way To Build Employee Engagement
As mentioned earlier, employee engagement is a key factor in the success of any business, and it’s important for companies to find ways to keep their employees engaged. One way that companies can do this is by encouraging their employees to support charity organizations.
Engaging employees can be done by giving them opportunities for professional growth or helping them feel valued in their work. However, one thing that is often overlooked is providing them opportunities to impact the world around them through gift-giving.
When employees feel they have a voice in their company’s philanthropic efforts, they are more likely to feel engaged and loyal to the organization. It gives them a sense of purpose, which helps them feel more connected with their coworkers and their company as a whole. Besides, reciprocal gift-giving will create a positive team culture, better work performance, and less turnover among staff members.
With implementation, technology continues to evolve and deliver groundbreaking new tools — like ReciprociT, which streamline the process of gift-matching. No matter your number of employees, it handles the work for you. We match your staff to non-profit 501(c)(3) in accordance with your gift-matching guidelines, and we handle all the admin burden for you.
We can give your employees the opportunity to directly donate to their chosen charities. In addition, we can also automatically match your donations through simple payroll deductions.
Boost Employee Engagement With ReciprociT
In the end, employees are the backbone of any organization, and creating a culture of engagement will have a positive effect on morale, productivity, and overall success. If you want to boost employee engagement through gift-giving, contact us at ReciprociT. We disrupt the traditional employee benefits market with the first employee-matching benefit plan that is completely digitally provided and designed for the values of the modern workforce.