Finding the right company culture for you
‘Company culture’ is an HR buzzword that most in HR or recruitment will no doubt be aware of. While it’s a popular term, most people using it aren’t actually aware of what it means or how it can benefit businesses.
Your company culture is the social order of your organisation. It’s an informal guideline of practices expected of your employees. It’s an overview of how employees should interact and work with together and has the potential to make or break a business.
For example, when a company culture is seen as toxic, it can lead to increased cases of absences and staff leaving the business. All of which will lead productivity to fall and output to decline.
There are a number of factors that contribute to a company culture, including:
Before delving into the tips for finding the right culture for your company, we’ll explore the importance of the right culture in the working environment.
Importance of company culture
We’ve seen an increase in the number of people discussing company culture for good reason. As well as the benefits it has on employee engagement, retention and their general wellbeing, it can have large financial impacts for an organisation.
Your company culture is an overview of how employees should interact and work together and has the potential to make or break a business.
Below we’ll highlight three of the most important reasons to invest in the culture of your business
- Brand identity: Your company culture, defines for you and everyone else how your organisation does business and how the people within it interact with each other. It also determines how your staff communicate with the people outside of the business including the customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. Simply put, your company culture will reflect in all aspects of business efforts so if your work environment is a toxic one, you’ll see it’s effects on productivity, accountability and engagement.
- Performance and wellbeing: The wellbeing of your staff is of utmost importance and various studies have found that your culture has a direct impact on performance and wellbeing in general. By encouraging a healthy culture, you’re also addressing issues with increased sickness leave and instances of absenteeism. These work together to increase productivity among staff. A 2018 workplace happiness report found that 39% of employees admitted to being happy in their role or at their place of would motivate them to work harder.
- Recruitment: With a new generation of workers now entering the workforce, employers are finding out that their list of priorities extends way beyond an attractive pay package. A study conducted by Mindspace found that up to a fifth of 18 to 24 year olds have turned down job offers because of the design of the offices of a lack of amenities. Either of these concerns may signify the culture of your company and can serve as red flags for though considering employment at your establishment.
Finding the right company culture
When exploring company culture, most employers focus on the financial benefits of working for their organisation. While competitive pay is important, your considerations should go way beyond that.
Below we’ll highlight the most important tips for developing a strong company culture.
- Define what you want: There’s no one size fits all when it comes to company culture. You’ll decide on the culture that fits your establishment based on a variety of factors including the industry you’re in and the audience you want to target. Consider what your business does, what your values are and the vision you have for the company’s future. Attempting to develop a strong company culture without accounting for these considerations leads to disengaged employees.
- Lead from the front: You should be seen to be contributing to your company culture by practising what you preach. If there are certain values you’d like to see in your staff, they’d want to see you displaying the same values or behaviour. When you see something that you want to add or change in your culture, you should start by considering how you can embody it within the organisation.
- Find the right people: During the recruitment process, it’s important to find people whose values align with that of the company. By doing your due diligence during this process, you’re ensuring that everyone that works for your shares the same or similar values, goals and attitudes all of which contribute to staff staying longer at your organisation. It’s also worth noting, consider developing interview questions around your company culture as it gives you an opportunity to find out if your culture aligns with that of the applicant.
- Communication: Regular and effective communication is a must for all businesses. Clearly communicating your values and beliefs as well as your justification of them moves your employees from feeling like a cog in a machine to feeling lie an integral part of the team. To ensure their engagement, they must understand how their jobs contribute to meeting your business objectives.
- Reinforce your values: It’s one thing to know the values of your company, it’s another to invest in initiatives that reinforce these values. Think about programmes and initiatives that are relevant to your employees, consider surveys to identify things that your staff care about. Some of the most popular initiatives are employee assistance programmes, culture awards, workplace counselling, etc.
While this is in no way an extensive guide, it does serve as a good starting point when thinking about company culture.
Remember, a strong company culture influences the type of employees in the organisation and established a set of unspoken norms that govern the workplace.
It also plays a huge role on the image of your company, it’s your trademark.