The Value Of Great Company Culture
- Digno LalussisJanuary 8 2018
Culture comprises of the values, behaviors and cumulative traits of all stakeholders in a business. Why is culture so important? Competitors may be able to create a product or deploy a marketing strategy that is equivalent to yours but your corporate culture is what will set you apart. It is comparable to your DNA and cannot be replicated.
Despite its significant impact on an organization’s performance, this is a metric that companies rarely consider. So why would an organization not put a deliberate effort into designing something as important to its core functioning?
The thing is, culture is something that will exist by default whether a company clearly defines it from inception. When the shaping of culture is not approached with intentionality and purpose, it can be a huge liability for a business. But when done right, it can be a company’s greatest asset with implications for talent acquisition, customer loyalty, as well as achieving revenue goals.
Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202% – StackHands
Some of the benefits of a robust company culture include:
- The attraction and retention of top talent at a lower cost per hire
- A clear and firm foundation for all company goals
- Greater employer brand outreach and employee engagement
- A unique marker to differentiate a business from its competitors
- Increased productivity and greater Return On Investment
Knowing the implications of a solid company culture, here are some key steps that you can take to shape your own:
1. Define Who You are from the Outset
It is important that businesses aim at cultural definition from the very beginning of operations. A clearly defined mission statement and value system is a great way to fuel that culture as it provides parameters within which the business goes about its daily operations.
Culture also has particular implications for a business’ hiring practices. Skills-based competencies can be developed through training and learning but the value gap is difficult, if not impossible to bridge. When talent acquisition is aligned with a company’s culture, you escape the liability of poor hiring practices and the friction that may arise due to a difference in values.
The successful company, Zappos, starts its talent recruitment with a cultural fit interview as culture is its foremost priority. In addition, every single employee goes through a rigorous training period at their call centers, lawyers and accountants alike, to learn their core value of service. After the training period, they are offered money to leave in order to weed out those who do not embody their culture of service.
Bonus: Three sites we recommend for continuous learning:
2. Invest in Employee Advocacy
Employee advocacy has solidified its status as an integral part of the entrepreneurial toolkit. Not only does it fuel productivity in the workplace but it fosters brand outreach. Statistics show that when employees share brand messages, they are reached 561% further in relation to when they are shared via formal channels.
Getting your employees to become the brand and social advocates also imbues them with a degree of power and responsibility which has a naturally progressive effect on workplace productivity. Employees want to know that their time and talents are being used to make a valid contribution to the company’s success.
The measure of the effectiveness of your employee advocacy program will be determined by the strength of your company brand voice and culture. Brand and culture are two business constructs that should never be divorced from each other. The strength of company culture is directly proportional to strength and congruency in branding.
Recommended Reading: Employee Advocacy: Get Heard In A Noisy World
3. Foster Learning and Development
The business environment is both dynamic and fickle. As such, there should be a strong discipline of continuous learning within every level of the organization. This ensures that the company is positioned in good stead when faced with new challenges and emerging trends.
Providing employees with the avenue for professional development is also a great way to incentivise them to perform at their best. When a culture of learning is encouraged, both employees and the organization benefit significantly as they are better equipped with the flexibility to handle the ever-changing demands of business. Making way for internal mobility is particularly important as employees get to maximize their existing skills while gaining new capabilities.
Increasing employee engagement investments by 10% can increase profits by $2,400 per employee, per year – StackHands
Wrapping It All Up
What is your organization’s meaning of existence? What beliefs do you stand for with an uncompromising stance? Building a company for the long-term demands a solid cultural foundation. The real power, however, comes with ensuring that every business move is aligned with these core values and beliefs.
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