Company culture. It’s more than just a business world buzz word. A great company culture, with employee buy-in and engagement, can be the lifeblood of a business – driving sales, recruiting efforts, and employee retention. But what sets a company culture apart and a cut above the rest? Read on to learn more!
What is Company Culture?
Culture is made up of the essential experiences that surround us all the time. Culture can be defined as an individual or group’s way of life, comprised of common language and ritual, beliefs and institution, and codes of conduct that dictate how we move through the world. A company culture is no different.
A company culture is the set of workplace values, attitudes, standards, and behaviors that are shared by members of that organization. From written policies and broadly accepted “office etiquette,” a company’s culture is blueprint for how employees and leadership communicate, act, and approach the work they do together.
Recently, the workplace shifts following the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting “Great Resignation” have placed increased emphasis on company culture. In a study of American workers by Robert Half, 35 percent of workers wouldn’t take a job at a company where the organization’s culture clashed with their values. Even if that job was a “perfect fit” in all other respects. Switching the lens from recruitment to retention, a 2019 study found that 71 percent of employees seek other opportunities when a company culture deteriorates. Cultivating a positive company culture has become a vital part of the new frontier of American workplaces.
Why Should Businesses Prioritize their Culture?
It may be tempting to view “company culture” as a feel-good term that is based more in perception than facts. Nothing could be further from the truth. The culture of an organization is an investment that supports every level of a company’s operations.
Cultures are about people. So it stands to reason that some of the most obvious benefits of a positive company culture go back to people. The best cultures cultivate teamwork, community, and inclusivity, all of which encourage employee engagement. When each employee feels a connection to their workplace and pride in their company mission, customer service improves as well as overall productivity. In fact, more than 74 percent of American workers believe that an organization’s culture impacts their job performance on some level.
Recruiting new talent is hard and retaining the great employees that already exist within a company is even more difficult. Company culture can make all the difference. In terms of recruiting, a strong culture can be an attractive draw for workers that are seeking purpose and positivity in their next position. By wearing their core values on their sleeve — talking the talk and walking the walk — a company is able to put out a strong indicator of how great life in their company can be. As mentioned previously, employee engagement is a value that cannot be understated. Engaged employees are 87 percent less likely to leave an organization, where they feel a genuine connection to their mission and company community.
The benefits of a strong company culture extend well-beyond the walls of an office. The culture of an organization is a clear communicator of that company’s values to the world – and especially to potential customers. An organization’s culture is their calling card for how they do business and having a positive culture makes each employee an advocate!
How Can Organization Create a Better Company Culture?
There are many different approaches to cultivating a wonderful workplace culture. Here are our top three:
1) Place an emphasis on wellness.
Organizations across all industries, especially in healthcare, can benefit from embracing humanity in the workplace. Companies are made up of individuals with unique needs and perspectives. Fostering an environment that prioritizes physical and mental wellbeing is shown to reduce burnout, increase employee satisfaction, and produce a better quality of work. Consider an examination of current policies or benefit offerings to see if your organization is offering a well-rounded approach.
2) Embrace feedback.
It all comes down to communication! How can you know if a company culture is resonating with employees, if you never ask those employees what they are thinking? It can be as simple as regular email surveys or as in-depth as a quarterly town hall. When leadership establishes a management style that considers employee feedback, encourages open and honest communication, and places trust in their teams, the positive connection can be felt at every level of the workplace.
3) Incorporate company values, whenever possible.
Company values are more than buzzwords. The ethos of an organization should be present in everything a company does and reinforced by actions, in addition to words. Core values should be present in all communication (both internal and external), reinforced in the company brand, and integrated into large-scale decision making. When the values of an organization can be clearly seen by all members, it is easier for those individuals to feel connected and to evaluate their own attitudes against the established values.
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