Corporate culture is a term that is here to stay. When you hear that phrase, you may think of tech startups, millennials and remote employees with unlimited vacation days. The funny thing about culture, though, is that every organization has one, whether intentional or not. An organization’s culture has been referred to as one of the greatest competitive advantages a company can leverage. This means that, all other things being equal, the organization with the more intentional and engaging culture is likely to attract the most talent. Here are three reasons why taking the time to mold your company’s culture pays off.
When your team members are happy and engaged, their enthusiasm rubs off on your clients and your internal culture manifests itself as a positive brand image. Happy, helpful employees make for happy, satisfied customers, even when problems arise. Happy customers and a positive corporate image may also pay off in the way of attracting investors.
A supportive, intentional culture drives employee engagement. When your vision, purpose and brand values are clearly expressed, your employees are more likely to find satisfaction in doing meaningful work. When team members feel accountable because they are committed to your organization’s clearly stated purpose and to the customers they serve, they motivate themselves to do their best work. They maintain a sense of ownership that you can’t legislate or pay for. Another factor in this process is a culture that gives people room to grow and freedom to do their best work.
If you are trying to create a factory atmosphere, you will be focused on molding people to fit your business needs. If, on the other hand, you wish to create an environment that celebrates creativity, innovation and service, you should focus on helping employees develop their personal strengths. Instead of outlining a particular career path for your company, such as sales rep, shift supervisor, team manager and so on, help your people grow and develop and they may fill needs you never knew the company had.
Every organization is different. Some companies do offer unlimited vacation and free meals during the workday. For others, though, these specific perks may not be feasible or even relevant. When choosing what kind of perks or activities to offer, think about what you value most and what sorts of investments would best sync with those values. In the end, fun perks are not the ultimate culture-creators. You should focus on what things are of value to your ideal employee, and go from there. For some businesses, that may be free lunch and bring-your-dog-to-work-day. For others, equity options and the space to be innovative may create the biggest draw.
It may take time to get your employees’ work environment set up just the way you want to.However, because culture is an ever-changing thing,it will morph and grow over time. Instead of trying to create the ideal environment right this minute, focus on creating clear objectives for your brand, attracting team members who embrace those objectives and building connectedness throughout the company.