Culture refers to the ideas, norms, and behaviors among a group of people. It is a powerful and intangible force that sets the energy and collective functioning of your brand behind the scenes in workplaces. To encourage strong work ethics and build a company that employees are proud to work for, you need to develop your company's culture actively. Here's why, and how.
Why Company Culture Matters
There are many examples of bad company culture being exposed that turn customers away from brands. You don't need to listen to a tell-all video from former employees to understand that the way your business operates behind closed doors matters. In fact, company culture affects all aspects of your business, from how people are recruited, to how you send off employees once their time with your company comes to an end. A strong company culture that is distinct and positive is an important part of a business's success.
It's all about creating a positive space where your workers can thrive and find job satisfaction. Now, that's not always an easy feat, but the company culture can influence this to a great extent. By valuing people in your company, they will find value in their contributions, which will ultimately improve their productivity and perceptions of the business.
By being known as a business that is great to work for, you're setting many benefits in motion. For one, you'll be attracting top talent, as people look for employment where they will be happy. This provides you with an industry advantage. More so, it also means that your workforce will be encouraged to remain loyal to your company. Retaining your employees is important as having high staff turnovers can cost businesses a great deal in recruiting, onboarding, and training.
When your staff is collectively satisfied, they will be motivated to perform at their best. This means the workflows and processes will be improved since a strong company culture often consists of teamwork and open communication. This translates to your business having a competitive advantage in the industry and seeing an increase in sales.
Let's be clear that company culture requires time, money, and effort to build. It can be changed over time, but investment in it is needed, and leadership is required to achieve a positive and thriving workplace culture since culture is learned. Based on the above, it is clear that it holds value.
So, how do you create this within your company? Before we get onto that, note that there are misconceptions about it. It's not about giving your employees too much (insert word of choice here: power, rewards, freedom); it is all about how the way you run your business affects the atmosphere or vibe, which has significant knock-on effects that are either positive or negative. And, we need to keep things positive to be truly successful.
Building Company Culture
To build your company culture, you need to put people first. By keeping those who contribute to your business's success front of mind, you can develop systems that ensure your staff's wellbeing in all regards. There are physical elements and different forms of culture to consider, be it social, material, or ideological.
Businesses have workplace cultures, whether they've invested time into creating them or not. It's all about how your organization operates. First, you should assess the way your business operates now and the levels of satisfaction among employees. Then, you'll need to define what your business values and promotes. Develop a strategy that merges these two to their highest potential. Change takes time to come into effect, especially when significant change or traditions are introduced.
Here are some core elements to include in your company culture plan:
- Providing a decent wage - when it comes down to it, most people work because they need to earn a living, and providing your employees with a worthy wage goes a long way.
- Benefits and perks can significantly improve employee satisfaction, whether it's nice-to-haves, like free lunches once a week, or essentials, like maternity and paternity benefits.
- Highlighting and celebrating the successes of the team shows recognition and affirms staff.
- Encouraging team spirit can improve collaboration and working processes within your company to enhance internal alignments and increase productivity.
- Contributing to the community and including your staff in the initiatives as a collective and meaningful effort.
- Facilitate a healthy work/life balance by encouraging people to take their time off to themselves, whether that's a lunch break or leave days.
- Create goals for your team to work towards to boost the morale of your employees. This goes hand in hand with offering rewards and additional benefits when targets are achieved.
- Focus on setting the right attitude by having a positive outlook that carries throughout your company.
- Developing relationships in the workplace is essential, especially when you're dealing with remote workers. Arrange small get-togethers among the staff so that connections can develop.
- Listening is key from management - this is not to say every suggestion needs to be taken on board, but encouraging the flow of ideas is important as taking suggestions and feedback into consideration can lead to valuable improvements.
- Fairness is essential when setting the tone of a workplace, as there should be no unfair advantages that can cause imbalances and injustice.
- Transparency is a value that you can share and promote by letting your employees know what's happening with the business. This way, they're kept in the loop and feel part of the bigger picture - whether that's via a newsletter or meeting, it matters.
- Having a good company culture means you'll have strong employer branding, which is all about your brand's reputation pertaining to past, current, and future employees. In other words, let this work for your business by sharing testimonials and using it as content that forms an integral part of your brand's story and values. Customers care deeply for this as they expect a company to be ethical and share their values - they'd think twice before supporting a business that does not treat its people well.
- Consider how interactions and situations are handled, especially when dealing with issues. This boils down to how conflicts are resolved and how people are treated in the good times and bad.
- Facilitate the careers of your employees by having a company culture that encourages learning. Up-skilling and helping your staff to grow within your company is vital for ongoing employee satisfaction.
- From the location to dress code, the physical workplace itself also influences company culture, so do not overlook the importance of ensuring employees are comfortable and able to work efficiently.
- Flexibility is vital in being adaptable as a business, so see what works and what needs to change. For instance, consider how you manage by having necessary and understood rules while not feeling the need to undermine employees through micromanagement.
There's no doubt about it, the behaviors, attitudes, and values that go on behind the scenes of your brand have intrinsic effects on your business's success and the perceptions of your brand. By building a positive company culture, you'll be on your way to having strong employer branding and high rates of employee satisfaction that your customers can see and feel.
Talk with us at Nexa about developing a strategy for your company.