Corporate culture has become one of the most talked about topics in the business community recently. Maybe you are a business owner who is fully aware and active in creating a great culture at your company. It could be that you don’t know much about this area at all, or possibly you know about it but you just don’t care. While this may be the case, recent surveys have shown that company culture is increasingly becoming one of the top reasons millenials choose their place of work. As Larry Alton points out in his recent article for Forbes (Why Corporate Culture is Becoming Even More Important), “Millennials desire a strong company culture more than anything else when deciding who to work for”. Besides attracting top talent, a strong company culture can help you as an employer or organization retain that talent, provide a better product or service, improve company morale, and increase productivity to name a few.
With all that said, it may be worth it to define what is meant here by “culture”. For the sake of this article, culture will be defined as a company’s values and attitudes. This includes those that have and have not been communicated with the company’s employees and customers.
Let’s have a look at a few areas that can be affected by culture and see what happens with and without it.
-Without a great company culture turnover can often be high, especially among millenials. Gone are the days of working 40 years at the same place because that’s just what you do. Now millenials want to work at a place where they know that they are doing more than just the 9-5. Without a bigger goal or idea most millenials will lose interest, quickly.
-With great culture comes commitment and loyalty. In his article on Forbes.com titled “Six Reasons Your Best Employees Quit You”, author Louis Efron, points out that employees are looking for a connection to the big picture. In citing a Gallop poll he points out that “The best workplaces give their employees a sense of purpose, help them feel they belong, and enable them to make a difference”.
-Without a great culture productivity amongst employees tends to go downhill. In his article on gethppy.com, Kevin Gardner points out that in companies with poor culture, employees often feel like their actions, tasks don’t mean anything and don’t make a difference. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what happens when employees become unmotivated and feel unappreciated. Practically speaking, maybe the coffee breaks become increasingly longer or they start spending more time on social media, etc.
-With a great culture employees feel appreciated and valued. Simon Sinek in his book “Start With Why” points out that companies become great because their employees feel protected. He says that a strong sense of culture creates a sense of belonging among employees which results in reciprocal behaviour. It results in employees making decisions and acting in a way that supports the company’s vision and mission.
3 Quick Tips to a Better Culture
KISS: (keep it simple stupid) If your mission/vision is not easily remembered nobody is going to know it. Make your company’s core purpose something your employees can say in one or two sentences. Make it rhyme if you have to.
State your top company values as verbs: Simon Sinek points out that, “for values or guiding principles to be truly effective they have to be verbs. It’s not ‘integrity’ it’s ‘always do the right thing’. It’s not ‘innovation’, it’s ‘look at the problem from a different angle’”. He says that buy doing this it gives employees a clearer sense of how to act in a given situation.
Hire a Coach: If this all seems overwhelming often a fresh set of eyes can help you along the way. A coach will help you be clear on what you want your company to be all about and guide you as you look to implement it!