What is it?
Corporate culture isn’t outlined in company policy. It is generally read between the lines – it’s the (unspoken) way staff feel about their workplace and it’s unique to each individual business.
“Corporate culture refers to the shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that characterize members of an organization and define its nature. Corporate culture is rooted in an organization’s goals, strategies, structure, and approaches to labor, customers, investors, and the greater community. As such, it is an essential component in any business’s ultimate success or failure.” (http://www.inc.com/encyclopedia/corporate-culture.html)
Good corporate culture is based on people rather than the finances and recognises that employees are human beings, not cogs in a productivity machine. Creating good corporate culture is something that is developed over time with all employees’ input and consistently lived every day… it is not something that simply gets written in the company’s mission statement and remains filed away in documents or framed on the wall.
If you are looking to create or shift your corporate culture and/or more clearly communicate the ideal culture to employees consider:
- What sort of company do you want, what do you want to be known for, how do you want people to feel about the company – both those within and those who interact with the company?
- Connect with your own beliefs as well as a clear mission for the company that goes beyond dollars and cents. What do you want to achieve aside from profits?
Why is it important?
Because good corporate culture is tightly linked to employee enthusiasm and productivity, it is an important consideration for every business owner and manager to foster and maintain.
A nationwide salary report card (from the Australian Institute of Management’s National Salary Survey)
has found that most Australians are unhappy at work, thanks to slow wage growth and limited opportunities
for career advancement. This gloomy picture has worried business managers assessing workplace culture in
an effort to arrest the trend and retain talented staff. In this report it was found that nearly 64 per cent of
respondents nominated corporate culture as the biggest HR issue within their business.
When you focus on culture and link it to your core values, you’ll have guiding principles that direct all actions in the workplace from hiring and firing to remuneration and recognition of achievement. You will be known for this, employees will live by it and customers/clients will recognise it. Plus it will mean less, micro managing and more autonomy for employees because they will know how to behave based on the culture and principles of the company.
Productivity and loyalty
When all employees positively contribute to the company culture and are working towards a clear, common goal there is greater happiness and feelings of worth and achievement, which ultimately leads to greater productivity and loyalty to the company.
On the flip side, companies that do not foster good corporate culture and instead focus on profits will find lower staff morale and higher levels of stress and staff turnover.
A positive workplace culture is integral to retaining staff, says Australian Institute of Management (AIM) CEO David Pich.
“Great managers and leaders make decisions that impact people’s lives and that impact can be felt well beyond the workplace,” he says.
“We spend about a third of our working-age lives doing just that – working. So it is vital our experiences in the workplace are positive as they impact on our overall well-being and on society as a whole. At AIM, we’re constantly encouraging our Members to invest in building a positive workplace culture, by having open streams of conversation and offering training and professional development support.” (http://leadershipmatters.com.au/new-in-leadership/2016/june/the-top-reason-australians-look-for-a-new-job-infographic/)
Keeping your employees satisfied and motivated is not only the morally right way to run a business, but could also save you money in the long run. Think about how much it costs you to if you have to constantly cover for absenteeism, employees off with stress or poor health and a high turnover of staff.
Boosts brand value
In an article recently published by Adweek it was shown that “companies that take care of their employees and let their customers know about it stand to boost their brand value.”
Excerpt from article:
According to Andrea Sullivan, CMO at Interbrand, consumers’ purchase consideration for
both b-to-b and b-to-c brands is higher—and they’re willing to pay more—if a company
treats its employees well.
“Branding used to be about what’s happening outside of your door, but, increasingly, about
75 percent of the work that brands do is more squarely focused on how they get the greatest
performance out of their employees, and how they lessen the gap between the executives
and the front line [employees],” Sullivan said.
“When we do the right thing for our employees, it’s also the right thing for our business,”
said Corey duBrowa, svp of global communications at Starbucks. “When employees are
satisfied and engaged, the result is deeper customer connections and an elevated
Indeed, better customer service, and by extension higher brand loyalty, often is a byproduct
of treating workers well, said Lisa Manley, evp at Cone Communications. “It’s a virtuous circle.
When your employees feel more engaged, they’re happier and more loyal, and that’s automatically
going to translate to the service they’re providing your customers.”
A good corporate culture can be a great recruiting tool helping you to hire the right type of people to fit your business. A welcoming, positive environment is encouraging for top candidates looking for more than just a pay check and will help you in the decision making process to understand what type of personal attributes and values, and not just the skills, will complement your workplace.
Zach Bulygo from KISS Metrics believes, “If you’re looking to hire talented people, it doesn’t make sense to fill your office with cubicles and limit employee freedom. You’ll attract mediocre employees, and you’ll be a mediocre company. If, on the other hand, you have an open working environment with lots of transparency and employee freedom, you’ll attract talent. From the minute people walk in the office, they should know that this is a different place with a unique culture.” (https://blog.kissmetrics.com/great-company-culture/)
How to create or boost corporate culture:
- Review your core values and think back to why you started or became involved with the business – what do you want to achieve?
- Talk with employees about their goals and desires and incorporate their input into the overall company goals and culture. Consider more flexible work roles and lifestyle and environmental impacts. Ensure your employees understand the culture and why it’s important.
- Commit to leading the way and acting in the way you want all employees to act, for example if you want open communication to be a core value then always be open and communicate with your employees and customers. Reward those who advance the culture and be open and honest with those who don’t.
- Look for ways to provide career growth, training or development opportunities in line with your employees goals and desires and your business goals.
- Encourage sharing, ideas, suggestions and feedback loops
- Make time for social events, team bonding, stress release and creative releases.
- Consider a review or update of organisational structure and see if there are too many levels that prohibit communications and feedback
- Prioritise and focus on a few key culture adjustments – decide what will really make a positive impact for your staff, your customers and your business and slowly build on that.
- Communicate! Share your vision with your employees and customers continuously.
Workplace Central prides themselves on fostering a positive and welcoming corporate culture where staff and clients are in open communications, sharing positive stories and ideas and enjoying one another’s company at meetings, events and offsite activities to reinforce the ‘people’ behind the business. There are flexible working arrangements in place and focus is placed on results rather than time spent at the desk.
We invite you into our space to see how we tick, and are more than happy to help you develop your corporate culture as part of our complete Workforce Management service offering. We can help you with everything workforce related from HR management through to payroll. Talk to us today, or better yet, let’s catch up for a coffee!
*All images sourced from: http://leadershipmatters.com.au/new-in-leadership/2016/june/the-top-reason-australians-look-for-a-new-job-infographic/