In today’s competitive job market, prospective employees are looking for much more than a salary and benefits package. Because the unemployment rate is at the lowest it’s been in nearly two decades, there are fewer candidates for open positions. For many job seekers, the deciding factor comes down to company culture.
What is Company Culture?
All businesses have a company culture of some kind. This workplace personality depends on a number of factors, including physical environment, management style, and company values. Company mission, goals, and workplace ethics shape how your business operates both in the short term and in the long run. Your current employees can influence your company culture, as well.
In an era focused on branding, it may be helpful to view your company culture as your workplace brand. Just as consumers align themselves with particular brands, savvy job seekers will research your workplace brand before committing to you. The right fit for the right person can make all the difference in your company’s productivity and profitability.
Benefits of Positive Company Culture
Not sure building positive company culture is worth it? Consider this: employee turnover at companies with poor company culture averages nearly 50%. In contrast, employee turnover at companies with positive culture averages less than 15%.
The cost of the employee hiring cycle alone is worth the savings you could generate by creating a workplace culture that people want to be a part of. Just consider what your business would look like with:
- Low employee turnover
- Increased productivity
- Employee engagement
- Less workplace stress
- Increased collaboration
- Increased employee job satisfaction
The difference between an engaged, productive workforce and a group of individuals watching the clock and collecting paychecks is positive company culture.
Creating Positive Company Culture
Taking the time to develop and nurture a positive company culture will benefit both your business and the people you employ. But how do you create a positive company culture? Begin with envisioning the culture you want to create. What values will you promote?
How much creativity and innovation will your staff bring to the table? How will you respond to their ideas? Will your team work in-office, remote, or a mixture of the two? What will your physical space look like? How will you view challenges – as problems or as opportunities? Once your vision has begun to take shape, you can begin to create a positive company culture.
Hire the Right People
The right people for your business are the ones who embody the values of your company. Not everyone will fit into your culture. Use the interview process to determine if a candidate will fit into your company culture. Be the right fit for the right person.
Create a Safe Environment
A safe work environment is much more than providing physical security. Protect your staff from negative personalities and a toxic professional environment. Lead from a position of honesty, vulnerability, integrity, and respect.
Build Up Your Team
Teambuilding activities can be a powerful way to create interpersonal relationships in your staff. After all, your employees spend a large part of their waking hours with each other. Being able to relax and have fun together during the workday can translate into innovative thinking.
Don’t take away the things that matter to your employees. Regardless if it’s an elaborate coffee bar, opportunities for professional development, or a fun and quirky company whiteboard, respect the traditions that your employees love.
Celebrate Your Staff
Almost everyone loves a celebration and celebrating should be a regular part of your culture. Celebrate birthdays, milestones, and goals reached, and do so with enthusiasm. This lets employees know that you value them, not only for what they contribute but also as individuals.
Recognize and Appreciate
Appreciation can go a long way toward creating a positive company culture. Positive recognition will encourage the behaviors you want to see from your staff.
Your employees spend the bulk of their days at work, so involve them in the daily operations of your company. Have an open-door policy and encourage two-way communication between staff and management. For remote workers, a weekly online meeting can help them to feel a part of things.
Cultivate Your Physical Space
Your office space should reflect the culture you want to create. If you want to encourage engagement and participation, give your employees the means to collaborate. Provide them spaces in which to work solo, and designate areas for group gatherings. Most employees need both options to be at their most effective.
Positive Company Culture as a Recruiting Tool
In many ways, company culture is a mirror. At its best and clearest, it reflects the shared vision, goals, ethics, values, and mission of its leaders and staff. The combination of these elements is a powerful recruiting tool and can help your company attract top talent.
Understand, however, that it’s important to maintain this positive company culture once established. No matter how talented, individuals who don’t mesh with company culture can undermine the environment you have worked so hard to create. You must be intentional if you expect to sustain it. Without careful and consistent nurturing, an otherwise positive culture can slip into negativity.
Company culture is often the X factor in the success of a business. When company principles align with employee values, it can be a powerful catalyst for productivity and profitability.