There are various ways a leader can help improve company culture. This is important because culture can play a major role in an organization’s long-term success. However, a strong company culture is not something that occurs by accident. There are specific skills leaders can learn in order to facilitate the company culture that works for them.
Here are some key points (supported by research) that illustrate why it is important to invest time and effort into developing a strong company culture. They include the following:
Company culture helps you attract and retain top talent.
Surveys increasingly reveal that an attractive paycheck is by no means the only factor an ambitious and talented job seeker is likely to consider when deciding where to work. While it’s still important to compensate employees properly, today’s most effective and engaged workers also want to feel their work has meaning. They also want to feel as though they’re part of a group of friends with whom they can both have fun outside of work, while striving towards a common goal at work.
Both financial compensation and a collegial atmosphere are important elements of company culture. An effective organizational culture will offer its employees a sense of purpose. It will also result in an environment in which employees not only get along socially, but also feel they’re working together on projects with actual significance.
No company can thrive without an engaged and talented workforce. Thus, it’s crucial that you establish a company culture that attracts top performers. Such a culture won’t merely attract them. It will also boost retention. Remember, the cost of losing an employee is already high in terms of lost productivity in the cost of a job search. When said employee was skilled and driven, it may be impossible to calculate the genuine long-term cost of losing them.
Company culture helps ensure brand consistency.
An inspiring mission and set of values are two other essential elements of a company culture. Again, behind-the-scenes, these elements potentially boost engagement by giving employees the satisfaction that comes from knowing their work has value. However, these elements of company culture can also affect the way in which customers respond to an organization’s brand.
For example, maybe an emphasis on sustainability is one of a company’s major values. Thus, when making a range of choices, from how to power an office to whether remote work should be an option, the major decision-makers may consider how to limit their effects on the environment, and make sure that customers and employees are aware of these efforts.
This value can also influence the decisions that impact customers directly. For instance, companies might use sustainable packaging whenever possible, choose shipping methods that reduce their carbon impact, and more. This makes it more likely that brands will embody the values that resonate with companies’ audiences.
That said, this highlights an important point. It’s not enough for a company culture to include a set of values. The company must actually reflect those values in its operations. If employees notice a disparity between the values the company claims are important and those that it practices, they’ll be less engaged. This will have a negative impact on company culture.
Company culture saves time.
Efficiency is crucial regardless of industry. The more agile a company can be, the greater its competitive edge. A company culture that inspires employees and rewards innovation can reduce the amount of time it takes to make and implement important decisions. Additionally, faced with a range of choices, being able to identify which choice most clearly aligns with the organization’s values makes determining the right choice quickly and efficiently.
The hiring process can also become much more efficient with a clearly defined culture. Granted, “culture fit” may not always be the only factor worth considering when deciding whether to offer a candidate a job. This could result in a lack of diversity within the workforce. For example, if “youth” is one element of an organization’s culture, hiring solely for culture fit could lead to consistent ageism.
That said, if hiring teams are aware of these potential dangers, and consciously strive to guard against them during the hiring process, placing a reasonable degree of emphasis on culture fit when hiring can also help save a lot of time in the long run. If a candidate is clearly a mismatch for the culture, they won’t need to waste more time than necessary considering them.
These are just a few ways improving a company culture benefits an organization. When you take steps to optimize your company’s culture, you’ll see just how significant the impact is.