Employee culture and why we should care

Corporate and employee culture impacts every corner of your business. Leadership stays on the same page. Employees are happier and, therefore, more engaged and productive. Prospective employees are more interested in joining and staying with your company. Perhaps most importantly, all these components work together to give your company its competitive advantage.

According to Culture IQ:

  • 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success. (Source: Deloitte)
  • Companies with strong cultures saw a 4x increase in revenue growth. (Source: Forbes)
  • Being named a Best Place to Work is associated with a .75% stock jump. (Source: Glassdoor)
  • 82% of respondents to this survey believe that culture is a potential competitive advantage. (Source: Deloitte)

So, what is culture?
According to The Balance, “company culture is the personality of a company. It defines the environment in which employees work. Company culture includes a variety of elements, including work environment, company mission, value, ethics, expectations, and goals.”

This sums it up pretty well, and it also falls in line with popular opinions of what company culture is. The problem, though, is that it makes culture appear as a non-breathing entity within the company. On the contrary, company culture is shaped by everyone in the company, has a life of its own, and can become the number one driving force for growth.

Why is culture important in any company?
Culture is critical in every step of a company’s life cycle. You might not feel that it can be the force that will stop you from growing in the beginning, since everything is simple, requires less red-tape and in general, there’s more motivation. But it’s the only time though in a company’s lifetime that, if done right, one can create the platform for easy growth, both for employees and the company itself.

In a newly found company, it is easy to motivate your team and much easier to create long-lasting bonds. It can define a company’s later stages and this is why you should really pay attention early on.

If a company grows enough with the wrong mentality and attitude, then it’s harder to change these traits, due to resistance. People often tend to get used to negativity and inactivity and it’s easy for them to get trapped in this vicious cycle. The hard part is to break out of it.

Team members have to be owners of the process
It’s one thing to be accountable for your actions and for people to know what you’re responsible for, and another for you to know what others do, how and why your job affects others and how. It’s critical for people to know how their company is doing and critical for you as an owner and a manager to make them understand the whole process and what else they could do to help.

Growth mindset
Knowing what the whole process is can help people create a growth mindset. Find new KPIs employees can create and measure themselves, challenge themselves to do more, to become better.

Don’t stagnate, evolve
Your employees’ goals change, they get married, have children, their priorities change. Learn what these are and stay up to date. See how you can help them achieve their goals in their business and personal life, and they’ll help you achieve yours. It’s as simple as that, a two-way process that always evolves.

Be transparent
The only way to avoid misunderstandings is to become transparent. When setting goals, though, try to be clear who will get what and why. Let them know what they did well, what you appreciated in their work and how they can help you move forward. Make them feel special.

Rewarding performers is half the picture, giving under-performers the chance to shine, is the other half.

Stay focused
While it seems irrelevant and most companies and start-ups need to be agile in order to survive and thrive, focus is the name of the game when it comes to company culture. It’s one thing to set goals and responsibilities and another to change them week by week while trying to find the next opportunity that’ll make your company grow.

Celebrate small wins
Go out for beers, have a bake off! Celebrate an increase in traffic, a great new client, an increase in conversions, take the whole team out for drinks if you can, take some people at a time but blend with all, celebrate with all, make them understand that you’re in this together.

Who knows? One of your best people might just be waiting for the next chance to make a change.

For more information on developing an employee recognition strategy that works, download Xexec’s free e-Book on how to build a successful recognition strategy.