Is It Really That Important?
Is company culture just a buzzword, or does it make a difference in employee recruitment, performance and retention? Harvard Business Review says company culture “picks up where the employee handbook leaves off.” Entrepreneur.com defines it as “a blend of the values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals and myths all companies develop over time.”
Your corporate culture is an essential part of developing your brand’s identity and values. A strong company culture attracts the best East Texas employees and keeps them engaged. It decides how staff responds when the boss is out of the room or the challenge they face takes an unexpected turn.
Corporate Culture Statistics
When savvy business owners consider investing time, energy and other resources, they seek data that indicates they’ll see a return on that investment. Here are some numbers.
- A Columbia University study analyzed the relationship between job satisfaction and employee turnover and found employees who ranked their company culture as high left only 13.9 percent of the time. Offices with a poor company culture had a turnover rate up to 48.4 percent.
- Company culture makes employees happier and more productive. One study by the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick discovered happy workers are 12 percent more productive than average, while unhappy employees are 10 percent less productive. People work harder when they’re happy.
- When researchers in a Duke’s Fuqua School of Business study talked to 1,800 CEOs and CFOs, 92 percent of them said improving their firm’s culture would increase their company’s value. They linked ineffective culture with high turnover, unethical behavior and poor quarterly earnings.
4 Components of a Strong Corporate Culture
Corporate culture is about more than just pleasant lighting, free snacks and mentioning birthdays at staff meetings.
Strong corporate culture has a mission or vision. TED has a two-word mission statement that says the community’s purpose is to “spread ideas.” Coca Cola says their mission is “to refresh the world in mind, body and spirit.” Your vision or mission guides employee decision making and spills into interactions with customers, vendors and stakeholders.
Strong culture has clearly articulated values. Personal values dictate how people live their lives. Company values define how employees and stakeholders act in business and in the community. Values might include a commitment to innovation, environmental sustainability, compassion, honesty, dependability or a spirit of adventure.
Staff communicates with respect. People feel comfortable bringing up new ways of doing things. Managers offer feedback constructively and encourage each team member to be their best. There’s an open door communication policy with a clearly defined process for resolving conflict.
New hires fit. When people spend most of their day together, they are united if they share the same mission and values. Your employees bring your company culture to life.
In the book Built to Last, James Collins and Jerry Porras studied 18 companies over six years to try and identify cultural attributes of top ranking US companies. Each company had different beliefs and values, so a strong culture wasn’t tied specifically to prioritizing idealism, courage or self-improvement.
What they all had in common was that they prioritized hiring, managing and training employees based on their vision and values. They had a clear system for making sure each new hire was a cultural fit.
Company Culture and Recruiting
The people you hire represent your company even when they’re not working. They talk about their job when they’re sitting on the patio at Fresh. During the day they post memes to social media that indicate how they feel about their jobs and their co-workers. When they’re at church or the gym, who they are either aligns or contrasts with what your business values.
Finding the right fit isn’t just about retention and productivity. It’s about what’s best for each candidate. When people are in an environment that suits their beliefs and values, they grow and thrive. When they’re not, they feel dissatisfied and unengaged.
Know how your values impact job duties for each role. Reference them in your job posting and design interview questions that relate directly to those values. Build them into your onboarding process. Regularly communicate them at every level of your organization.
Shaping Your Current Culture
Mold your current culture by doing the following:
- Look at your current mission statement and identify the key values that will form the foundation of your company culture.
- Interview staff to see where you stand. Inc. provides a 15-question true or false quiz to evaluate corporate culture with advantages and pitfalls for some of the most common types, or you can develop your own. If weaknesses emerge, state what you want to change and how you plan to do so.
- Seek employee input on the values you’ve identified.
- Communicate cultural values and goals. Put them in your handbook, in the breakroom and in the company newsletter.
- Encourage everyone to drink the Kool-Aid. If management and staff worked together to find what you’re passionate about, everyone should be a believer. If you can’t practice what you preach, don’t preach it.
- Prioritize ownership. Let each individual know how they contribute to the big picture.
- Regularly express gratitude. Thank people in public and in private for the ways they demonstrate company values. Take time for thanksgiving during celebrations and times of conflict or stress.
Solid company culture turns individuals into teams. It attracts employees who love their jobs and keeps them engaged.
Hire a Cultural Fit Every Time
At Brelsford Personnel, our goal is to make a positive difference for the people we serve. Since 1988 we’ve successfully placed candidates with top Texas companies because we study our clients.
We seek to start each relationship with employers by making a site visit so we understand your organization’s personality, leadership style and mission. We screen candidates for both skill and personality to match employers and staff. Experience the Brelsford difference when you get in touch today.
Content by Missy for Brelsford Personnel