Hi meaningful leader,
This past week I had an interesting exchange with one of my colleagues about the culture in the workplace. My colleague stated that the company’s culture is established by the company or its senior management and that mid-level managers had no way of changing such culture…pretty much, it is what it is.
My view on the other hand is that while yes, the culture of a company is derived by its senior management or founder (s), any leader has the ability of improving the environment in which his or her team operate.
You see, for me company culture is not a catch phrase or a title in the company’s employee handbook. Active leaders create the environment in which the team interacts; and improves it or adjusts it, as he or she sees fit in order to bring the best out of the team. It is embedded in the way the team behaves when nobody is watching.
Company culture can truly make or break the team’s performance. You can have the best strategy, but with the wrong culture, you’re doomed to fail.
But what is company culture?
Company culture can be defined as the sum of the company’s principals, attributes, attitudes and practices. It’s nowhere written yet it can clearly be perceived in the behaviors and actions of its employees, in the way they interact with each other.
According to the Michigan Manufacturer’s Association, in 2019, 43% of employees cited corporate culture as their reason for leaving. That has only increased over the last two years. The rise of work-from-home has made maintaining a strong corporate culture and a healthy work/life balance more difficult.
And since numbers don’t lie, let’s review real data from a Company Culture 2022 survey and see how much, according to the stats, this topic truly matters:
– 40% of workers believe corporate culture is very important compared to 37% last year.
– 81% of workers feel that corporate culture is somewhat or very important in deciding whether to apply for a job.
– Company culture is at least somewhat important to 83 percent of urban workers (compared to 71 percent of rural workers) in their job search.
– 39% of urban workers (versus 33% of rural workers) cite business values and culture as one of the factors that influenced their decision to accept a job offer.
– College degree holders are more likely (51% versus 28% of those without) to say that corporate culture is “very important in their decision to apply for a job.”
– People with a college degree are more likely to say that corporate values and culture have influenced their decision to accept or refuse a job offer (45% vs. 31%). (source: Jobvite)
The right culture will retain and attract the right talent, period! Additionally, culture helps the organization in:
- Engaging and motivating employees
- Inspiring a positive view of their roles
- Boosting productivity
Every company has a unique culture and approach to creating a healthy work environment, but most great company cultures include some or all the following:
A sense of teamwork: It’s not only about getting the job done. Strong company cultures are built on the foundation of collaboration that allows individuals to express and use their strengths to contribute as part of a team. A collaborative environment, one where everyone works toward a shared vision rather than solely looking out for personal interests, is the sign of a great company culture.
A responsibility for ethical conduct: In organizations with strong cultures, it’s easy for employees to have a sense of ownership and accountability for their work environment. This type of personal commitment establishes a workplace built on respect and ethical conduct.
A commitment to the greater good: In a strong company culture, it’s not all about the profits. It’s also about having a positive impact on the world around you. Making an organizational commitment to making the world, or your local community, a better place will serve to inspire your employees and reassure them that they are part of something bigger than themselves.
An appreciation for fun: Yes, work must get done, that’s the whole idea. But if you also support the idea of employees having a good time, laughing, and enjoying themselves while they’re at work, you’ll reap the benefits of being known as a fun place to work, which develops engagement Ana again, retains and attracts talent.
A dedication to recognition: A regular “thank you” is the norm in a company that has a healthy culture. Appreciation and gratitude aren’t exceptions; they’re the way business must get done. Acknowledging individual or team contributions shows employees that you pay attention and that their work is valuable. Regular recognition, praise, and constructive feedback, backed with facts, will foster and further develop a positive company culture.
As leaders, we want to engaged employees because engagement ultimately leads to productivity. And productivity brings efficiencies, innovation, and higher results. Thus, it’s not only a good idea to be able to describe your culture, it’s important to build and nourish a culture that you’re proud of, and that enhances both job and company satisfaction. And that consequently, will trickle and positively impact customer satisfaction as well.
In the Age of The Great Resignation, it is critical to understand what moves and motivates the workforce. Blindly following narrowminded approaches from the past will no longer cut it, the workforce wants more.
I’ve included some additional sources below in case you’d like to explore this topic further and thank you for reading!
Thanks for reading and God bless,