Anyone who has been part of a team knows the importance of culture. It’s this intangible and mysterious thing that drives a team or company. It provides a sense of identity, solidarity and pride within an organization. The Cambridge Dictionary has a fitting definition for culture- the ideas and ways of working that are typical for an organization, and that affect how it does business and how its employees behave. We have seen it time and time again; companies with awesome cultural values succeed. Why is that? I’ll tell you why- because happy employees make great work. Plain and simple. Let’s take a look at Google’s culture, they know it’s the employees that make the company successful, so they have a culture that supports them and makes their work environment enjoyable. How do they do this you ask? Well, for a start, the Googleplex is filled with engaging stimuli. For example, a rock climbing wall, bowling alley, cafes and napping pods. And, we’ve seen how their cultural tactics have worked out for them; Google was ranked #1 best company to work for in 2016 by FORTUNE.
So, now that we know what company culture is, how can we create it? Well, it starts with the leaders and trickles its way down through the rest of the organization. The values, attitudes, and beliefs of the head honchos set company culture. They establish what aspects of their company make their cultural identity unique and select employees that emanate these qualities. Sounds simple, right? In actuality, this is only half of it. For culture to have a positive impact on the company, employees’ needs must be taken into account as well. Now, employee needs can be drastically different from company to company, so the leadership team must listen to employee feedback. This allows the leaders to 1) determine their employee needs and 2) fulfill employee needs at work. Creating a constant feedback loop allows leaders to set a cohesive company culture with the needs of their employees in mind.
Back in 2013, Yahoo transitioned Marissa Mayer into the CEO position. She set in place an employee-focused company culture which has improved the business on multiple levels. Employees who left Yahoo are coming back and its reputation as an enjoyable workplace has improved. Shareholders are happy too as share value and quarter earnings have increased.
The takeaway from all this? Culture has become just as important to employees as salary and benefits. People, now more than ever, have placed a high value on work culture, as it dictates the overall satisfaction of their job. Companies who have yet to establish their culture will benefit greatly from doing so and those who need a cultural refresh will most likely see an increase in employee performance.
2019 Update! Adapting to the Millennial Workforce
Company culture is now more important than ever! Especially with more and more Millennials entering the workforce, companies have started to understand that culture is a key component in retention. However, it is important that your team is not only improving culture but also improving the lives and wellbeing of your employees. Yes, paying employees is great, but does your company offer and personal finance resources? Simple gestures like offering personal finance tools can make a big impact in the long run. There are a lot of great tools out there, some free and some paid that your HR team can leverage. I Am Net Worthy, for example, has a personal finance section focused for only Millennials!
Take this a step further and don’t just offer tools and resources to your team. Bring in experts for hands-on workshops and education sessions! In addition to helping improve the lives of your team, it will also act as a team building exercise and bring your company closer together.