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Insights into Human Resources

What makes a strong company culture?

Tuesday 25 September 2018 - Kathleen Powell

HOW DEVELOPING A STRONG COMPANY CULTURE CAN BOOST ENGAGEMENT AND OVERALL PERFORMANCE

With people spending more time devoted to their jobs and a large percentage of their lives at the office, it is important that we as employers make sure that our teams time at work is an enjoyable experience.

Leaders are now not only responsible for driving profits and customer satisfaction but also have a greater duty to their employees and their engagement, working with their teams to co-create the company’s culture and ensure that they attract and retain talented individuals and not lose them to the competition.

Those companies that focus on creating a company culture that is more meaningful and fuels their employees growth, will find themselves with greater productivity and a team that is committed to the company and its vision.

 

WHAT IS COMPANY CULTURE

A company’s culture stems from the environment that has been developed and incorporated from the company beliefs and core values. There are no definite steps that can be applied to build great company culture, as it will be different for each company depending on what stage they are at, a startups company culture is likely to be vastly different from a multinational company.

A company that doesn’t portray the usual multinational corporate culture and resembles that far more off a start-up, despite being one of the largest companies in the world, is Google. It could be for this very reason that their company culture continues to be recognised as one of the best. What we do know is that we can learn a lot from Google's culture and its success in employee happiness. It is no surprise that they win best tech company corporate culture year on year. This could be attributed to the fact they put a lot of emphasis on their people operations and people data, with dedicated positions designed to promote employee happiness and productivity.

 

WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM COMPANIES THAT HAVE A STRONG COMPANY CULTURE LIKE GOOGLE

A good company culture can make all the difference in employee retention and attracting talent. When you encourage your team to adopt your company beliefs and vision from the onset, it encourages a shared culture, focussing on respecting, caring about and trusting your team, promotes a happier more engaged and focused company. When a company is solely focused on individualist gain and has a everyone for themselves mentality, you will undoubtedly find that the company culture is suffering.

Let’s focus on some key areas that can help improve company culture:

 

TREATING OUR EMPLOYEES HOW WE WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED

It is important to treat employees with empathy and remember that they’re people too, not just a number or cog in a machine. As Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group quite aptly put it “There’s no magic formula for great company culture. The key is just to treat your staff how you would like to be treated.”

Recognising the value of each employee in any role, position or level within the company is key to creating a great company culture. Involving everybody in creating and adopting the company’s values helps support engagement. It's important to communicate how each individual contributes to the overall vision of the company and how they make it a reality. When everybody is on the same page and has a purpose the company thrives and company culture improves.

Taking employee wellness seriously, showing a genuine interest in your employees and implementing a wellness policy, will not only improve overall company culture, it will aid in reducing absenteeism and presenteeism, or sickness presence; high levels of absenteeism and presenteeism are often seen in a company with an unhealthy culture.

 

COMMUNICATION AND REGULAR FEEDBACK

It’s important that the people connection is not lost through corporate levels and hierarchy, the company’s values, message and reason why it does what it does, needs to be filtered down to line managers, and team leaders to communicate to their teams. Sharing the reason why you started the business in the first place, and the reason your business exists, both ignites and fuels passion. It helps overcome challenges and encourages your intended culture to be practiced daily and incorporated into the business by all; your leaders must believe in it and champion it forward to their teams for your company culture to thrive.

Implementing channels of communication through technology, enables a shared connection, people appreciate being kept in the loop. Whereas non-communication invokes feelings of distrust, a them and us outlook, and is a stressor that’s easily avoided through regular updates and better communication channels; even if a company is not in the position to reveal all the details, having a channel of regular communication about company news, goals, achievements and change, helps build a strong company culture and better working environment for all. Providing a space for employees to share knowledge, hold regular team meetings, and give each other the opportunity to provide recognition, helps build stronger relationships between work colleagues.

Employers can benefit from putting in place regular feedback channels via employee and line managers one-to-ones, team meetings or company surveys, giving employees the option to raise concerns, which can get fed directly back to the top. Performing this model can add value and help address areas that may need change or tweaking before the process or system becomes too far embedded in the company’s culture that it makes it harder to reverse.

 

MAKE YOUR CULTURE ABOUT GROWING YOUR PEOPLE AND PROFITS WILL FOLLOW

The opportunity for continued learning and development is one of the top drivers rated by employees when asked what they look for in a future employer. It’s not only important in attracting talented individuals, it’s also the recipe for retaining your talent.

A company that concentrates on providing consistent learning and development for their team, and has a commitment to reskilling and upskilling their current employees, will build a culture that promotes growth and future development, ensuring the whole company can stride forward among an ever changing economy and future developments in technology.

It is inevitable that talented people may leave to start their own ventures, or work for similar companies and is a risk all employers take, when investing in developing their talent. It is for this reason that continued and consistent development is so important, as when these great people do eventually move on, you’ll have developed the skills of others within your organisation to step up and become the next leaders.

 

HOW TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP YOU BUILD A BETTER COMPANY CULTURE

Technology can provide companies with valuable insights that can determine trends far more easily and accurately than through a paper based, spreadsheets and manual process. Whether the technology is used to improve company communication, monitor and address potential trends in employee absence and turnover, or to develop smarter more effective methods of training and development, that engage your employees. Technology enables businesses to optimise their people, employee data can be utilised more effectively to improve productivity, company engagement and overall workplace happiness.

The benefit of implementing HR Software that addresses these key points and areas that affect a company’s culture, is that it not only helps you recruit the best people for the company it also enables you to nurture and retain them.

Interested in learning more about how our HR Software can help improve your company culture, drive performance and increase workplace happiness, get in touch.

Follow for me at @SystemsColossus  or  linkedin.com/colossus-systems for similar blogs, resources and stories.

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