Many of us spend more time with our coworkers than we do with some members of our own families. For us to be content and fulfilled people, that time must be valuable in more ways than just to pay the bills. We don’t just want a job. In addition to an honest wage, we want a career and engage in something that benefits both ourselves and those around us. When we work in a job that we’ve invested our hearts and minds into, whether it’s for another company or our own, we are happier, work safer, more productive and willing to meet the needs of our customers faithfully. Those who are happy with their jobs have better relationships with both customers and colleagues alike because they really care about their work. At a time when companies everywhere are looking for ways to improve employee retention, happiness is perhaps one of the best answers out there. It is for these reasons that organizational culture is of paramount importance.
Many companies invest in branding their products and advertisement. The iconic red apple for the Apple Corporation comes to mind. Others use a jingle or a mascot as an advertising hook. These things draw attention to your company. Branding your company is not limited to things like logos and mascots however. Focusing on building or sustaining an organizational culture is one way of showing that people are the company’s most valuable asset. There are other bottom line business reasons such as productivity, quality and profitability etc. why developing your company’s culture is also a worthwhile venture. Here are several of those reasons.
Positive Culture Is a Talent-Attractor
Creating a workplace culture that people enjoy is crucial, but achieving this takes more than just posting some corporate buzz words on the walls. Potential employees are savvy now when it comes to spotting workplace trends and figuring out what they mean in actual reality. Your organizational culture is one thing that prospective employees look at when they assess your organization.
Gone are the days where you can pick a person from a large pool and almost be guaranteed a good fit. The talent market is tough these days, and those looking for a new job are far more selective than before. Prospective employees want more than just salary and benefits; they also want to find an organization that they will enjoy being part of, not only professionally but also personally.
A cohesive work environment, where everyone feels accepted regardless of race, age, or gender is far superior to a diverse variety of people who don’t connect with each other on any level whatsoever. It’s essential to not only be able to address problems within a community, but also consider the best practices for properly caring for all staff members to eliminate potential biases and make employees feel respected and heard when brought forward with concerns on their mind.
Positive Culture Is a Talent-Retainer
How likely are people to stay if they have other options and not happy with where they are? It’s important to make sure that the people who work for you feel like they love where they are because if they don’t, chances are good that few of them will stick around for very long. The days of working in an industry run by buttoned-up bosses and hierarchical structures are over. Most employees are Millennials (born 1980-2000), and the workforce is over 50% female–so workplace culture (your office environment) is more important now than ever. Engagement should be the primary goal, because once your team members feel supported, valued and inspired, they take on new challenges so your company can grow.
Positive Culture Engages People
“If you can measure it, you can manage it”—William Edwards Deming. According to the Gallup, at least 22 Million American workers are extremely negative or “actively disengaged” – which leads to a decline in productivity by about $250-300 Billion annually. Your culture is going to play an important role in determining whether or not your company is highly productive and profitable. An engaged employee is more productive with more focused attention, which could impact profitability. Simply change your culture for the better, which can increase individual engagement and therefore improve profitability! There isn’t really much else I need to add here because the evidence speaks volumes for itself!
Positive Culture Creates Energy and Momentum
Build a culture that is friendly and open, where employees feel valued and can express themselves freely. You will find that positive energy will spread like wildfire amongst the ranks, creating a new momentum for success. Energy is contagious – it’s therefore vital to make sure your team knows how much their work impacts the overall company dynamic so that they understand the importance of not only doing their job to the best of their ability but also making sure everyone they come into contact with feels valued. People enjoy being in an optimistic environment because it allows them to imagine and fulfill goals they never thought possible before. Remember: Energy is contagious within your organization. Be intentional and make it positive.
Positive Culture Changes the View Of “Work”
There are two categories of people in the world; those who view work as drudgery, and those who find joy in it. Would you rather be viewed as “that boss” to somebody who resents coming into your office or somebody who associates a sense of fulfillment with being a part of what you have going on? If the latter, then you need to create an environment that is conducive for people to look forward to working there.
The work environment that you create for your employees and co-workers might be the most important factor in determining your success as an organization. While there are no hard rules when it comes to creating a friendly work environment, there’s certainly a spectrum in which companies can fall. Some may have an undesirable atmosphere because of its laissez-faire philosophy (if you’ve got nothing better to do with your time then fine, come on in), others might contain too much structure (everyone take five now!) while still other’s might have a surprising lack of vitality (no one really seems to care much about what we’re doing here).
When you create a workplace culture that is attractive and fun, people’s views on work will change. Would you rather work in an environment full of “joy” or one that gives satisfaction? People want to be energized by their job – and it’s your responsibility as an employer to do everything in your power to help achieve this. Morale influences productivity and vice versa… so why let others decide how they feel about going into work every day when it’s within your power to do so?
Positive Culture Creates Greater Synergy
A strong culture brings people together and that multiplies productivity. It creates synergy, and this kind of synergy can lead to the creation of new ideas that would otherwise stay dormant without collaboration between different individuals. It goes without saying that the best leaders know how to optimize their strengths by turning potential synergy into an active advantage. Imagine what could happen when instead of simply having one strong performing teammate contributing based on their individual skills and abilities, instead those same teammates interact with each other in person or virtually to create even bigger waves of productivity. When you have a culture built on open communication and trust, the right people at the right time can help your business grow and flourish.
Positive Culture Makes Everyone More Successful
Really, there are so many reasons to focus on organizational culture. However, the most important thing to note is that investing time in order to nurture an organization’s culture directly contributes to creating a better company structure overall … right down to the bottom line. Looking after your employees’ well-being leads not only strengthens trust within an organization, but it also encourages loyalty and improves productivity. And let’s face it: these are valuable investments which contribute towards good business practices.
By recognizing this power in orientating your culture as a positive place where employees are engaged and feel valued, you’ll create an environment where everyone performs at their best. The bottom line is that a little investment of time and attention to organizational culture can go a long way. Great cultures aren’t just good for your employees, they also make great business sense too.
Hopefully you can see that time spent improving your organizational culture will be time well spent regardless of what your current company culture is like. Working with others within your team can help with creating a healthy and positive work environment. Be aware that there is always room for improvement and always be on the lookout for new ways to foster what may already be a great environment so you can take advantage of all the positive benefits it can bring.
Learn more about how to develop a great organizational culture: Effective Leadership
Or contact me today for a complementary Strategy Session: Leadership Strategy Session