Each company has an individual style and set of values that surround its search for profit and success. Corporate culture is a foundation for each of these businesses. Whether you are an established business or a newly built business, corporate culture tells people about your actual mission and your values. Culture helps to define your brand. Culture also gives people a picture of why they would want to do business with you. As James Heskett stated in his book, The Culture Cycle, culture, “can account for 20-30% of the differential in corporate performance when compared with ‘culturally unremarkable’ competitors.” In other words, your company has a 20-30% higher chance at success with a healthy thriving corporate culture, than a company who does not place value on an intentional corporate culture.
The role of culture is also increasing in the business world as we shift to a new generation of employees who have a different set of values with regards to how to transact business. Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor, 80 million Millennials are making their way into a working age. This statistic means that Millennials could make up 50% of the workforce in the next five years.
The PWC report on Millennial, suggested that this new generation of leaders are uncomfortable with rigid corporate structures, are committed to personal development, and are looking for a good work to life balance. This generation also has the expectation of moving jobs many times in their career to achieve their goals. The implications are that companies will need to learn how to entice new talent to the organization, especially with the labor shortages that have been predicted by The Conference Board in 2016. Corporate culture may help you draw this new generation into your company keeping them productive and well-utilized, and possibly increasing retention, which saves you costs for training and onboarding new employees.
Here are five things to consider if you want to build a resilient culture within your workplace:
Many times, companies become so focused on the daily work that they forget to be intentional about the way they do the job. If 30% of your success hinges on your culture, then a value is added when taking the time to set an intentional plan that will draw employees and business toward your company. Being intentional offers you more control of the outcome than letting culture just happen, however, flexibility also plays a role. You never know what might happen when you mix an intentional plan with a creative process.
If your business is a physical place, do the colors and furniture match the personality you want to portray about your business? Is there an environment of engagement within the workplace? What are the typical sounds in the workplace? Do you get a good feel about the place when you walk into the building? If remote work, are the connections clear? Does the background of the person or persons talking represent the picture of what you want your company to match? The atmosphere is important because it is often an unconscious representative of your business. Think about a time that you walked into a business and the place felt friendly, or active, or comfortable. Without an awareness for the atmosphere, you could unconsciously give employees and guests a different representation of your company than the one you would like to portray.
When you hire someone for a job, take the time to ask the candidates to describe an ideal workplace. Ask for words from the potential candidate that describe what is important to them for this job. The goal is to invite individuals into not just the company, but the community of the workplace. With the number of hours an individual spends at work, the day can find more productivity if people are enjoying the work environment. Engaged employees, whether potential or established, are also better performers and more productive. The culture will only be as good as the values and commitment of the people doing the work. Integrate talented professionals with a shared common goal to benefit both performance and customer service.
Authenticity works together with trust. When people trust you and your organization they are more likely to do business with you. Words matching actions brings increased authenticity and trust into the workplace. Business speak sounds attractive, but the words alone do not help to build an authentic culture. People lose trust if the party line says one thing and the actions around the office perform a different activity. Another component of authenticity is the ability to deal with situations without judgments of events or people as good or bad or wrong or right. When you focus on fixing the problem instead of talking about the problem, you save time and money, which reduces fractures that could ultimately break your company.
Decide what kind of a workplace you would like to have relating to time. Do you want to have a straight 9-to-5 schedule, unlimited work hours, or even flexible and remote hours? With the new age of technology, the opportunity to utilize time outside of the traditional model expands. Time also ties into the type of people that you will hire to do the job. If you want to retain good employees who value the quality of life and balance, then the flexibility of time may be value added to your organization. You can also define whether you want to measure work based on activities and timelines or hours of time at work, remembering to keep the balance between having too much work and not enough work.
Culture begins historically from the word cultivate. As you cultivate your business you are also cultivating your culture. A culture that works for one company may not work for another company. These five points of consideration help you build a resilient corporate culture that enhances the way you do business and works for your particular needs.
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