What exactly is company culture?
Culture describes what is and should be at the heart of any company. You can think of it as the company’s personality, charm, or identity. This video gives a thorough explanation of culture, but in summary, it defines how a company works, how it’s employees interact, and usually corresponds with how happy a team is. Having a good culture is essential for many reasons and here are just some of the benefits:
- Retention. Ever heard the phrase “happy wife, happy life”? Company culture is the “happy wife, happy life” of the workplace. If employees are happy and want to show up to work everyday, they’re more likely to stay employed and are more productive. It allows innovation and production to soar.
- Attracting better candidates. As stated before, the job search can be overwhelming on account of the sheer number of companies out there. Many are now narrowing their search by considering whether the company culture is a good fit. If someone feels they sync with the culture, they’re likely to choose that company over another. Some companies with strong cultures weigh the fit of the candidate into their culture as 50% of the interview assessment. A new term has entered the interviewing process at many companies – culture crush – which essentially means that the interviewee appears to be a perfect fit for the current company culture.
- Cost. This one is also related to retention, but losing employees and going through the hiring process can be expensive. According to Qualigence, $550 billion a year is lost due to unhappy workers. When employees are happy, the company is 50% more productive and this results in greater revenue.
- Making work fun again. This one may seem silly, but since we spend the majority of our lives at work, why not make it fun? Many people are more concerned about enjoying their time spent at work and a strong company culture helps greatly with this.
So how do you build a company culture?
A good start is to hire employees who fit not only the job requirements, but who are also a good culture fit. Having a cohesive team that works well together is essential. Adding to the culture can be as simple as having a common space for everyone to eat lunch together, or putting together a team outing to a baseball game or a happy hour. Having approachable and involved management teams is another way to impress employees. Purposeful and healthy employee engagement is going to improve the culture, so the more the better.
Business leaders in every field are emphasizing the importance of this, and doing their best to cultivate the best work environments. As John Keyser, CEO of Common Sense Leadership put it, “corporate culture, in essence, is the spirit of our people. It’s morale. And it matters greatly.” Whether you’re an employer or an employee, this glue called company culture that holds companies together can’t be ignored.