Why Does Company Culture Matter?

As more and more companies have shifted their employees from in-office workers to remote work, people are starting to see a major change in the way their teams at large interact with one another. These types of interactions add up to a vague but important term: company culture.

But what is a company culture? The phrase gets tossed around a lot, but it’s hard to pin down or define. Is it ping-pong tables and swimming pools? Is it employees being in each other’s weddings? Is it Friday night ragers held after the office closes?

No. (Well, maybe!) Company culture is simply the overall behavior of the employees of a business.

Why does company culture matter?

  • It affects performance. When people at your company aren’t able to work together in a cordial matter, balls will be dropped and goals will be missed.
  • It makes recruitment easier.Over 70% of workerssay they consider a company’s culture when deciding whether or not to accept a job offer.
  • It influences employee turnover. People are much less motivated to hang onto a job where they don’t like their coworkers.
  • It has an impact on your brand. When people love where they work, they share about it!

If you’re a human resources manager who feels like their company culture could use a major upgrade, you’re not alone. The entire workforce was rattled and shaken by the Coronavirus pandemic and other political challenges of the past few years. Employees have been feeling the stress, and have in turn been bringing it into their workplace. That can influence your company culture in any myriad of ways.

But company culture is something that can be adjusted and transformed. In fact, it doesn’t even require massive changes (although sometimes it does!) Here are a few things you can consider implementing in order to improve your company culture.

Create an Employee Recognition Program

Sure, you clap a salesperson on the back when they make a huge deal, and everyone gets Christmas bonuses. But do you have a formal employee recognition program? By creating some type of rewards system or bonus incentive, you’ll help employees feel appreciated by your company. This is the foundation of company culture: that people feel seen, valued, and known. It can sometimes feel as if employees should just do their jobs well without any recognition—after all, that’s what they were hired to do! Why should they get extra celebration? But by going this extra mile, you’ll improve your company culture, which in turn affects things like turnover and productivity as discussed above. Employee recognition programs turn something that’s easy to forget—public, clear recognition of employees—into a process, making it harder to forget.

Employees who don’t feel acknowledged, on the other hand, are more likely to speak negatively about your company, let resentment start to grow in their minds, and start looking for jobs elsewhere. So employee recognition? A necessity in 2022.

Communicate With Your Employees About Their Career Aspirations

Are your employees satisfied with where they’re at in their careers? Having more career conversations with current employees is an easy way to make sure employees feel cared for within your company structure. For instance, where do they see themselves in a few years? Are they hoping to be with your company long term? Are they interested in moving up the career ladder? Would they like to try their skills in a different department? By communicating with your employees openly and often about what their long-term career motivations are, they’ll understand that you take their careers seriously, and you’ll have a better eye on how committed they are to your business.

Be as Transparent As Possible

Employees don’t like the feeling that things are being kept under wraps. If your business tends to be hush-hush about shake-ups, new product launches, or changes in company structure, consider being more open. Obviously, some things are need-to-know for executives only. But try and give as much information as you can to your employees. For instance, if people have been asking for ages for a work-from-home policy but you’re still developing it, just tell them where you’re at in the process and what’s taking so long instead of brushing them off with a brief “that’s something we’re exploring”. If a product isn’t selling well, ask for their opinions on why. If you’re going to start asking people to come into the office more often, give lots of notice instead of just springing it on people in an email. The more you hide, the more your company culture becomes one of secrets, cliques, and gossip. When there’s a void of information, people will rush to fill it—and oftentimes, they fill it with things that aren’t quite accurate. Transparency goes a long way in helping employees feel like vital parts of the team, which will help improve your company culture.

Another part of transparency is simply making conversations easier to have. Who does someone go to if they’re having a hard time with their manager? How easy is it for someone to express displeasure at a choice made by a superior? These types of things factor into transparency overall: how open a business is to feedback can be an incredibly important aspect of company culture.

Don’t Sweat It!

Believe it or not, employees don’t need to all be best friends. In today’s world, it can sometimes feel like if coworkers aren’t going out for Happy Hour together every single Friday, you’re somehow failing as a company. But if people are thriving, your business is hitting its goals, and you aren’t seeing significant employee turnover? Things are probably just fine! Think about company culture in terms of your business, and what works for you—not just what you’ve seen on TV or heard about from friends. If you employ a lot of parents of young kids, they probably don’t want company parties every weekend, for instance. Company culture doesn’t have to look one specific way in order to be positive.

Claire Swinarksi is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.

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