Your company’s organizational culture is a strong force. It reinforces workers’ trust in their job and keeps them inspired and motivated to perform at their highest level. A workplace’s culture is a collection of attitudes and beliefs about how things are done there. Even though it may not be acknowledged frequently, culture has an impact on all of the work that is completed — or not. It has to do with people.
People want to work for an organization whose values they share in the wake of the Great Resignation. According to a recent study, 35% of American workers wouldn’t accept a position even if it was a great fit if the company culture conflicted with their personal beliefs. Furthermore, an incredible 91% of managers believe that a candidate’s fit with the corporate culture is just as important as or even more important than their education and expertise.
According to another poll, 71% of employees would look for new possibilities elsewhere if the workplace culture declined. It makes logical that companies that concentrate on developing their culture and defining their mission would have the best success keeping their current workforce and luring top talent.
How devoted, connected, and enthusiastic are your employees about their work for your company? You may assess this by keeping a careful eye on employee engagement, or how your team forms deep ties with your company. High employee engagement has enduringly beneficial effects on the business as a whole.
Engagement is greatly increased by a strong culture that values collaboration, community, and diversity. Employee engagement is up to 72% greater in organizations with strong cultures than in those with weaker or misaligned cultures.
Let’s look at seven factors that make organizational culture crucial.
7 factors that make organizational culture crucial
1. It establishes the internal and exterior identity of your business.
Here is an exercise in thinking: Five characteristics that best reflect the culture of your firm should be listed on paper. You may use something like “good work-life balance” or “lots of meetings” or even “team-oriented.”
Now, take a moment to consider why each of those qualities is significant for your firm in particular. Why is it important for your business to have a healthy work-life balance? What makes your employees and customers value these cultural traits?
According to Peter Ashworth, your organization’s culture “defines for you and for all others, how your organization does business, how your organization interacts with one another, and how the team interacts with the outside world, specifically your customers, employees, partners, suppliers, media, and all other stakeholders.”
In other words, because it embodies your corporate culture, it will have an impact on every area of your company. It affects how your colleagues and clients view you because it serves as both your identity and your image.
2. Organizational culture involves upholding your business’s guiding principles.
Your company’s essential beliefs may be reflected in (or betrayed by) your culture. Your firm’s operations, workflow management, teamwork, and customer service practices all combine to create an experience that should reflect who you are as a company and how you see a business operating. In other words, your company’s principles in action make up your culture.
However, it is an issue if your professed ideals do not align with your culture. It can imply that your employees are aware that your “core values” are nothing more than a series of useless jargon.
Your company’s basic principles should be at the forefront of all daily activities and organizational decisions thanks to a strong corporate culture. Doing so has enormous benefit.
3. Employees can become supporters (or detractors) of your culture.
One of the biggest benefits of an effective corporate culture is its capacity to convert workers into supporters.
More than a reliable income and adequate benefits, your employees desire a sense of purpose in their work. Additionally, when employees feel valued, they are more likely to become culture ambassadors—that is, those who not only contribute to the culture of your company but also advocate for it and embody it both internally and outside.
How can you accomplish this? One strategy is to reward excellent effort. A sense of accomplishment can be found in a culture that recognizes and rewards team and individual accomplishments and that provides credit where credit is due. That is one method to encourage employees to become champions.
However, if your workplace culture doesn’t support this, you risk drawing negative attention.
4. A solid company culture aids in retaining your top talent
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that staff members who feel like they belong to a community rather than just a cog in the machine are more inclined to stick with your business. In actuality, that is what the majority of job seekers seek in an employer.
Any high performer will tell you that the people are what keep them at their organization. It’s due to the strong appeal of a people-centered business culture. It enhances engagement, offers a distinctive employee experience, and strengthens the sense of community among your workforce.
Hiring for cultural fit is one strategy for luring great performers who are innate culture champions.
5. A healthy culture facilitates onboarding
The culture of your organization may also serve as a unifying factor there. This is especially true for recent workers who, more often than not, have given the culture they are joining a lot of attention.
It’s crucial that your company’s culture begins with onboarding because it will serve as a sort of compass for them.
George Bradt, in a Forbes article, elaborates further: “People struggle in new professions because they don’t fit well, don’t perform well, or don’t adapt well to future changes. Your onboarding program should cater to their needs (so they can do real work), assimilate them into the organization (so they fit the culture), and accelerate their progress (so they can deliver and adjust), presuming you’ve successfully aligned the organization around the need for your new employees and acquired them in the right way.
6. Your organization becomes a team because of your culture.
Successful organizational cultures unite and maintain alignment across your workforce. When your culture is obvious, people from various viewpoints can unite behind it for a common goal. Your company’s culture establishes standards for how employees should act, collaborate, and perform as a team.
In this manner, culture can help to blur the lines between siloed teams, direct decision-making, and enhance overall workflow. On the other hand, a poisonous organizational culture has the power to have the exact opposite effect.
7. Culture affects productivity and employee happiness
According to reports, corporate culture directly affects performance and, more crucially, the happiness of your staff. In order to solve both of these issues, a healthy culture strikes the right balance based on shared business values.
Does your organization place such a high value on performance that you feel that your physical and emotional well-being are being neglected? There may be certain circumstances in which it won’t be an issue, but in the vast majority of situations, it will hurt your business.
“Employee wellbeing strategies have the potential to bring significant benefits to employees and employers alike, but they need to be introduced in the right way for the right reasons, and at the right time,” writes Paul Barrett, summarizing the situation nicely. They must be built holistically in accordance with a business culture that supports their success if they are to be effectively successful. That entails accommodating management practices, flexible work arrangements, and an open culture that gives workers a voice and some influence over the workplace environment.
Trends and Competition
The fact that corporate culture is becoming a more common topic of discussion and growth is one of the main motivators. More businesses are focusing on developing thorough brand cultures and maintaining them through continual development. Why? It’s caused, at least in part, by the increased conversation about culture. Studies have shown quantifiable increases in turnover for businesses with weak or nonexistent cultures, and entrepreneurs routinely bring up culture in casual conversation.
You might believe that we’re just jumping on the bandwagon here and telling you to pay more attention to culture since other businesses are. But keep in mind that these are the businesses you are up against when it comes to luring new employees and winning over clients. You will lag behind if you don’t find a means to stand out and at least keep up with a powerful culture.
Millennials, whether they like it or not, are the generation in charge of the upcoming changes in the workplace. Your growth can stagnate if you are unable to draw in young talent, and you might eventually run into a talent scarcity.
However, when choosing a company to work for, millennials care most about having a good company culture (in one way or another). You’ll start losing the war on hiring if your organization doesn’t have a compelling company culture.
It’s also important to note that the entrepreneurial community has benefited from several intriguing new factors brought about by the modern startup economy. Today’s business owners have access to nearly limitless digital resources to create businesses, and such businesses (particularly in the IT industry) have the potential to succeed or fail rather quickly. This makes distinctiveness in the market more important, especially in competitive industries, and pushes businesspeople to identify a sticking point for employees who may otherwise quit after a brief assignment.
Is a Culture Audit Necessary?
Once you realize how crucial company culture is to the future of your firm—and how crucial it is going to become—you might want to conduct a “culture audit.” Basically, this is a means to assess where your culture is at the moment, identify any gaps, and develop a strategy to fill them.
• Theory. How well-defined is the culture at your company? What is its definition? Do your new hires have access to these plans and how precisely is it defined?
• Understanding. How would you rate the present awareness of your corporate culture among your employees? Take a survey of your employees. Do they understand your brand’s core principles?
• Consistency. Even though your employees are aware of your culture, they might not continuously “live and breathe” it or enforce it. How frequently do you notice that your team leaders don’t follow your ideal culture? What about your employees?
Every firm has a unique culture, so there is no single standard for a “correct” one. However, if you want to be competitive in the near future, you’ll need a strong set of values that are consistent and enduring. From here, it will only gain in importance.