Company culture. It’s a term that employees use to describe what it’s like to work at a particular business - whether good or bad.
Every company’s culture is unique.
And what makes a great culture for some, might not work for others. Each is tailored according to the type of company, its employees, as well as what their vision and mission might look like.
But why is having a positive company culture so important?
Why you need a great company culture
Employees need a reason to look forward to coming into work. Not all employees are motivated by the actual work they do, or the salary that comes with it. In fact, a study conducted by UK company, AAT, found that 80% of those polled said they would turn down a salary increase if it meant working in an environment they didn’t like. Employees need a little more motivation for full employee engagement, as this is where they spend the majority of their time. Whilst they should enjoy the actual work that they do, it shouldn't be the only thing that they enjoy about the company.
Many companies believe that the only way to drive profit is with a harsh, high pressure working environment. This may result in an initial financial spike, but this approach seldom works. In fact, it is far more damaging to a company (and its employees) in the long-term. If you’re looking to take your company to the next level, a great company culture is how you do it.
Here it is then. 10 powerful reasons you need a great company culture:
1. Employee retention
If you create a place where employees are more than happy to come into work every day, you are less likely to lose them. They’ll ignore job offers, and focus on building a career right where they are. Employee turnover can be costly - as much as 21% of a person’s annual salary, according to one study.
2. Attract talent
People talk. And people talk a lot about how great (or terrible) the companies that they work for are. One thing is for sure, if you have a great company culture, your employees will brag about it. Sooner or later, you’ll be attracting talented individuals that want to work for your company. Look no further than Google, for example.
3. Happy and productive employees
Who doesn’t want to come in to work with a smile on their face? Or walk in to hear laughter from an office cubicle. Good company culture creates happier employees. Happy employees work harder, are more motivated and twice as productive. In fact, happy workers are 12% more productive than their unhappy counterparts.
4. Increases profit
This one might be obvious, however productive employees mean more work gets done. And the more work that gets done, the more the business will profit. What’s more is happier employees are more likely to have positive relationships with customers. Happy employees = happy customers. Happier customers are likely to become brand loyal customers with repeat purchases. In fact, a study from Queen’s University Centre for Business Venturing, used data over a ten-year period of employee engagement surveys and business results to conclude that companies with a positive culture had a 65% greater share-price increase.
5. Employees will go above and beyond
When your company culture is thriving, your employees will take their work to the next level. According to Forbes, if culture comes first, performance will follow. Because you’ve created an enjoyable place to work, they are now more likely to work longer hours, instead of rushing out to get home or watching the clock tick 5. They’ll be meticulous in their work, always producing their best, or perhaps not mind coming in on the weekends if need be.
6. Add to your identity
Having a great company culture shows the world what you stand for and what your values and beliefs are as a company. It is a reflection of a company’s identity and image. If you want to show the world what a fantastic company you are, you need to show your employees first, as they are your greatest brand ambassadors. Building an identity should always start inward, to reflect outward.
7. Better teamwork
A thriving company culture builds working relationships. These relationships are crucial for business growth. When colleagues have the opportunity to socialise together, and talk about topics that are unrelated to work, they’ll start to get along well. When it’s time to work in a team together, it’ll be easier for them to work together and conflict will be avoided.
8. Less absenteeism
Disengagement can be costly. Especially when employees would rather take sick days than come into work. According to The American Institute of Stress, it has been estimated that 75-90% of all visits to physicians are for stress related problems. When you create a company culture that focuses on employee happiness, employees will be less stressed and naturally healthier. This will result in less sick days due to burnout and exhaustion.
9. Better decision making
Decisions need to be made daily. And sometimes the boss isn’t always around to make those decisions. Employees will need to be trusted to make decisions. But how can they if they are swamped with work in a stressful working environment? When culture is thriving, employees are calm, clear-headed and in a position to make smart, clear decisions, without feeling clouded by stress.
10. Stand out from your competitors
Last, but not least, when you create a culture worthy of bragging about, you’ll stand out from competitors - attracting customers and employees. Again, think about Google’s headquarters - from breakfast bars, nap pods to gyms and celebrity talks. They are recognised for their product and their company culture. Bing certainly doesn’t stand a chance next to Google!
A company’s culture will happen, regardless of whether you manage it or not.
And if you don’t build it, it will build itself. It’s your job to create a culture that is aligned to your company.
It won’t happen overnight. But perhaps the best place to start is to hire the right people that suit your company. Think about what perks you can give your employees that will add to your company culture. Break rooms, creative thinking spaces and flexible work hours are all examples of perks to think about. The end goal is to hear employee statements like, “It’s not just a job”.
Read more: 5 companies with a great company culture and how they did it.