There is a consensus that strong company culture is linked to business success, according to 94% of executives and 88% of employees.
Although culture is a word that is used a lot in relation to work, what exactly does it mean? In the broadest sense, culture is defined as “the ideas, customs, and social behavior of a particular people or society.”
That definition can be applied to any group of people: a country, a religious group, a group of friends, or a company.
The culture of a group is a shared foundation that members of that group agree to uphold. In the case of a company, that foundation determines the social attitudes in the workplace, and it shapes everything that the company does.
Every company has a culture, whether you are aware of it or not. And when you strategically create and articulate that culture, it can benefit your business in a lot of ways.
Culture creates consistency. When approaching your marketing work, you strive for regularity in branding, tone, and style because it helps your audience to connect with the brand and fosters customer loyalty.
It’s the same for your team. Company culture answers the question of why you are doing the things you’re doing and keeps everyone on the same page. With a consistent environment, you can avoid misunderstandings and improve workflows, leading to more efficiency and productivity.
One of the core elements of company culture is to have a purpose that holds everything together and provides a direction for all the work that you do.
By communicating a core set of expectations and values, you can empower your employees to make decisions guided by that core. The goals for each company will vary: it could be to provide top-tier customer service, to generate positive social impact, or to create innovative content.
Regardless of that goal, by establishing the company culture and mission you create a sense of professional purpose and direction to unify your team.
Sense of community
Providing a cohesive experience and giving your team the guidance they need to own their work are both factors that affect the individual. However, one of the most significant outcomes of strong company culture is making people feel that they are part of a community.
When your team shares the same values, embodies and promotes the same behaviors, and works towards the same vision, they reinforce and strengthen those values. This provides the grounds for positive social relationships, which makes individuals happier and healthier.
When your team is happier and healthier, this has a positive trickle-down effect throughout the business.
A motivated team
One way that a more connected, happier, and healthier team can benefit your business is by increasing their motivation.
Social ties strengthen their commitment to each other and provide positive pressure to get things done. It’s a motivating force.
Everyone can relate to the experience of feeling motivated and doing better work as a result. So by creating a culture and an environment that motivates your team, you are helping increase productivity.
Lower turnover rate
In addition to having a clearly defined and consistent company culture, it’s essential to hire people who align with that culture. In companies that lack defined company culture or don’t hire for cultural fit, employees are 24% more likely to quit within one year.
Employee turnover is detrimental to business because it is expensive and inefficient. The hiring process requires an investment of time and money in the new employee. For every employee that decides to leave, those resources are diverted from other client work that could be achieved instead.
It’s also important to hire for cultural fit because your employees are representatives of your company both in both official and unofficial capacities who ensure that your brand reputation is being upheld.
Creating company culture
Obviously, company culture is essential to business success. So how do you go about creating it?
You should start by defining the company values and mission, and making sure that everyone knows what those are. Then, you need to set clear expectations on what it means to uphold those and the form that it takes in different roles and departments.
In addition to clarifying what you are asking your team to give the company, you need to make it clear how the company will value the employees. Studies show that if you invest in your staff, they will invest in you, with 57% of workers saying they feel more loyal and productive when employers support their well-being.
Finally, remember that culture is about the collective, so allow your team to contribute by organizing team building activities, offering benefits, and asking for feedback that you then incorporate.
Whether you are merely documenting the culture that has naturally developed within your business or conscientiously making adjustments, take the time to evaluate your team culture.
With your company culture outlined, you can make sure to hire people who are suitable matches, uphold the company values, reinforce your brand reputation, and produce quality work that aligns with company needs.