Company culture is one of the real buzzwords currently but have you ever stepped back to think what a “company culture” is?
So often I speak with clients, candidates and even competitors who simply fail to grasp the importance of getting a company culture right. They will lay on some beers on a Friday, relax the dress code and call it a culture. For me, one of the things that all at Pro-Recruitment Group do well is explain what a corporate culture really is, and all of the staff know that by working in the right way, culture will breed performance.
The definition of company culture encompasses the beliefs and behaviors of a business, as well as interactions between management, employees, and clients.
It is implied, not defined, as culture exists in our everyday lives as well. A successful corporate culture improves the quality of employees, employee turnover rate, and productivity.
A question often asked to me by candidates is; "What is the culture like?" And whilst I have no issues with this as a question, I will often flip back and ask, "what is a culture to you?" Candidates can often feel that the culture is something to entice them in - talks about the social clubs, the pubs they go to, where people take lunch on a Friday - that sort of thing. Don’t get me wrong, all of those do contribute to company culture, but what is so often overlooked within culture is a company's ethos and values.
So, how does company culture affect performance?
A group of employees focused on individual goals will quite simply not breed the same results as those working towards a shared goal and vision. Again, one of the biggest pitfalls is that employees do not understand their organisations vision. By being open and clear about the companies overall vision, what the company is looking to achieve outside of financial goals, and how it plans on achieving these, the sense of inclusion, shared responsibility and ownership will naturally drive performance.
Company culture should not just be a directive from the top to junior staff, nor a rigid and arbitrary tick list of what your competitors are doing. Company culture should be malleable, visual to all, shared by all and, where possible, created by all for all. By all means, put some money behind the bar on a Friday and reward people for achievements, but make sure they know why they work for your company and not your competitors.
An engaged employee is a valuable and profitable employee.