When it comes to finding new recruits, it isn’t always as easy as it seems. From our most recent research, at hackajob we know that a good range of benefits combined with an outstanding company culture can make all the difference in terms of retention rates.
But why does company culture matter? Surely if people just get their jobs done, it’s enough, right?
It may seem a little ‘small fry’, yet culture is critical to a company’s overall success. For your employees, work shouldn’t be just a pay check. After all, they’re likely to be spending more time at their desk than not, so why not give them a little home away from home whilst at the office? The physical act of showing that you care about employee happiness and overall well-being will go a long way when it comes to individual productivity, profit, loss and more.
Company Culture: A definition
A quick Google search will tell you that company culture ‘refers to the beliefs and behaviours that determine how a company’s employees and management interact/handle outside business transactions’. Whilst company culture is often implied rather than defined, the ultimate kind of company culture is totally organic.
It’s difficult to describe company culture as one finite thing. The very idea of it covers multiple bases, including the office itself (think location, general setup and decor), business hours, company dress code, general hiring decisions, client satisfaction and so much more. Company culture is every element of your business and how these are reflected both internally and externally - no easy feat.
What’s more, it’s key to remember that company culture can be easily influenced by external factors. Think about it. Current affairs, what’s on the news, things that were said at a recent company meeting… it all adds up.
Your Brand Voice
As you’re likely to be well aware, communication is key. This takeaway counts for both internal and external communications, and you’ll want to make sure that you’re communicating appropriate messages both internally and externally.
When communication works well, it’s no secret that a message can be carried ten-fold. In terms of the impact on your business, employees who experience a strong company culture are likely to be far more productive, innovative and far less likely to leave. Do not underestimate the power of your people. After all, they’re the ones who will help to spread the word about your organisation; influencing customer perception about your brand.
According to The Harvard Business Review, the six components of a great company culture encompass:
We’ve interpreted them below:
Your company ‘mission statement’, your overall vision seeks to guide your business values and is the first port of call for company communication. Think of this as your founding statement, the thing that sets you apart from the rest.
A way to offer guidance, your company values are best described as the ‘behaviours and mindsets needed’ to achieve your company vision. These could things such as how to behave with clients, the recommended way to dress at work or even what people should think of when they think about your company name. It’s all relative.
Whether your company has a horizontal structure, a flat hierarchy or promises things such as a dream job, it’s up to you to practise what you preach. Promotions and the like should all be baked into your overall structure, meaning that your company can find what feels good and take ownership of it.
Whilst your corporate culture can (and should) be used as the backbone of any recruitment strategy, it’s the people you employ who will take your messaging forward. Ensure that you have stringent recruitment policies in place so that you can hire not only the most talented individuals, but also the ones who are going to embody your overall culture and sentiment.
How did your company start? When it comes to this component, don’t rely on fairytales to get your message across. Storytelling is one of the most important components of company culture, so look back and see if there was some kind of quirky story of how your founder(s) began. At hackajob for example, it all started via a meeting with our co-founders at Cafe Nero in Liverpool Street.
Your office, your hub, your home. It’s where your employees congregate and are likely to spend most of their time. The layout of your office is more important than you think and the things that you may consider unimportant (like open architecture for example), can actually reflect togetherness, collaboration and productivity. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what kind of message you want to be sending, but separate offices and cubicles are unlikely to spread a message of openness.
If you’re still not convinced, try these stats as some food for thought:
- Employees who are happy are 12% more productive than employees who are unhappy
- 90% of employed people believe that wellbeing programmes affect work culture positively
- 77% of employees feel that the amount of paid parental leave provided DOES influence their choice of an employer over another
In the end, no matter how you slice it, company culture is an essential part of any business strategy. Leading to better overall productivity and higher retention rates, company culture should be taken seriously within your organisation.
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