What is Company Culture?

June 07, 2019

"If you are lucky enough to be someone’s employer, then you have a moral obligation to make sure people do look forward to coming to work in the morning.”-John Mackey, CEO, Whole Foods Market

Employee engagement and employee retention have become common subjects throughout human resource offices. As these concepts are being explored, they are leading to a very important question - What is company culture?

 

Company culture is the personality of your organization. It encompasses the feelings an individual has toward your organization. Feelings that are triggered by how well your mission and values align.

A recent study found that 92% of respondents believe improving their company culture will improve the value of their organization. Over 50% also said that their organizational culture impacts productivity, creativity, profitability, and growth rates.

 what is company culture

As you can see, the direct impact company culture has on an organization’s reputation is undeniable. 86% of individuals won’t even apply for a job if an organization has a bad reputation. 65% are more likely to leave if their organization is negatively portrayed in the news or social media.

As organizations continue to ask, "what is company culture?", they are realizing the impact that the answer has. Executives know how crucial it is to achieve a positive culture for the sake of their organization and their individuals’ happiness. That’s why more than 90% of them say that company culture is important in their organization.

So, what does a positive company culture look like? Here is a list of several characteristics:

  • Open Communication: There is trust and transparency throughout the workplace
  • Low Turnover: Individuals feel valued enough to stay and can see how their handwork pays off
  • Motivated Individuals: Individuals feel a sense of belonging and purpose
  • Open-minded Workplace: Focusing on diversity and inclusion makes way for the influx of fresh ideas and conversation
  • Strong leadership teams: Leaders praise, reward, solicit feedback, listen, and act on concerns and new ideas
  • Career Development Opportunities: There is always time for continuous learning to improve skills
  • Clear Mission & Values: The mission and values are consistent with actions, and practiced throughout all internal and external communication
  • Low Stress Environment: Breaks are encouraged, and individuals collaborate effectively

How to Improve Company Culture

Hire for lifelong relationships

When recruiting a new team member, hire to fit the company culture. Not to fill a position.

According to Randstad, 38% of workers want to leave a company culture where they don’t fit in. Skills can always be taught. However, a great company culture can't be taught. Especially, if an individual doesn’t feel that their values match your company culture.

If you hire for a cultural fit, the individual will be less likely to leave the organization. They feel the organization is integrated into their personal life and that it’s not just a job. This gives them a reason to work and find meaning in it too.

If you find someone who fits the culture, then you’ve hired for a lifelong relationship. These individuals may not stick around forever, but they can become part of a powerful alumni network. This alumni network will produce brand ambassadors and bring in new talent and clients. They will even spread the word about your positive company culture.

Mentoring managers

86% of individuals at organizations with a strong company culture feel their leaders listen to them. In comparison, 70% of individuals at organizations with a “non-winning” company culture feel that they don't. When half of the workforce chooses to leave a job due to their manager, that raises several red flags.

To improve company culture, you must improve the quality of managers. One effective way to do this is by implementing a mentoring program.

Interact found that many leaders shrink from straight talk with employees. 69% of managers are uncomfortable communicating with employees, and 37% are uncomfortable with soliciting negative feedback. These statistics show why a mentoring program is needed.

Mentoring managers can improve company culture because they are put in a mentoring relationship that requires them to naturally build communication skills. Mentors also have valuable insights and past experience. This allows managers to learn from their mentor’s mistakes rather than their own in times when success is critical.

Mentoring for Career Development

These days, individuals are constantly seeking ways to improve their skills and gain knowledge, especially millennials. If you want to improve your company culture, focus on giving individuals career development opportunities.

One effective career development tool for improving company culture is… you guessed it, mentoring programs. There are many ways a career development mentor can guide these individuals along their career path. Mentees have access to their mentor’s professional network. They can also work on their interpersonal and technical skills with someone who can provide feedback as frequently as needed. 

Encourage an environment of teamwork and collaboration

An organization cannot have a positive company culture without a team behind it who collaborates. According to Visix, 37% of individuals say “working with a great team” is their primary reason for staying.

Teamwork gives individuals a sense of community. This is good news because 54% of them say that a strong sense of community kept them at their organization longer.

Collaboration improves company culture because it promotes a low stress environment. No single person has too much on their plate at one time, as everyone shares the load.

Collaboration also creates a company culture in which new ideas are free to flow. This takes place when individuals are interacting with each other. This results in higher employee engagement and productivity as well!

Now that the question has been answered, we encourage each organization to periodically ask, "what is company culture?", as it can continuously change.

Schedule a demo to find out more about how Insala's web-based talent development can improve your company culture.

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