Company culture is essential to many workers. Try these strategies to improve your company culture and build employee satisfaction.
What Is Company Culture, and Why Is It So Critical?
Company culture encompasses the interactions of a company and its employees. Learn more about creating a strong company culture.
Company Culture: Defined
Company culture includes many facets of how your organization operates. Often, it is built organically over time: something that simply evolves as you bring in new employees and build your business as a whole. Company culture, however, does lie within your control. When you make a concentrated effort to build it from the top down, you can create a more effective culture that helps grow your business and increase the standards you can provide to employees and customers alike. It incorporates:
Your Shared Beliefs and Values
At the core of your company’s culture are the beliefs and values that make up the structure of your company. Sometimes, those are external values: the ones that you share with your customers or your company’s mission statement. For example, some companies, like TOMS shoes, focus on giving back to the community. At TOMS, the mission states, “For every pair of TOMS shoes purchased online or at retail, the company will provide a pair to a child in need.” This is a key part of the overall TOMS culture and helps impact the way the employees interact with one another and with their customers.
On the other hand, some facets of company culture are more intrinsic. Do you value your employees and believe that they are some of the most important tools your business has? The benefits you offer, the way you deal with your employees, and even the way you connect with them can all reflect those values and show why they’re important. Do you believe in giving back to your community? Your community initiatives and the way your employees spend their hours may reflect those values.
Your Communication Style
In some companies, communication is choppy and rough. While employees interact with one another, they do it only in short bursts, when they have little another choice. In other companies, on the other hand, communication is the normal way of doing business. If employees have questions, they have easy access to their management teams or to other employees. They feel confident in their ability to address any concerns that come their way because they know they have a team supporting them, and they may have a more enhanced sense of belonging to the company as a whole as a direct result of the effort put into communication and culture.
As a company, the things that you prioritize are a critical part of your organization’s culture. Typically, you will have two sets of priorities: internal, and external. External priorities are the customer-facing priorities. Is your goal to make a sale, no matter what, or is it to provide a high standard of service to the customer, even if that means that the best fit for your customer is a competitor’s product or service? Do you focus on high quality, low costs, or a particular element of your product? Those external priorities will determine your customer interactions, including your employees’ attitude toward customers.
Equally important are your internal priorities. Just how important are your employees, and what is important about those employees, when it comes to your organization? For many employers, employees are just cogs in a wheel: easily replaceable and of little importance. In companies that focus on a high standard when it comes to their company culture, on the other hand, employees are an important part of the company. Those companies prioritize continuing education, communication, and employee benefits–and often reap immense rewards as a result.
Why Is Company Culture So Important?
Your company culture is rapidly becoming a more important part of your company than ever. Across the country, many industries are dealing with staffing shortages, from restaurants and hospitals to cybersecurity and other highly technical industries. The COVID-19 disruption increased the shortage of qualified employees to take on many roles due to a variety of factors, including decreased availability of childcare, increased worry about working directly with the public, and even fewer graduates finishing their degrees and certifications while waiting for the crisis to come to an end.
In many industries, that staffing shortage has become a serious block to acquiring the talent they need. A lack of qualified employees makes it difficult to fill open roles–especially with individuals who have the soft and hard skills necessary to take on those job tasks. In addition, company culture can have an immense impact on many areas of your business.
The Right Company Culture Can Have a Huge Impact on Hiring
78% of candidates start judging a company’s culture during the hiring process. Based on how companies treat their candidates, employees determine whether the organization will be a good overall fit. If your company leaves candidates waiting, doesn’t have a good communication style, or treats candidates poorly during the interview process, including failing to respect their time when they do come in for interviews, it could reflect badly on your business–and you may have a much harder time moving candidates into those open positions.
Company Culture Can Determine Whether Employees Stay or Go
If you have a poor company culture–one where employees do not feel valued, struggle for feedback, or without growth opportunities–employees will look elsewhere. Approximately 61% of full-time employees across the United States are seeking new employment opportunities in 2021. They’re focusing on elements like work/life balance, employer brand and culture, and diversity over even salary and traditional benefits. If your company isn’t providing those things, chances are, more than half of your employees are pursuing opportunities elsewhere.
Your Company Culture Determines Employee Engagement
If you have a strong company culture, your employees are more likely to be engaged at work. As of 2021, as many as 66% of employees are actively disengaged. Disengaged employees are less productive, less creative, and less innovative. While they’ll often perform at bare minimum levels of capability, they’re much less likely to go the extra mile for your business. This may make it more difficult for you to remain at the top of your industry. Disengaged employees are also more often depressed and unlikely to meet their overall goals.
A Poor Internal Culture May Mean Less Attention to the Details of Customer Service
When you have a weak company culture, your employees are less likely to want to go the extra mile for your customers. Simply put, they don’t care. Employees without a strong connection to their workplace are less likely to invest in the customers. To them, each customer is just another face in the crowd, rather than an opportunity to represent your brand.
With a strong company culture, on the other hand, employees often take pride in their work and their connection to your company. Not only do they represent you to your customers when they’re on the clock every day, but they’re also more likely to share information about your company outside of work and genuinely care about what they can do for your customers. They’ll go the extra mile to increase customer satisfaction.
A Positive Company Culture Can Help You Address Problems Before They Become More Serious
Communication is one of the most critical aspects of your overall company culture. Employees need to know who to go to with problems–and they need to know that those problems will be taken seriously and addressed quickly. If you have poor internal communication, your employees may not come to you with problems as they crop up. Strong communications, on the other hand, will make it easier for employees to connect with you. Thus, you can fix problems before they cause employees to leave or cause serious issues with your customer service. Instead of requiring a great deal of effort just to get a new process started, open communication means that employees can share information in a convenient, low-pressure way–and you can respond accordingly.
Create an Amazing Company Culture
Creating a positive company culture for your organization is incredibly important–now, perhaps, more than ever before. Pronto can help open the lines of communication and make it easier than ever for you to share your values, beliefs, and priorities with your team. Contact us today to learn more about our communication solutions and how they may help enhance your company culture.