- What Is Company Culture?
- Importance of Company Culture for Freshers or Aspirants
- Employing the Right Candidate
- The benefit of Fitting in Culturally
- Culture May Be Better Than Compensation
- How to Develop Company Culture?
- Company Culture, a Boon or Bane?
What Is Company Culture?
Company culture reflects your company’s personality that is embodied by the management, employees, social media posts and profiles, presentations to clients, and the degree of hospitality they receive, holiday parties as well as billboards that let the world have a glimpse into the soul of the company. It is an unwritten code of conduct, the filter that everyone and everything wears, and the behavioral pattern that is expected to be followed by everyone who is on the payroll of the organization.
Company culture is not a frivolous value that must be taken lightly. It ultimately becomes who you are as an organization, and can dictate who is hired or fired, based on how well they adapt to the work environment. The absence of robust company culture can result in employees that lack passion and loyalty for the organization and the staff suffering from low employee morale.
Companies with an influential organizational culture produce directors, executives, and top management with similar leadership qualities and a workforce with the same approach to problem-solving, troubleshooting, and task management. These qualities are the ones influenced most by company culture.
Research shows that employees of the same company, irrespective of their placement in the organizational hierarchy, display a standard list of leadership skills that may be different from people with the same job profile working in a different company. This applies to employees with the same roles across different companies, including those from the same industry, region, and country.
Let us envision an Indian software engineer who works for a global search engine company. Working for this mega-company tells us more about his leadership qualities and work ethics than the knowledge of him graduating from a particular IT University, or that he is of Indian origin. His capabilities will be similar to employees of American companies rather than being identical to Indian software engineers working in Chennai.
Read a blog on Traits of an empathetic leader
Importance of Company Culture for Freshers or Aspirants
Company culture is essential not only to current and existing employees but also to who your new employees will be. If an organization is well known for its positive work environment, it helps build its reputation as one of the most desirable companies to work with. A college fresher will prefer to wait a little longer or accept a lower salary if he gets the opportunity to work with a company that is known for possessing values he also shares. This results in finding a perfect match that benefits both the organization as well as the employee.
Similarly, if a company is a mismatch for the candidate, he may be able to hold his new position only for a few months, until he breaks entirely and can no longer pretend to like the office culture. This often happens when leaders and higher management have a very different mentality, treat work differently from the employee, and use assessment and appraisal methods that may not seem ideal to the candidate.
When the candidate pre fits into the office culture, he is more likely to build a strong bond with his colleagues and work better in group projects and assignments. A feeling of happiness comes from being part of a company that shares the same values as the employee and makes even difficult and longer tasks easier. The employee is also motivated to contribute new ideas, work longer hours, and complete assignments that may not necessarily be a part of his formal job description. This also results in the employee sticking around in the company for years, growing at a fast pace, and an increase in love and loyalty for the company.
An important point to remember is that technical skills and qualities can always be taught to new employees. However, getting acclimated to the work culture is a natural process and cannot be forced upon anyone.
Employing the Right Candidate
To save the company from spending time, resources, and salaries, methods can be used to ensure only the candidates that fit perfectly into the company’s work culture are employed and trained. Many companies take 2 sets of interviews to ensure all aspects are taken care of. One interview may focus on the candidate’s skills, resume, and capabilities. The other interview may focus on aptitude and psychosocial behavior, which can help identify how well the aspirant will fit into the work culture.
Companies with an influential organizational culture have a low staff turnover rate as opposed to companies with the weak work culture. A reduction in staff turnover rate automatically saves the company money, time, and resources, which get spent in conducting interviews, paying for advertisements to attract freshers, and flying in candidates for personal meetings and signing of employment contracts.
Read more about what is cultural fit? and why you should you hire for a cultural fit
The benefit of Fitting in Culturally
When employees fit into the organizational culture, it is not only the management who is the benefactor but so are the employees. While both are extremely important on their own, they are what make up the organization’s strength. An employee that suits the company is happier as a result of which his productivity almost doubles when compared to an employee that merely exists. Being happy and working well are co-related and form a vicious cycle, which soon becomes impossible to interrupt.
A cheerful employee, who is content with his employment, has a higher chance of getting promoted quickly. Such employees also contribute to the company by giving social support, and in return, they add to the organization culture. This is because they are satisfied with their work, the form of appreciation they receive, and the adrenaline rush they experience.
There are times when employees do not fit in. As unfortunate as this is, the company ends up suffering more than the employee. While the employee still gets his salary at the end of each month, even if it is mediocre work that he submitted, the company loses on potential productivity, profits, and new ideas that could have come from these employees.
A company that has a weak culture may often find itself in this situation. Not appreciating an employee, ignoring his hard work, and expecting more than what is possible from a person with his technical abilities can lead to the employee not having a drive to perform better. As a result of this, the desire to come to work is reduced, the energy to sit for long hours in the evening dies, and no initiative is ever taken from such staff members.
Culture May Be Better Than Compensation
An excellent salary package may lure a candidate into a new job; however, what retains the employee is not compensation but the company’s holistic environment.
The Importance of company culture should be given the right space and recognition it deserves. A company that pays its employees’ prize money for problem-solving or for a solution to a task that may seem impossible produces a lower rate of success.
However, a company that appreciates and offers recognition to the employee for completing a difficult job sees a higher rate in performance from employees. This is a natural human tendency at its best.
Monetary compensation may retain your employee until he makes the money he needed or finds a job that pays more. Still, a powerful and happiness-inducing corporate culture will ensure that your employees do not leave you high and dry for more money from a job that doesn’t give them internal satisfaction.
How to Develop Company Culture?
While there is no fixed formula that can guarantee the development of successful company culture, specific steps can be taken to ensure your company is slowly headed towards making an impactful culture.
Each company is different in addition to the differences found in the industry it caters to and the country it exists in. However, the personality of the CEO and board of directors contribute a great deal in the development of organizational culture.
Learning from past mistakes is the first step that must be taken while developing a healthy office culture. If something done in the past did not produce positive results, let it go and look for an alternative approach.
Try and establish a culture that is not a façade over the real values of the company. If you are true to your employees and show your actual side, they will do the same for you.
Being authentic is extremely important. If you, as an organization, know your personality, try building more along those lines. If your core values are strong and shared by all staff members, the emotional bond that the company will have with its employees will always be unbreakable.
Read a complete guide on how to build a everlasting company culture for your organization
As it has already been established, hiring the right crew goes a long way and cuts your efforts by half. Try finding yourself in every candidate.
This can also be achieved by having relaxed conversations at interviews instead of making earnest and technical conversation. When discussed in an interview, simple life events relax the applicant, change their body language, and open up more naturally.
Lastly, ensure that the entire office is like a large family. Having an easy to approach vibe makes it possible for employees at all levels to communicate and express their ideas and issues and make substantial contributions to the company and its success.
Top management should also shed their old school ideology and lean towards the office culture to get their cue.
Establishing a work culture that makes people want to wake up in the morning and enter the workplace with a smile on their face is not as difficult as it may seem. With the right attitude and effective steps, a thriving company culture can be developed and sustained.
Company Culture, a Boon or Bane?
Company culture is a compelling device. Organizations have to struggle and contemplate how to maintain a culture in a way that doesn’t start affecting future expansion and merger plans.
If leaders and top management of the company are deeply ingrained with the company culture, merging with a new company means ensuring both companies are a good match for each other.
When a larger one also acquires a smaller company, the rate of success is higher when the new portion of the company adapts well to the existing culture of the larger company. If they do not match with each other, friction is created, resulting in malfunctioning, losses, inability to meet the company’s goals, and merely putting an unsuccessful merger.
When two companies merge, a higher rate of success is achieved only when employees are accustomed to a similar work environment and management styles or when both organizations have a culture that accepts new changes openly.
Once new changes start getting approved, it is possible to drive the culture in a dominant direction by ensuring future hires also represent the values the company wants to focus on.
A company new or old should not be free of company culture. Without a healthy work culture, there will only be chaos, confusion, and absence of any direction.
The company culture matters as much as balance sheets at the end of the year do. Its high time all organizations, big or small, start valuing the Importance of company culture.