In the era before the industrial revolution, there were more workers than jobs available for them. But today that is not the case. It is difficult to find, hire, and retain skilled employees. Employees have a plethora of options to choose from, as employers.
There is no doubt that employees require an adequate and fair salary to work for a company, in most cases. But salary is not the only factor that draws a skilled worker to a company. It certainly is not just salary that makes an employee stay with the same company for years. Company culture plays an important role in the ability to hire talented employees.
Various studies have concluded that company culture influences the decision of employees whether to join a company or not. Highly skilled workers are in high demand. They will command hefty salaries whichever companies they choose. What makes a difference in their choice will be the company culture. They will also stay longer in companies that have an excellent culture.
What is company culture?
For a question like, "What is water?", there is a precise answer that is empirically true. Water is the compound created by combining two Hydrogen atoms with one Oxygen atom. But for a question like, "What is company culture?", there is no cut and dry answer that can be empirically tested.
Company culture is the amalgamation of values, attributes, characteristics, and systems that are recognized and shared by everyone in the organization. The definition of company culture is not a concrete one. Yet, there is no doubt that company culture plays a significant role in employee satisfaction. Employee satisfaction leads to better employee retention.
The advantages of hiring a talented employee are quite obvious. Let us take a look at the advantages of retaining a good employee. The advantages of retaining an employee may not be obvious to the human resources department of every organization.
- Reduced Turnover. When an employee leaves the organization, a new employee has to be hired to fill the role. Hiring a new employee costs in terms of time, effort, and capital. Retaining a higher number of employees will decrease the hiring costs incurred.
- Training period. When a new employee is hired he cannot be directly introduced to the workflow. He will have to give notice to his current employer. He will have to serve adequate time after notice as the contract demand. Once the new employee joins the company he needs to undergo training to understand the processes, procedures, and protocols of the new company along with the training of tools of the trade.
- Higher productivity. Due to the reasons mentioned above hiring a new employee to replace an old one will cause disruptions in the workflow of the company. The new employee will also have to get used to the rhythm and groove of the organization which will take some time. If the company is incapable of retaining employees, it will have to adjust to the regular stream f new employees and the productivity of employees and the company as a whole will be affected.
5 effective tips to build company culture
Due to various reasons mentioned in previous sections, it is easier to hire better employees and later retain them with vibrant company culture. But it is not an easy endeavor and cannot be done overnight. It takes investment in time and effort. But the long-term benefits are also enormous.
Many different factors influence the culture of a company. Some of them are:
- Work environment
- Goals and expectations for employees
- The mission of the company
- Leadership style
Company culture is the result of the interaction of various factors within the organization. It is difficult to know or predict what will positively impact the company culture. Still, certain actions can be taken by a company that will be fruitful in improving the company culture.
1. Clear vision and mission
Your company needs to stand for something for the employees to believe in. People respond to a larger mission than to a salary figure. If you look at any large company like Amazon or Google while they were in the start-up phase, the employees there did not join for a higher pay package. A skilled engineer could have got salaries way higher than what Google and Amazon were able to offer in their initial years. The first employees there were attracted by what the company was planning to accomplish.
The spirit of a start-up has to be inculcated in every company. They need to create a vision and mission that everybody in the organization can come together to. The clear vision of the company has to be effectively conveyed to every single person in the organization. Everyone in the organization should be striving to achieve the goal. This shared goal will foster the feeling of belonging and togetherness in employees.
The people in the organization also has a big part in forming the company culture. They are the largest factor that can influence the company culture. The place to screen a potential employee is during recruiting. The employee selected through the process should be someone who aligns with the mission and vision of the company.
One of the titular books on building company culture is 'Delivering Happiness' by Tony Hsieh. He was the founder and CEO of the online shoe retailer, Zappos. He built an organization delivering maximum customer satisfaction by building a company culture centered around serving customers. In the book, he has advised that it is better to hire an employee with a lower skill level than an employee with a higher skill level if he aligns with the mission of the company better.
3. Internal communication
The level of freedom for internal communication can be used as a proxy for openness in company culture. The more it is difficult to speak to executives higher up the hierarchy, the company is less open. Open company culture will enable smooth communication between the levels of the hierarchy.
The interesting fact is that fostering communication will improve the open culture of the organization. This can be utilized to improve the company culture. Encourage open communication by sharing the contact information of all the employees. Maintain an open layout for the common office spaces. The company executives can also be placed in an open office that does not require anyone to knock before they enter. This will enhance the communication between the levels of hierarchy and consequently improve the company culture.
When employees work within their own department or just with their team, they are largely unaware of the difficulties and challenges faced by other teams in the organization. One of the important aspects of building a positive company culture is to have the ability to empathize with others.
Working with other teams on some projects will help to gain insights into the working of other parts of the organization. Management must encourage the transfer of employees across various departments within the company. This will also ensure strong cohesion between the various departments rather than working in silos.
5. Employee morale
Foster an environment where employees feel like they are valued and cherished in the organization. Employees working in a high stressed environment will feel dejected and will eventually build resentment towards the organization he is working for. This negativity will spread to the coworkers working alongside him. Eventually, this will negatively affect the company culture.
This is the reason why companies like Google and Facebook that values their engineers, pampers them in every way possible. They provide complete food to massage parlors inside the office. But not every company can afford to do that and need not do such extravagant acts. Understanding the motivations of the employee, encouraging him to achieve the best possible results, and nudging him towards improving himself will create a positive impact on each employee. This will slowly spread to other parts of the organization. Eventually, it builds up to great company culture.
Building a positive company culture has a huge impact on its longevity and growth. Company culture is defined by the beliefs, values, mission, and vision all the employees of the organization share. Taking care of the mental and physical health of the employees is an active way of management trying to improve company culture.
In mostly sedentary work, using standing desks is an effective way to encourage healthy habits among employees. One of the standing desk that can be considered is Flexispot Seiffen laminated standing desks that start just at $199. Some of the key benefits of using a standing desk are:
- Health benefits. Standing desks work with various muscle groups in the body and improves the overall health of the user. This mode of working is far superior to chairs.
- Increases productivity. Using standing desks, there is no lethargy that is associated with using a regular desk-chair combination. This in turn boosts the productivity of employees.
- Energy level. Standing desks puts the body in an active mode compared to the passive mode body goes into while sitting in a chair. The energy level of the body is maintained at a higher level by using standing desks.