As employers today battle high resignation rates and struggle to fill vacancies, it takes more than just competitive compensation to attract and retain talent. Workers today are demanding more from their jobs beyond just financial gain (though that helps, too)—they also want a positive, flexible, enriching workplace experience.
That’s why company culture is one of the most powerful tools business leaders can utilize to maintain their organization’s success in the marketplace by effectively competing for both talent and customers. According to Deloitte, investing in the experience of your workforce results in greater customer outcomes and satisfaction, as well as profitability and market performance, while lowering absenteeism.
However, developing company culture is much more than planning birthday events or happy hour gatherings—it requires an intentional focus on enhancing your people operations to promote employee satisfaction and performance. You need to develop a workplace culture that people want to be a part of, for the long haul. That kind of loyalty can’t be bought, but it can be cultivated with the right culture. But first, in order to implement programs and initiatives that strengthen company culture, you must determine the key drivers of culture within your company.
So, what exactly goes into creating a positive company culture, and how does it contribute to business success?
Six Factors of Company Culture
There are six major factors that influence company culture. Each interacts with and reinforces the others, impacting both employee and customer perceptions of your organization.
Your vision is what your organization desires to achieve based on its mission, or your purpose for existing. Once you’ve defined your why, you can create a clear vision for where your company will be in the future—whether one, five, or 10 years down the line—and how you will get there. What are the long-term results you hope to achieve, and what specific organizational behaviors will support your success?
Your organizational values are the fundamental beliefs and behaviors that influence action in pursuit of your vision. In other words, what behaviors does your organization need to embody to achieve your vision? You may have core values you never compromise on—such as integrity, honesty, and inclusivity—as well as aspirational values you’re growing toward but have yet to achieve in daily practice.
To sustain a positive, high-performance culture, develop tangible systems that strengthen your vision and values. This can include developing best practices in areas such as:
Communications, to ensure your company is embodying its vision and values through every employee and customer-facing interaction
Recruiting and hiring, to find candidates who not only have the right skills for the job, but who are also a good fit for your organizational culture
Onboarding, to ensure new hires are fully integrated into your culture and in tune with your value system
Winning cultures focus on their people—after all, they are your greatest asset! Here are some key ways to design the workplace for the wellbeing of your workforce:
Plan for culture - Include room in your budget and company schedule for team-building events and activities, employee recognition programs ,and other perks and benefits to increase motivation and engagement on your team.
Upskill employees - The opportunity for employees to learn and grow is a driving factor for retention. Provide ongoing training and development opportunities, and consider creating a career development path for each employee to track their progress.
Embrace flexibility - Workers today demand flexibility, so design your culture accordingly, whether you offer a remote or hybrid work model, a flex schedule, or robust vacation and leave options.
Promote diversity, equity, and inclusion - Research has found that companies with a strong ethical culture outperform others by 40%! Conduct DEI training to support an inclusive culture where everyone feels comfortable and heard.
Implement a “human capital lead” - Name a leader whose express purpose it is to support the wellbeing of your people, giving managers and employees alike someone they can comfortably approach with questions or to help resolve workplace issues.
What is your company’s story of origin, and how can you express it most effectively to connect with your employees and customers? Developing an engaging narrative for your organization will help to strengthen your culture by reinforcing your mission, vision, and values.
Last, but not least, your geographic location, office design, and architecture all combine to influence your overall company culture. What does your office say about your culture? Does the layout support the open and collaborative culture you espouse, or does it limit interaction and the sharing of ideas? If you’re fully dispersed or have remote workers, how are you bridging the gap to support a positive and productive virtual culture? These are important things to consider when designing a workplace that promotes wellbeing.
Need help strengthening your company culture? We have solutions for that.
As a leader, you have a huge impact on company culture—but with so many competing responsibilities, you can’t do it alone.
Let our expert HR Advisors help you build a company culture that raises morale, increases productivity, and improves retention so you can focus on growing your business.