Company Culture – Is it Important?

Often lost in the discussion about running a company is taking the initiative to foster and develop a positive company culture, which has an impact on all other facets of your business. A company’s culture distinguishes the values, goals, and attitudes of the employees that make up a business. When individual and company-wide values align, workers feel more appreciated and valued for the work they do in furthering company objectives. Productivity, profitability, and professionalism trend upwards when the company culture is strong and healthy, as their image of success shines amongst competitors, creating a competitive advantage.

Company culture actually has a snowball effect on the health and well-being of a company. As company culture improves, the productivity of happy employees increases, which then increases the financial health and overall profit of the company. A company’s productivity measures the effectiveness and efficiency of employees within the company, directly correlating to the success and completion of their objectives punctually.

As times change and technology advances, millennials are brought into companies to keep up with the everchanging and updated technology incorporated in company operations. Millennials are the “new” driving force powering the future of the workplace. The discussion of strong, compelling culture within a company can either attract or deter the millennial audience. You’ve most likely heard or experienced firsthand that millennials want to feel like their work matters, enjoy the time they spend accomplishing even the most mundane tasks and believe they are furthering the greater good in the world surrounding them. A strong company culture, and recognizing their roles in it, allows them to better recognize the values and goals of the company, drawing the connections to the outward impact it carries into society.

The importance of company culture resounds in a business’ success. Company culture weighs tremendously on the productivity, profitability and professionalism of employees and the company as an ensemble. If the culture is unhealthy or lagging, employees prioritize duties that will meet their own needs, such as moving up the corporate ladder or improving their salary and benefits. This is due to the fact that the workforce does not feel like they or their efforts are valued by management.

Appreciating and valuing employee efforts, no matter how big or small they are in a particular project, can contribute to the establishment of healthy company culture practices. By focusing efforts on culture, you are establishing a differentiating factor from competitors who foster poor or nonexistent company culture as they focus too much on the success of the business as a whole, not leaving time to motivate or admire the efforts of those within the company. Creating a foundation of positive company culture, one in which employee engagement organically promotes productivity, can help make or break the success of your company.

There are many well-known companies that excel in the promotion of their company culture. Two examples:

Zappos has become almost as reputable for its company culture as it is for product and customer service. Ten key core values are instilled in each employee as they are hired and trained. Amidst the fast-moving operations of their business, Zappos takes time to budget and plan specifically for team-building, as well as internal culture promotion. This is done to encourage their employees and assure them of the impact their efforts make on the success of the company.

Google not only offers employees a fun working environment and substantial benefits to being a part of their team, they prioritize a strong culture of leadership and mentorship to help their employees succeed. By creating a workspace where people can and want to grow, they attract some of the best talents in the industry and express the worth of their efforts. In terms of strong company culture, both Zappos and Google have taken the initiative to hire people with company culture fit in mind.

How would you define your company culture, and is it a positive one? What are you doing to promote a healthy company culture? It’s not something a leader does alone, but something the entire team needs to be a part of.

Quote of the week:

Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.

Simon Sinek, Author, Start with Why