What separates the mediocre businesses from the great businesses? What makes a customer actively choose you over your competitors time and time again? The answer is simple – it’s often a combination of engaged employees and fantastic company culture that defines business performance and commercial success.
In fact, extensive research has confirmed that engaged employees perform better, generate higher sales and are more innovative in the marketplace. They provide better customer service, endeavour to understand customers’ needs and are more proactive in taking opportunities for the benefit of your business.
And one of the biggest factors in creating engaged employees is ensuring there is a strong, positive company culture at the heart of the business.
WHAT IS COMPANY CULTURE?
If you’ve never heard the term, ‘company culture’ is simply the way organisations do things. I don’t mean just processes and policies; instead culture is more about the values and rituals that serve as a glue to integrate the members of the organisation into one common goal. Research has shown that employee engagement rates are intrinsically linked to company culture, and that businesses with good company cultures tend to have more engaged and satisfied employees, resulting in improved performance. Corporate culture is rooted in an organisations goals, strategies, structure and approaches to labour, customers and the greater community. No two companies cultures are alike, and your culture can play a huge role in attracting top talent as well as new customers.
HOW DOES CULTURE AFFECT YOUR BOTTOM LINE?
That’s all well and good, but how exactly does your company culture affect your bottom line? We’ve actually touched on this already – it’s all about engaging your employees and providing a better service for your customers – who are, after all, your best ambassadors. Workplace culture very much sets the tone for employee engagement. The level to which employees are willing or even able to engage with their roles within the business is greatly affected by the culture and attitudes the business takes towards them. This is part of a twofold effect of positive company culture. A good company culture that generates engaged employees becomes more attractive to work for, and that company will soon start attracting the best employees in their field, allowing them to grow and increase performance with the new talent. Once they have become part of the business, a good company culture is what encourages those ‘best of class’ employees to stay with the business, decreasing turnover and improving profitability.
WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY CULTURE SAY ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS?
So now that you know what company culture is and just how much of an effect it can have on your business, it’s time to take a look at your own company culture. Is the culture of your business very family or pet friendly, with a focus on work life balance, or are you as an organisation so focussed on progress and getting ahead in the market that taking care of your employees tends to fall by the wayside? Company culture is undoubtedly something that grows and evolves with the business, so if you’ve never given it much thought, chances are it will simply have grown around your own attitudes to work and business. But for businesses who are struggling to grow and expand, it’s critical you evaluate your company culture, both in practice and within your policies and procedures, and work positively on its development if it’s found lacking.
If you are looking to attract the best talent in your industry to help drive your business forward, focussing on developing a strong company culture is a huge part of that journey. While success looks different for every business owner, having a solid cultural foundation to base your business on ensures that you will have happy employees, begin to attract top talent and see an increase in profitability, performance and efficiency across the board.