Company culture has been a topic of discussion in companies for years now, with few taking it as seriously as they should. With workplace environments changing and employees now placing value on things that really matter to them (as opposed to the traditional salary-first mentality), company culture has never been as important as it is today.
According to a survey conducted by TeamStage, company culture is an important factor for 46% of job seekers, 94% of entrepreneurs say that a healthy culture at work is vital for success, as do 88% of those looking for a new role.
Company culture has changed massively over the past few years, particularly due to the increased introduction of more remote working and wider organisational change post-Covid. Organisations are now building stronger, more competitive company cultures to attract and retain the best talent on the market.
So the question to ask yourself as a business owner or leader is – what does company culture mean to your business today?
Company culture can be defined as a set of shared values, goals, attitudes and practices that characterise your organisation. When you delve a little deeper, it also encompasses various additional elements, including work environment, company mission, leadership style, values, expectations and goals.
An organisation’s dress code (or lack thereof), office layout, work from home policy, benefits and perks, and company social calendar are all examples of how aesthetics and atmosphere can influence company culture. Even though company culture doesn’t always come down to visual qualities, they can help candidates understand how a company treats its employees, and what can be expected within a workplace.
When it comes to why company culture is important, the statistics speak for themselves:
Investing in your company culture goes beyond keeping up with business trends; it has fast become one of the most vital aspects of a successful business strategy. To be able to remain competitive and attract and retain only the best talent for your business, business leaders must ensure that their company culture is strong and attractive to candidates, as well as their existing workforce.
For employees to feel valued, understood and motivated at work, they need to align with and understand your overall company culture. Why? Because improving teamwork and cooperation between your workers will ultimately lead to increased productivity and greater overall job satisfaction.
Organisations are increasingly ensuring that interview questions relating to their company values are now an integral part of the hiring process. This will not only ensure candidates will be a great fit for the team, but it’ll also demonstrate to the candidates that company culture is an important part of the overall organisation.
For example, if one of your company values is ‘resilience’ and a candidate you are interviewing struggles to give examples of when they have shown resilience in a work setting, this may demonstrate that the company culture may not be a great fit for them, or you.
When assessing your company culture and determining if it currently means what it should to your business, the best bet is to ask your employees for feedback.
Culture will mean different things to different people, but the general consensus should be around the same factors, so tailor your questions to get the best feedback possible:
Asking employees to give as much detail as possible in their responses will give you a good insight into patterns that leaders in the business may not necessarily be aware of. Understanding where your employees see the most value, as well as where improvements can be made, will give you the clearest picture of what company culture means to your business today.
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