We all have times as business owners when just keeping on top of the basics like payroll, scheduling, and inventory can feel like a nearly impossible task, so working on a somewhat abstract concept like your company culture might be the last thing on your mind. But…
…if you ignore the crucial element of company culture, I guarantee that your business will lose the war for the very best employees.
What is company culture?
Company culture is the “personality” of your business, and your brand identity can be just as foundational as the services you offer. Culture could be exemplified by flexible scheduling, mentorship, a reliable ladder for internal advancement, a familiar or casual organizational atmosphere, or working as a team on charity projects that give back to your community.
No matter your industry, everyone has competitors and as a result we’re constantly battling for the best employees.
BUT top talent know their worth and want to be part of a company that shares their same level of drive and focus.
In fact, employees in the millennial generation (which are now the majority in the workforce) have been found to consistently place more significance on business culture and company values than on anything else, even pay. A potential hire, or current employee for that matter, should immediately see and feel what sets you apart and why they should work for you vs. a competitor.
why is culture IMPORTANT?
A focused company culture is consistently shown to improve everything from morale and retention, to innovation and productivity. Not to mention that happy employees are far more likely to talk up your business and help bring in even more high-level talent.
Further, a strong brand identity will extend far beyond your employees.
For consumers, it’s often the deciding factor between two similar products or businesses. If given the choice, many customers will give their patronage to the companies they feel treat employees well and whose values align with their own, even if it means paying a little more.
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR COMPANY CULTURE
Here are a few ways to refine and improve your company culture:
- Find a way to set yourself apart and don’t stray, no matter what your competitors are doing
- Develop thoughtful and personal mission and values statements and then live them
- Keep all communication (internal and external) consistent. From company directives to logos, it should always feel like it’s coming from the same, unwavering business
- Constantly reinforce the culture you have created, on all levels. No exceptions
- Hire people to fit in your culture; don’t change your culture for people