Have you noticed that every career site today includes content of the happy times, flowery testimonials from employees, and the shimmering, eye-hurting positivity? Does that mean every organization is best to work at?
If that’s true, why are companies struggling to attract talent? Is the flowery, positive web environment not working?
Does it mean that organisations should maintain some balance? Will that attract job seekers?
You ask these yourself everyday. And, all of these scenarios come down to question company culture.
Company culture is one such thing every HR cares about. You keep brainstorming about it, mostly trying to figure out how to do it right. But, what is it exactly? As for Wikipedia, organizational culture encompasses values and behaviors that "contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization." That’s a bit unhelpful so they share a list: Culture includes the organization's vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, beliefs, and habits. That’s slightly more unhelpful.
Company culture is all about making work life easy for your employees. It directly affects your employee’s experience while they are in your organization. It influences their decision about staying or leaving the company. In fact, Deloitte’s survey backs it up. It states that every 6 out of 10 employees said a sense of purpose is the reason they choose to work with their current employer. It also shows that employees care more about things like job satisfaction, flexibility, recognition and attention, respect, transparency, job security, fair treatment, etc. These aspects define a company’s culture today. Getting a coffee maker or free snack corner won’t crack the code, there’s a lot more to it. I am decoding some important facets hereafter.
Employee engagement is one of the primary block to build a healthy culture. Dig into details and you’ll find money isn’t the most powerful motivator to work today. Doing what you love is. Giving the employees the freedom of choosing their own assignments and projects leverages their belief that they have autonomy at the workplace. Autonomy also means that employees will possibly make mistakes. Remember that mistakes aren’t sins. It is better for their manager to help them correct their mistakes versus poke them about it. This portrays the open culture at your company. It also assures them that they can come up to the organisation with any queries, suggestions, feedback they have and you’ll be there to lend a ear.
Every employee wants to get better at their work. They want to see their personal growth while helping their company grow. Employers should look at calibrating what people must do by looking at what they can do. If their work is too difficult, it may be discouraging. If their work is too easy, they will be bored. The work given should be just right. The trick is not to give tasks fitting a person’s exact capabilities, but instead to give them space and support too. This fosters improvement, continual mastery, and growth.
People who find purpose in their work unlock the highest level of the motivation game. This too has been proved by Deloitte’s survey. 77% employees work with their current employer because they find purpose in the work they do for their company. They want to contribute to the company’s success. They want to be aware of what’s happening in and around the company - be it a success or failure. Once they have been a part of your success, appreciate their contribution.
Every sane person knows that lifetime job security is a cock and bull story. Employees seem to be fine with it too. They just want to be assured that they won’t be knocked out even when they have done their best and given their all. There are times in a company when the employees who have given their all have been laid off. While, the ones who aren’t capable of the position are enjoying their time inside. On the other side, being biased on gender still prevails. Things like these make employees insecure. It also portrays an unjust and shady picture of the company.
These have become of the reasons startups are trending workplaces. They deal with very few or no rules, minimal policies and have an open culture. Everybody has a room for experimenting. Less or no hierarchy also allows complete transparency. You can share whatever you want without fear of it being judged or ridiculed. There is a room full of people ready to brainstorm on it. In such a workplace, engagement doesn’t have to manufactured, it comes in automatically. This is easier to establish in smaller organizations where everybody knows everybody. In larger organisations, such a tradition can be followed in departments or smaller groups to keep the employees engaged.
Culture isn’t only what and how you drive employee behaviour. It defines the company. Employees come and go. They don’t create culture. They simply become a part of it. Culture lies in the core values of the company and run down from the top. Of course, ways to keep the culture healthy vary with employees but at the end, culture defines the company and its processes.
Every company, no matter what size, has to maintain a tip-top, fit as a fiddle culture at work. A good company culture directly affects the branding of the company. Imagine visiting your career site and finding pictures of employees who are enjoying their work. Imagine seeing testimonials that are not scripted but are real life feedbacks. Imagine seeing employees share their workday on social media and making your organisation the one everybody would love to work at. It is always better to invest inside the company and spread the real word than hiring a team that will do an impressive job at it. Employee branding is one powerful factor that can leverage your company’s values. They make life at work better for employees and at the same time, help in attracting talent.
This genre of information from your employees not only creates a lasting impression but also helps in attracting great talent. Automated social sourcing and employee referrals take hiring a step further. Seeing your existing workforce love the organisation will only make the others want to join them too. You just have to work on maintaining a career site and fresh talent will start flowing in. Same is the case with referrals. If your employees are happy working, they are bound to refer their friends to come and join your organization. They are self-motivated enough to convince their friend because they know their friend will fit in just right. In an earlier blogpost, we had established the link between company culture with referrals and onboarding.
I’d like to end by saying that culture is indeed one pivotal strand of a company. The healthier it is, the more people enjoy working there. Happy people make successful organizations. Please share your tips and tricks of maintaining a happy company culture below!