Company culture is an essential part of every business. It affects every aspect of an organisation, from attracting top talent to enhancing employee satisfaction. It is integral to a happy and satisfied workforce.
If a company does not have a positive culture, employees find it very difficult to find value in their roles, negatively affecting morale and the bottom line.
What Do We Mean By Company Culture?If a company does not have a positive culture, employees find it very difficult to find value in their roles, negatively affecting morale and the bottom line. Click To Tweet
There are many ways to understand company culture, and the following are its two simplest but effective classifications:
1. Corporate non-tangible culture
It describes the beliefs, values, rules, norms, morals, language, rules, goals, skills, company mission, vision, leadership style, expectations, and work practices.
It is reflected in the way employees:
- Interact (with each other and with clients)
- Their values (hard work, honesty, diligence, etc.)
- Their decisions (keeping in mind the good of the company, clients, team etc.)
Non-material culture is generally a set of unspoken or unwritten rules that guide the functioning of an organisation. It is affected by all of the experiences that each employee brings to the workplace.
2. Corporate tangible culture
This refers to all the physical objects, resources, technology, and spaces people use in their organisation. It is anything you can touch, feel, or see at the workplace.
Why Is Good Company Culture Important?
Material and non-material culture complete the whole that we know as company culture. Both are equally important in an organisation and make up the environment, general attitudes, and behaviours of a company and its employees.
Let’s see why.
Non-tangible corporate culture is particularly influenced by the organisation’s founder, senior leadership, and managerial staff. Their strategies to develop the organisation, how they structure it, their approaches to assessing performance, their decision-making skills, and strategic direction all have a huge influence on culture.
However, positive workplace culture can work wonders for an organisation. It increases job satisfaction, collaboration, performance, employee retention and the most significant benefit – lower stress levels.
Most companies are only interested in employee’s/team’s output, performance, and company profit. As a result, no attention is paid to the importance of employee input and stimuli in the work environment.
But the truth is the physical workspace can have a subliminal effect on well-being, mental health, productivity, and the positivity of employees. An attractive and comfortable physical space can create an environment of synergy and enthusiasm and result in higher productivity and creativity.
For example, bright and spacious interiors with plenty of natural light are inclined to contribute to a good mood and a more relaxing atmosphere. Or providing workers with a place to walk around or exercise can help with their well-being and help them remain physically healthy and less stressed.
The bottom line is if you keep your employees physically comfortable, they will be happier, healthier, more productive, and have an overall beneficial effect on the company. Therefore, it is important to provide your employees with the very best physical environment.
What makes for great company culture?
Many aspects make up a good corporate culture. They can be:
1. Clear mission, vision, and values
A company is guided by its mission, core values, and vision. These elements are fundamental as they shape the culture, reflect the company’s identity and give clear behaviour guidelines. They also determine how the external world will perceive the organisation. This is what makes a company unique to both employees as well as clients and customers.
2. Friendly work environment
A friendly and welcoming working environment can make all the difference to the productive capacity of employees. Working in an organisation that makes them feel welcome, valued, and respected allows them to just focus on their work and motivates them to work to the best of their abilities.Working in an organisation that makes them feel welcome, valued, and respected allows them to just focus on their work and motivates them to work to the best of their abilities. Click To Tweet
High levels of transparency, trust, pride, and camaraderie are the factors that define some of the world’s best workplaces.
Transparency and trust are key to building a positive work environment. Companies that want their employees to be open and honest also need to be forthcoming about their plans and operations with the employees. An absence of transparency creates a secretive and untrusting environment, and people don’t like to interact with or work at an organisation that is secretive and has too many hidden T&Cs.
Cultural diversity in an organisation means having employees of different races, religions, ages, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, socioeconomic statuses, nationalities, etc.
By being inclusive and creating a healthy, compliant, and accepting environment for employees, companies can create a positive culture in the organisation. This diversity also benefits the organisation because people from various backgrounds have different perspectives, which allows them to tackle problems differently. The results are often ground-breaking.
However, for diversity to truly benefit an organisation, it should be integrated into the corporate philosophy and practices.
What are the perks of a good company culture?
A positive corporate culture is crucial for a business to succeed.
From establishing the brand identity to team bonding and employee engagement, a healthy company culture impacts almost every aspect of an organisation.
Here are some ways in which a strong organisational culture elevates organisations.
Encouraging company culture is one of the best ways to attract the right talent and gives an organisation a competitive advantage. Who does not want to work for a company with a good reputation?
A company with a positive culture will attract high-quality talent that will want to come to work every day, engage with their work, and give it their best.
2. Employee loyalty
A strong positive culture will also attract the type of talent that will stay with your company for the long haul and not just use your company as a stepping stone.
Companies that have a positive culture have more loyal employees. Employees are more likely to stay with their employer when they feel valued and enjoy going to work every day.
3. Job satisfaction
It is not surprising that job satisfaction is higher at companies with a positive corporate culture. Organisations that invest in the well-being of their employees are duly rewarded with happy, dedicated employees.
A positive culture facilitates social interaction, strong teamwork, and open communication. When employees come together to collaborate, it often yields impressive results.
5. Work performance
Strong company culture has been linked to higher rates of productivity. A company that invests in the well-being and happiness of its employees promotes positive company culture. This, in turn, motivates employees to work hard and remain dedicated to their employers.
6. Employee morale
Good and strong company culture also means employees with high confidence. It is only natural that employees will feel happier and enjoy their work more in a positive environment.
7. Less stress
A positive company culture significantly reduces workplace stress. Employees with lower levels of stress will be healthier, happier and perform better.
Positive Company Culture Case Studies
Let’s look at some of the prominent global companies showing inspiring instances of positive work culture.
This start-up has been voted “One of The Best Places to Work in New York City” four times, since 2012. It has also featured on Fortune’s list of “100 Best Workplaces for Millennials” (2015). But what makes this website-development platform such a great place to work at?
Yup, it’s the company culture!
When companies are small, it is easy for open communication. However, the problems start when the company grows larger. SquareSpace, on the other hand, has actively focussed on retaining its start-up culture despite growing to more than 1000 employees.
One of the specialities of SquareSpace is that it actively focuses on keeping its culture liberal and the organisation flat by deliberately not adding layers of management, ensuring that all employees are heard and communication is easy.
But, getting more than 1000 employees to think and behave on similar lines is no simple feat, and that is where communication between staff and executives becomes crucial and focal.
SquareSpace’s mission is to “Make beautiful products to help people with creative ideas succeed.” And it starts right with their employees
So, why is SquareSpace successful?
The company puts a premium on:
- Autonomy and work ownership
- Strong support and creative collaboration among peers and managers
- An environment of respect and knowledge-sharing
- Creativity is not just encouraged but recognised and celebrated.
- A positive work environment
Added perks and benefits
The company values its employees with:
- Dog-friendly offices
- Beautiful workspaces that are stimulating, engaging and fast-paced.
- Teams are like a family- sharing big and small wins, and their breaktimes.
- Spaces to rejuvenate and relax, catered meals, flexible vacations, and monthly celebrations.
- Ongoing learning and growth.
The result? Confidence, ownership, and motivation define the employees and the SquareSpace culture.
Google earned 15 awards from Comparably in 2019 alone, including the award for Best Company Culture. Google also consistently tops the list of Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For and is featured in Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list every year.
It firmly believes that happier employees are more productive and creative. Therefore, it endeavours to create a setting where employees can freely express their creativity and passion.
The company’s interviews allow it to gauge whether a candidate is fun, outspoken and enterprising and if they are team-players. As the company hires more and more creative talent, its positive culture and creativity increase.
One of Google’s core values is “great isn’t good enough”, and this reflects in their attitude to their company culture. The Google culture didn’t come into existence overnight – it is the result of years of refinement and effort. And it has paid off.
So, why is Google so successful?
Google believes in:
- Rewarding their employees for their hard work.
- Encouraging creativity
- Hiring based on character and skill
- Keeping an open communication policy
- Innovation as a priority
- Mobility Within the company
- Communicating its core values clearly
Added perks and benefits
The company has a great work atmosphere for its employees, including:
- A unique and fun environment (including video game stations, slides ping pong, billiards, foosball, etc.)
- Free food
- State-of-the-art nap pods for rest and rejuvenation
- A focus on employee happiness and satisfaction
- Free food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- On-site haircuts.
- A fully equipped gym and swim-in-place pool
- Laundry facility and dry-cleaning services
- On-site medical staff.
So, as you can see, there are technological, philosophical, and organisational values, among other things, that play a massive role in the success of Google’s company culture.
The online retailer, Zappos, is so celebrated for its company culture and values that it now helps other businesses better their culture.
Corporate growth can weaken the foundation of a culture that made his company great. To solve this, the CEO instituted a self-management (holacracy) business model.The online retailer, Zappos, is so celebrated for its company culture and values that it now helps other businesses better their culture. Click To Tweet
One of the critical aspects of their culture is creating an environment where their employees can bond and trust each other. This makes teams and individuals more effective and creative in the workplace. They also make it ok to fail because the truth is that all creative ideas cannot be successful.
In fact, culture is so important to the company that it offers new hires $2,000 to quit after their training if they feel they do not fit in.
So, what makes the Zappos culture so legendary?
The company encourages:
- Individuality and team spirit
- Delivery of the “wow” factor through service
- Embracing and driving change
- Creativity, determination, passion, and weirdness
- Adventure and open-mindedness
- Ownership of work
- The pursuit of growth and learning
- Building trust and open, honest communication with team-mates
Added perks and benefits
Zappos has built a culture of valuing and caring for its employees by:
- An above-average medical, dental, and vision insurance coverage.
- An on-site wellness service
- Pet insurance.
- 40% employee discount for those who love shoes and accessories.
- Free food for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and breaks
- Monthly team outings.
- Nap rooms for rest and rejuvenation.
The result? A company that has established such an enviable culture that most people would give anything to work here.
Strong, positive company culture can fuel employees’ sense of meaning and purpose at the job. However, building and sustaining a positive culture in an organisation typically requires great commitment and effort among management and employees. Nevertheless, it is possible, as we have already seen.
An organisation’s culture is crucial to its performance. To reach their full potential, companies need to extend it not just to traditional workers but to every worker in an organisation, no matter how diverse they are or what their role is.
And now, we hand the virtual mic to you! If you have any interesting thoughts or experiences regarding inspiring examples of great company culture, you could leave us a comment or get in touch with us. We would love to hear from you!