Like it or not, each company is defined by its company culture.
Each nuance of company culture contributes to the whole like pieces of a puzzle. It is about caring more than your competitors. Caring about your customers, about colleagues, about how your company exemplifies its values and holds itself accountable. Having a distinguishable culture helps your employees and customers relate to you. This culture helps a potential partner, employee, customer, or investor figure out if you are someone that they want to spend time (or money) with.
Basically, it is your company’s personality.
Why Does Your Company Culture Matter so Much?
Fair question. Everything you do can be duplicated, sadly. Your products, strategies, even specialized techniques can be duplicated. At the very least imitated. So having a strong company culture will set you apart. Your company’s culture is truly a unique identifier. Things that are genuinely unique to your company are your values and norms.
These are essential factors that make your business distinct! This is where your culture really shines. Your values are the soul of your company. They are a huge contributing factor to your brand’s story, they breathe life into your vision.
The unique aspect of company culture is the ability to create the kind of culture you want. To experiment with working out what kind of brand you want to be, your purpose, and vision. All of it. But that only scratches the surface. You have to be dedicated to making it a tangible thing, through the environment of your workplace, your employees, and the nuances that will evolve as your brand does.
Why Should You Care About Your Company Culture?
- It defines your actions and interactions, both internally and externally
- It is a guidebook for your team that should inspire and motivate
- It shows conviction and passion
- It is largely responsible for attracting (and keeping) skilled talent
- It attracts great partners
Now, something to keep in mind…This is a new age, the age of the millennials. Millennials grew up, largely, in a time of prosperity and rapid technology growth. Which means a career is more than a stable place to work for the next few decades. This fresh crop of (potential) employees is demanding that their workplace has strong values, meaning, community, and culture. If you are looking for good people, it is important that you know how to attract and keep them.
“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” – Sir Richard Branson
What are the Drivers of a Positive Company Culture?
In no particular order…
- Flexibility on the job – Fosters a work life balance and technology offers plenty of solutions to connect remote employees or partners, no matter their time zone or location.
- Be good, do good – Your reputation precedes you. Things like community/social responsibility, charitable giving, volunteering, and environmental efforts all contribute to the culture. Moreover, what your company does and says needs to align with what people see.
- Professional development – Much like job flexibility, this is more important to millennials than financial reward. Think about growth opportunities within your company and how you are presenting these opportunities to prospective new hires, and internally.
You have to have something special, unique, and compelling in the workplace if you want to be special, unique, and compelling in the marketplace. How is your brand shaped by your culture? Does your company culture support the story you’re telling?
Ask yourself, what’s your company culture like? Would you work for you?