In an increasingly competitive global economy, company culture is receiving more attention than it has ever done. Importantly, positive company culture has been shown to have a direct correlation with increased business performance. A recent report on The Culture Economy by HR software company BreatheHR, found that positive company culture improves overall results.
Of the 500 SME senior decision makers surveyed for the breathe report, 72 per cent believed that a good workplace culture impacted positively on company performance. Need convincing? Let’s take a look at what company culture is and 7 ways it can have a positive impact on business success.
What is company culture?
There isn’t an exact definition for company culture. It encompasses many aspects of a business. But, culture affects how employees feel about the company they work for and can make a huge difference to overall performance. Culture is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’, it’s an essential.
Company culture is much more than surface level perks and it isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavour. Culture is about feelings, behaviours and meaningful relationships under the umbrella of the values, mission and aims of the business. It’s about giving employees a sense of purpose, supporting them and holding them accountable. It’s about collaboration and development. It involves trust and respect and has to come from the top down. Good culture is essential for attracting talent, retaining good staff and is appealing to customers.
Here are 7 ways culture has an impact on business performance:
Does staff morale really affect your company’s success? Let’s take a look at the facts. Low staff morale can in fact cost your company a lot. For a start, staff who aren’t motivated won’t be giving off good vibes to your customers. Poor customer service has a negative effect on your reputation and won’t encourage repeat business.
A workplace with a negative and toxic culture wreaks havoc with morale. When morale is low, employees are more likely to take time off sick, or even leave, which has implications for business performance.
On the other hand, in a business where staff feel listened to, are given the opportunity for professional and personal development, and are rewarded for success, morale is much more likely to be high. High morale equates with employees who are more engaged and have a more positive attitude towards their job, their colleagues and your customers. Culture affects morale. Morale affects results.
- Employees going the extra mile
Are your employees going above and beyond when required? If you have a poor company culture it is unlikely. Or if they are, in a culturally poor organisation, it won’t last. It won’t be long before they burn out or leave out of resentment. Exceptional commitment isn’t driven by cracking the whip or creating a competitive workplace.
Employee engagement is what drives employees to feel passionate about what they are doing. An enthused workforce is much more likely to want to go the extra mile. Workplace atmosphere is a big part of your culture. Invest in your employees and they are much more likely to go above and beyond for your business.
- A marketing advantage
Now more than ever before, customers are preferring to make purchases from businesses with positive business cultures. Business values, beliefs, goals, how a company treats their employees, environmental footprint and a whole lot more are now important to customers.
A profit-driven business that merely plays lip service to its customers will get found out eventually (Uber and Weinstein are prime examples).
It is generally accepted that happy employees make for happy customers. Happy employees can help drive profitability. Customers served by happy employees are much more likely to feel satisfied and return. The conscientious culture you build will impress your customers.
Innovation is essential in a competitive economy. It’s how businesses evolve and succeed. In a company where communication is open and employees feel empowered to contribute to business growth, innovation comes naturally. Cross-department innovation requires a culture where input from a diverse range of employees is actively encouraged.
A trusting open culture is the elixir for the kind of supportive environment where problem solving and sharing ideas can flourish. Creativity can be learned when bright individuals are given the right tools and the support to do so. Great culture empowers people. Poor culture limits them.
- Employee turnover
High employee turnover isn’t good for business. For a start there is the material cost of recruiting and training new employees. But, also high staff turnover is unsettling for your teams and for continuity with customers. Inexperienced staff will impact customer retention.
Company culture is relevant in two ways. Firstly, employees are less likely to leave if they are happy in their employment. Secondly, attracting new talent is far easier for businesses with a great culture in an age where people are becoming much more discerning about who they work for.
How do companies retain staff? By providing adequate training, rewarding employees when they do well and creating an environment of trust. These are all aspects of good company culture.
Positivity breeds positivity. Businesses with a strong culture and loyal hardworking employees are more likely to do well. A strong culture breeds a confident outlook. Employees feel it and so do consumers who feel they can trust the products and services. A company’s business culture is complex and doesn’t rely on one thing, but when nurtured in the right direction it can do wonders for consumer confidence and business performance.
- The same sense of direction
Growing a great company culture is about creating shared values and vision. A strong culture lives and breathes its values and everyone working in the company has the same sense of direction and common goals. A robust company culture enables sustained long-term growth.
Culture isn’t separate from business performance. It defines it.
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