Company Culture is Critical to Employees & Business

By Christy J. Clark, 11/12/2019

Company Culture is Critical to Employees & Business

Company culture is the personality of a company. It is the behavior of humans within an organization. Company culture includes a variety of elements, including work environment, company mission, value, ethics, expectations, and goals.

Company culture is the personality of a company. It is the behavior of humans within an organization. Company culture includes a variety of elements, including work environment, company mission, value, ethics, expectations, and goals.

A good company culture consists of:

  1. Clarity of purpose and employee buy in
  2. Employee engagement and empowerment to fulfill their responsibilities
  3. Opportunity for continued learning
  4. Pay and amenities in line with the value of work

When considering your current position or looking to make a career change, listen. Do you hear these statements around the office?

  1. “That’s not my job.”

You ask for help with a task that is outside of someone’s core job description and they don’t really want to do it. Rather than spend some time helping or just saying no, they say this instead.

  1. “We’ve tried that before.”

Someone – generally, someone who has been with the company for less time than the person using this statement – suggests an idea. Instead of giving historical context and hearing them out, they are shut them down with this phrase.

  1. “I told you so.”

A colleague has an idea, they are told it is a bad idea, and they do it anyway. They fail. As if that isn’t enough, colleague piles on top of them with this.

  1. “That doesn’t follow procedure or that’s not how we do it.”

Someone has an idea that doesn’t jive with the standard way the company has done things. What people perceive when they hear this statement is: “There’s only one way to do things here.”

Your career’s success depends on how well you interact with other people and the culture of the company. Even if you are doing your specific job well, if your attitude is unintentionally poor or you are bringing others down, your career is going to suffer.

Culture guides discretionary behavior and it picks up where the employee handbook leaves off. Culture tells us how to respond to an unprecedented service request. It tells us whether to risk telling our bosses about our new ideas, and whether to surface or hide problems. Employees make hundreds of decisions on their own every day, and culture is our guide. Culture tells us what to do when the CEO isn’t in the room which most likely happens often.

The workplace should not be something that people dread every day. Employees should look forward to going to their jobs. In fact, they should have a hard time leaving because they enjoy the challenges, their co-workers, and the atmosphere. Jobs shouldn’t provoke stress in employees. While the work may be difficult, the culture shouldn’t add to the stress of the work. On the contrary, the culture should be designed to alleviate the work related stress. Culture sustains employee enthusiasm.

You want happy employees because happiness means more productivity. And when a business is more productive, that means it is working faster; and when it works faster, it can get a leg up on the competition. So it’s worth the investment for companies to build and nourish their culture.

Culture is also a recruiting tool. If you’re looking to hire talented people, it doesn’t make sense to fill your office with cubicles and limit employee freedom. You’ll attract mediocre employees, and you’ll be a mediocre company. If, on the other hand, you have an open working environment with lots of transparency and employee freedom, you’ll attract talent. From the minute people walk in the office, they should know that this is a different place with a unique culture.

When a company focuses on culture, they have guiding principles. People will know the company for this and will want to work there or do business with you. Employees will live by it. It’ll help get you through difficult times. You’ll base hiring and firing decisions on the principles. It’ll help get all employees working on the same company mission. In some sense, it’s the glue that keeps the company together.