Why company culture is critical to your success

Why company culture is critical to your success

Here, Hana Dickinson, Managing Director of The Bridge Marketing and creator of EssexWire, discusses how company culture can affect the success of your business.

Now more than ever we should be focusing on bringing our company culture to life. Those businesses that are leading by example, communicating well and living their values will emerge far stronger than those who are not nurturing and including their colleagues at this unsettling time.

Grasp this opportunity and make it work to your advantage, afterall, creating a strong company culture can be the catalyst for improved staff performance, business growth and increased revenue.

Hiring may be on hold for many but we can learn a lot by looking at what attributes normally attract the best employees.

A generous package might encourage a queue of eager applicants to form at your door. Beyond that, how do you ensure your hotshot team stays loyal, happy and prepared to give it their best every day?

It might surprise you, but the answer isn’t just money. A generous package talks, of course, but having a strong, positive and inclusive workplace culture is actually more important, and that’s backed up by data. A survey by Deloitte found that:

  • 83% of executives and 84% of employees place having engaged and motivated employees as the top factor that substantially contributes to a company’s success.
  • There was a strong correlation between employees who stated they are ‘happy at work’ and feel ‘valued by their employer’ and those who stated that their employer had a clearly articulated company culture.

So what makes a strong company culture?

Developing and nurturing a strong company culture is a vital piece of the puzzle for any SME that wants to create sustained business growth. It’s about teamwork, giving each employee a voice, and creating a healthy, positive workplace built on ethics and attitudes.

It’s also about more than having table tennis and bean bags in the break-out room, or free fruit on each pod. These things are great, but a strong company culture goes deeper under the surface, and involves several different factors:

Establishing your company values. It’s one thing creating brand messages and core values, but to create a strong culture, you need to lead by example, integrate these values into staff performance reviews, communicate well and consistently with employees to help them feel included, valued and involved.

Creating an inclusive work environment. Striving for a workplace where all employees feel equally valued, no matter their gender, background or sexuality, should be a given for any business these days. In fact, a positive culture should value each individual’s difference, and embrace the input their unique worldview and experience can bring to the conference table.

Nurturing collaboration and communication. Ensuring your managers encourage teamwork, with honest and open communication, is an important part of boosting your culture. It’s important to regularly check up on how this is working, by getting feedback from employees at all levels.

Creating and rolling out a clear and effective internal communications strategy is critical to embedding a strong company culture. Sharing a range of content from leadership updates, to customer feedback and market developments – as well as the usual project updates and social events – will dramatically improve cohesion and collaboration.

Creating clear goals and rewards for your employees. Transparent opportunities for progression, professional development and pay increases or bonuses, give your staff at all levels the opportunity to measure how they are doing. These need to be centred around the company’s values and feed into their personal objectives and appraisals.

This can make the difference between an employee feeling comfortable to approach their supervisor with an exciting business idea, or having the confidence to point out where they have identified an issue or problem with a process… or that same employee becoming despondent and deciding to spread their wings and take their ideas and enthusiasm to a different company.

What are the benefits of a positive company culture for an SME?

Being able to recruit the best – and keep them at their peak. People want to work for companies that come with positive recommendations from friends. And if you can develop a strong culture, people are more likely stay and grow with the business – rather than see their job as a stepping stone to a better position elsewhere.

Collaboration at its best. A strong culture that encourages social interaction and teamwork based on honest and open communication is the perfect environment to generate productive teamwork on projects. Productive teams generate better results and that feeds into customer satisfaction too – see our blog on Customer Experience here.

Overall performance. A great company culture can be linked to higher levels of productivity, and a general willingness for staff to support each other and go the extra mile for colleagues and customers. Why? Because employees who consider their employer to be invested in their well-being and happiness will always be more motivated and dedicated.

Less stress. Getting a strong culture in place will help reduce stress across your teams, which will ultimately boost your reputation, and increase overall performance.

Ready to find out how we can help you to strengthen your company culture? Get in touch today.

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