In a recent Korn Ferry executive study nearly three-quarters of respondents reported that company culture was core to the success of organisational financial performance. Another report by the The Financial Reporting Council outlined their findings and concluded that corporate culture is key to sustainable growth. Culture has always mattered but suddenly it’s taking on a far greater significance. How come?
Why’s culture taking on renewed importance now?
Some of the more visionary business leaders have said it for years (and acted on it) but not every executive’s taken on board what they were hearing. Yet there seems to be a shift going on. The consequences of having a great culture – or not – are becoming clearer than ever before.
There has been a combination of factors affecting the workplace that might explain why company culture is becoming such a focus for companies. Developments in technology that have enabled people to connect and collaborate in ways that were unheard of only a few years ago; people now seeking out social proof about company behaviour and scrutinising the real employer brand; following the chain reaction of events that contributed to start of the global recession in 2007/8, a far greater expectation that companies should behave in certain ways – with integrity, authenticity and transparency.
There have been shifts in leadership and employee styles too. Millennials have brought in a very different approach and set of requirements compared to their predecessors. Many new executives are generationally closer to today’s workforce and understand them better. Could this make them more likely to put greater value on their employees and on their future contributions? Potentially yes, and it probably means a better understanding of the fact that achieving this requires a great company culture.
What is on the culture horizon?
Well, for starters the arrival of the gig economy means managing culture could become more complex. How can a company best manage its culture when it is being made up of increasing numbers of temporary and contingent workers? That may be more achievable if those workers are physically around the rest of the team but if not, what kind of impact will that have? Indeed, the move to remote working is another issue to be addressed whether those workers are employees or giggers.
There is lot for companies to think about but the successful companies are already tackling it in innovative and creative ways. Is your company one of them?
5 signs that you have a great company culture
Culture is the collective behaviour and shared assumptions that guide and affect how employees identify with an organisation, so what are the clues that will tell you if your company has a great culture?
Do you feel trusted? In a thriving company culture you’ll feel trusted and you’ll feel completely comfortable that you can trust your peers too. A culture where people feel trusted is one where amazing cultures flourish. In fact, it’s arguably the number one ingredient for a great company culture.
You get a positive vibe from your leaders
Approachable CEOs, directors and senior managers make you feel comfortable. You can share a joke with them. Everyone feels equal and you love the fact that you can chat openly and honestly with them.
Feedback’s natural and in the moment
A great company culture needs methods of feedback that employees respond to. Natural, constructive real-time feedback is a sign of a culture that’s working; whether it’s social recognition, anonymous pulse surveys or shout-outs. Employees who contribute and put as much in, as they take out are vital to a great culture, the best companies find methods where employees get involved.
You have tools and technology for collaboration
Your organisation encourages collaboration and it gives you the tools and technology to do it. You get a technology experience that is natural, today. That means social.
Attitudes to errors and mistakes
Ever got something wrong? A difference between the great cultures and the not so great is often the fact that in the great companies there’s an appreciation that innovating and breaking new ground sometimes means getting things wrong. Even if you’re not innovating, the way employees and managers respond to mistakes tells you a lot about your culture.
Of course there are many more signs you have a pretty amazing company culture, but like these 5 most components are not easy to see or achieve. So don’t be fooled by pool tables and fancy offices, they can be all fur coat, and no culture.