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The leader's guide to company culture

Culture. It’s considered a bit of a business buzzword these days, and with good reason.

But, what exactly is company culture and why should you consider it in your workplace?

What will you learn about company culture in this guide?

We’ll share all you need to know about building company culture, as well as provide you with practical tips to improve yours in the workplace. In this guide you’ll learn:

  • What is company culture?
  • What some of the most popular companies are doing to create a positive culture
  • How you can improve your workplace culture
  • Practical tips to help you get started ASAP

Ready to take your company culture to the next level? Fill in the form and download the guide now. 

What is company culture?

Company culture is everything that makes up the ‘personality’ of a business. It’s the values and beliefs that drive the business, it’s the working environment, it’s how your company appears to others and finally, it’s what makes you appealing to potential new recruits.

In describing up your company’s employee experience and ethos in a few words, what words would your employees use? That’s your culture right there.

Why is company culture important?

Company culture permeates every part of a business. It dictates how employees interact with each other, how they work with customers and how the business itself performs. Here are a few examples of where a positive company culture can make a huge difference.

Recruitment and employee retention

Companies that nurture a strong culture are far more likely to both attract top talent. A culture that is positive and exciting will translate into the company’s broader reputation, making them appealing to top-tier candidates. Once part of an organisation with a strong company culture and great employee engagement, they are more inclined to stay with them for longer too.

Productivity

A solid company culture positively impacts productivity and company performance in two ways. Firstly, when employees feel supported and motivated, they are inclined to put in more effort and dedication into their work. Secondly, a culture that prioritises teamwork creates an environment that naturally enhances efficiency and productivity throughout the organisation. It helps the bottom line too – did you know that a good company culture improves revenue up to four times over?

Growth

The key to a successful company culture lies in achieving ‘buy-in’ from your employees. This means ensuring that they comprehensively grasp the company’s mission and are personally committed to transforming that mission into a tangible reality. Having a united team with one mission fosters growth and brings the company’s vision to life, making a strong culture crucial for organisational success.

Wellbeing

Everyone wants a job where they enjoy what they do and where they feel personally supported, and a good organisational culture can go a long way to making that happen. As an employer, it benefits you to focus on employee happiness, not just in terms of their productivity but to ensure they don’t want to leave the business. In fact, employees who rated their employer’s commitment to wellness as good or excellent were 75% more likely to say they were loyal to a business.

How do company values come into play?

Company values are a key part of fostering a business culture. Create values that encourage the kind of behaviour and atmosphere you want in your company’s culture.

Do you want a high performance team? Create a value that emphasises the importance of striving for the best outcome. Are you wanting a team environment where everyone supports each other? Create a value that highlights how everyone should work together as a team.

Don’t forget that there’s more to creating company values than just coming up with five or so statements. Embed those values throughout your company through these methods:

Make the values visible

Have each value clearly displayed in your workplace and ensure they’re at the forefront of your mind when deciding on new objectives or goals for the year. Communicate them across the company and make them the centre of your strategy.

Merch it up!

Design some new merchandise with your values printed on it and share it amongst your team members. Everyone loves some new merch (new tee or socks, anyone?), and you’ll be reinforcing those values every time they use it.

Celebrate values in action

Another way to embed the values into your culture is to hold annual awards whereby winners are based on how they’ve lived and breathed your company values. The prize could be a nice dinner, a weekend away, or even an overseas trip!

By recognising and rewarding employees when they go above and beyond, you’re reinforcing a culture of high performance, making your company more productive and profitable.

What are some examples of good company culture?

When it comes to company culture, some businesses are nailing the assignment. Here’s a few of our favourites…

Zoom

Zoom is a video and audio conferencing app, facilitating collaboration, chat, and webinars. They’ve introduced a “happiness crew” which sustains Zoom’s culture across locations through events, celebrations, community involvement, and volunteering. This crew organised things such as team-based volunteering for local causes like the Special Olympics, Denver Food for Thought, and Habitat for Humanity.

New hires also globally participate in a San Jose training session to cultivate relationships, comprehend the company’s culture, and prepare for their roles. Paired with existing team members acting as mentors upon starting, these employees gain insights into company culture and outreach.

Nerdery

Nerdery, a digital consultancy, serves mid to large-sized clients in healthcare, retail, and manufacturing. Nerdery pride themselves on having team members with varied backgrounds and celebrating each person’s passions and interests. The company embraces the concept of “culture add,” where each individual’s uniqueness is celebrated.

For example, work-life balance is promoted through encouraging time for personal passions, and even promotions are marked by creative videos reflecting employees’ hobbies and personalities.

ServiceNow

ServiceNow is a cloud-based platform that streamlines workflows, project management, and collaboration for businesses. Despite its size, ServiceNow places high value on individual contributions to its corporate culture, encouraging everyone to contribute ideas and lead initiatives related to culture, diversity, and inclusion.

The company has created workplace traditions, including team outings like karaoke, bowling, and baseball games to integrate new employees. They also embrace their customers, handing out celebratory cakes for new customer launches.

What about Employment Hero’s company culture?

At Employment Hero, we’re really proud of our company culture and have worked hard to maintain a fun and happy place to work, even as we’ve scaled dramatically since our inception. Everything we do is based on five values:

  • We serve
  • We are one team
  • We are bold and ambitious
  • We invent
  • Own it

Everyone is encouraged to be open with each other, supportive and to innovate where we see opportunity. We’re also a remote-first company and recognise that a good work-life balance is really important for all our Heroes. Importantly for a distributed team as well, we also organise local and global gatherings, so we can all meet up in person and celebrate our wins.

We know our product is designed to support businesses in creating great cultures and supporting their employees. That’s why we do our best to walk the walk too!

How can you build a strong company culture?

There are lots of ways to build a strong company culture. We’ve got a few to get you started and inspired…

Define and set a vision for your company’s culture

A vision inspires action, and pulls in ideas, people and other resources. The reason this is important is that a vision helps you capture what the company wants to become and where it wants to go. It enables the organisation to focus on what is important to the business, especially in stressful times and when working on complex projects.

Hire candidates aligned with your corporate culture

Being fanatical with your hiring processes is the key to company culture success. Values offer a set of guidelines on the behaviours and mindsets needed to achieve the company’s vision. If you find employees who are aligned with the company’s values, they’re likely to enjoy their work more. This means organisations save costs on reduced employee turnover and increase in their employee productivity.

Recognise and reward valuable contributions

Employee recognition lets employees know that their hard work is valued. It doesn’t have to cost anything, it can be done in less than five minutes and the results can have a lasting impact. Recognising employees can improve morale, enhance loyalty, and let employees know that their work is valued and appreciated.

Utilise technology to win the day

HR software isn’t just about logging leave and checking employee details – the best HR software comes with employee engagement features, so you can foster a strong culture and great feedback loops.

That includes creating key objectives and key results that align with the values you set, shouting out great work across the company and sending out regular surveys to check how your employees are feeling about their roles.

Showcasing your company culture

Now you’ve transformed your company culture into something inspired – it’s time to show it off. We’ve compiled this list of three simple ways you can showcase your company culture on social media. These tips are easy to execute and will help get your business get started when it comes to sharing your company culture online.

1. Share pictures of your workspace and company culture

Everyone loves a bit of behind-the-scenes footage, from customers to prospective candidates. Taking and sharing a picture of your workspace (with or without humans) is an easy way to give your followers more insight into your company.

We understand not everyone has a glamorous working space. For example, if your business is new and showcasing a smaller workspace will undermine the image you are portraying online, skip this tip. There are plenty of other ways to showcase your work culture online.

2. Promote celebrations and events

We all enjoy celebrating with our teams. Whether it’s a lucrative new partnership or a huge win at an awards night, there might just be a celebratory event on your horizon. These moments are perfect for sharing on social media. They show prospective employees that you reward and recognise your staff and sneakily promote whatever it is you are celebrating.

3. Introduce your employees and highlight what makes your company unique

Does your company have a flexible work policy? Have you followed in Netflix and Virgin’s footsteps and implemented an unlimited vacation policy? Do you have a system of pursuing and tracking targets that are a little quirky and different from the norm?

Think about everything that makes your company unique (and beloved by staff) and then communicate this on social media.

How do you measure workplace culture?

The easiest way to measure a healthy culture is to speak to your team! Get their perspective of their life at work and how they find working for the company. Ask them if your company values truly reflect their experience and what you can do to make things even better.

One really easy way to do this is through regular surveys. Not only will your team feel empowered to give their perspective, but you’ll amass data over a time period that allows you to improve company culture over time.

Using HR software like Employment Hero can be an effective way to set up recurring surveys, whether it’s our Employee Happiness Survey or a custom survey that includes questions specific to your company. Even better, all the responses will be stored on the Employment Hero platform, so you can ditch those Excel spreadsheets.

Get the blueprints to building a healthy company culture

If you’re ready to build a great company culture that motivates and inspires their team and customers, we’ve got the resource for you. Download the form on the right to download our guide. 

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