Why Company Culture Matters

15th December 2020

The phrase company culture often conjures up images of jazzy startups with climbing walls, ping-pong tables, free yoga classes or GitHub’s oval office replica.

Mottos such as “we work hard, we play hard” or Google’s “don’t be evil,” may also spring to mind when thinking about a company’s culture.

While free massages and pizza lunches are great, what constitutes a great company culture requires a more complete approach and understanding.

The wellbeing and engagement boost from office perks will quickly wear off if the other seven hours of the workday are stressful and unsupportive.

What is Company Culture?

Company culture encompasses a whole range of practices, such as how we interact with our colleagues, how we carry out our projects, and it sets the whole tone for how the company functions.

It defines your company identity and influences how you are perceived both internally and externally.

But, no matter what you think your culture is like, the reality of what your company culture is in practice is decided by how your people feel about your organisation and their daily experience at work;

  • Are they excited to come to work?
  • Do they feel psychologically safe?
  • Do they feel supported?
  • Does their work environment damage or enhance their wellbeing?

Simply put, your culture is the vibe of your organisation and the actions taken by leaders to create that feeling.

So, why exactly does company culture matter?

The importance of company culture

Company culture plays a pivotal role when it comes to employee engagement, wellbeing, retention, productivity and brand reputation.

Research has shown that employees who have a strong sense of connection to their organisation’s culture display higher levels of engagement, job satisfaction, and company loyalty.[1]

People who feel aligned with and supported by their company’s culture are more likely to be inspired at work and committed to the company mission.

During a crisis, it can act as a moral compass, galvanise a workforce and boost business resilience.

Teamwork and people sticking to company values, were identified as two of the most critical components of an effective crisis response by organisations who self-identified as better off post crisis.[2]

Align your culture with your goals

Whether you have a company culture strategy or not, company culture still exists.

Therefore, it stands to reason that it’s better to guide and craft your culture rather than leave it to chance.

Masterminding and/or improving a company culture is not a solo project, it requires collaboration and input from across the organisation.

A great culture should align with business priorities while creating an environment that also benefits its people.

Direct, open and transparent feedback from employees can help map the organisation’s journey to creating this ideal culture, while highlighting what processes need to change.

Drive adoption and sustain your ecosystem

“We are what we repeatedly do,” – Aristotle.

Culture only improves performance and impacts your people positively when they understand it, know how to embody it, align with it and are rewarded for following it.

Unless the senior leaders of the organisation authentically commit to those values, in good times and bad, they will have little efficacy.

Cultures are dynamic by nature and can be influenced by outside circumstances, such as the recent pandemic, which is why it’s key you continually communicate and feedback to your people what your values are.

Putting in place the right tools will enable leaders and workplace influencers to champion, reinforce and embody these values.

Any tool you chose should also enable managers to directly recognise, highlight and praise those people who are actively demonstrating the desired behaviours.

Trickle’s Fist Bump and Shout Abouts features lets anyone within the organisation direct praise and recognition towards individuals and teams for efforts that support the ideal culture.

Backup your actions with data

When formulating your culture it’s important to see if you are adding measurable value to your organisation, this can only be determined if you engage with your people in an open and transparent way.

Without the right feedback it will be much harder for organisations to understand if their culture is helping or hurting both their people and business performance.

Real-time feedback from your workforce will enable you to tune into what your people are feeling, spot areas where your strategies are working and identify opportunities for change and improvement.

A tool like Trickle can, overtime, start to identify trends and patterns in your people’s sentiment and use of the platform. Not only will this help leaders to make more data-backed decisions, it also enables them to measure and track the results of their actions.

With Trickle’s MoodSense feature, managers can quickly gauge how people feel about any aspect of the organisation.

Using MoodSense managers can ask questions such as:

  • Do you feel able to speak up?
  • Do you feel strongly that you have someone to turn to for support?
  • How happy are you working here?
  • Do you feel a strong sense of belonging?
  • Are we supporting your wellbeing?

MoodSense responses are always anonymous, which means your people will feel empowered to openly share their honest opinion with you.

With this type of direct timely feedback, you’ll be able to see clearly if your culture is hitting the mark.

To find out how Trickle can help you guide and develop your organisation’s culture, get in touch for more information or to book a short 20 minute demo.

Alternatively you can trial Trickle absolutely free for 30-days, simply visit: https://trickle.works/freetrial/

 

[1] https://www.gallup.com/workplace/237368/culture-wins-attracting-top-candidates.aspx

[2] https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/issues/crisis-solutions/global-crisis-survey.html

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