by Dustin Mills, Human Resources Manager
In business, we are constantly discussing the relationships that we have with our customers. But what about the relationships we have with our co-workers, the people that we spend 2,080 hours of our life with each year? The hype around company culture is not a new topic, yet business leaders are constantly asking themselves “have we done enough to promote a healthy environment?”
Gone are the days when employees are chomping at the bit to work for the big-name companies of the world who are offering large paychecks bundled with robust benefit plans and company incentives. If you ask any current day, employment seeking millennial – “what is the most important aspect you are looking for in your next company?” You may be surprised to find out that the answer is the C-word – Culture.
According to a study completed by Glassdoor, 56% of workers ranked a strong workplace culture as more important than salary, with more than three-in-four workers saying they’d consider a company’s culture before applying for a job there (CNBC). Before diving into how this phenomenon is changing the employment scene, it’s beneficial to understand what company culture is.
Contrary to popular belief, company culture is not based around throwing parties or having a foosball table in your office for employees to enjoy on their lunch break. It is a set of shared values, goals, attitudes, and practices that define an organization. “Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur. Develop a strong corporate culture first and foremost” (David Cummings, Co-Founder of Pardot).
Take Google for example – included in all their job postings is a catchy takeaway “we’ll take care of you while you take care of your work”. Fully supported by their operations, Google is one of the industry leaders of company culture. They do not set out to build just another office location, they seek to create an experience for customers and employees alike. These experiences include things like on-site workout facilities, dog-friendly office space, laundry services, internally hosted events, farmers markets, and much more. Companies like Google recognize that the only thing constant in the employment industry is change. Therefore, they are constantly brainstorming on how to enhance the culture within their environment.
“Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with a passion.”
– Brian Chesky
Co-Founder, CEO, Airbnb
You may be asking yourself – how does company culture have an impact on employee retention? With the ever-changing employment scene, employers are having to identify creative means to enhance their culture. One company’s CEO has taken drastic actions to ensure that his team is a culture fit with the organization by offering employees $2,000 to quit if they feel the culture is not a good fit for them. Companies that align their actions with their core values see 50% higher retention rates than those that do not put an emphasis on company culture.
As we all come out of lockdown, the importance of company culture will be paramount in attracting employees to return to the office. And while it’s likely that nothing will be quite the same after the events of the last 14 months, one thing is certain – businesses that prioritized company culture prior to the pandemic will see a faster return to normalcy.