Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. – John Lennon
And by other plans, I would like to mean task delegations, goal setting and outlining job roles for employees. Whereas, life happens all around it. Hence, by life, I would like to mean the company culture.
Organisations are busy planning on how to structure their mission and achieve their goals while the company culture is what really leaves an impact on an employee’s life lived in that organisation.
It is known that personality is formed by the ongoing interaction of temperament, character, and environment. Hence, culture seems to be a huge constituent in forming a personality. Similarly, company culture forms the personality of the company and its employees.
What is Company Culture?
Company culture refers to the attitudes and behaviours of a company and its employees. It sets the context for everything that the company does. The company culture consists of written, as well as unspoken rules and etiquettes that an employee is desired to follow.
Additionally, the company culture indicates the beliefs and values of a company according to which an employee is to conduct their behaviour.
However, it is still a difficult task to describe a company culture specifically, as it can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including how employees behave, communicate and celebrate.
Some commonly used terms for describing cultures include nurturing, customer-focused, autonomous, team-oriented, innovative, technology-driven, task-oriented, connected and transparent. It is crucial that a company defines its own culture that complements its vision and mission.
How Does Company Culture Affect Employees?
Just like the environment influences an individual’s personality, the company culture contains a number of personalities working in synergy towards a common goal, influencing every single constituting personality and the whole environment in general.
Think of a new employee as a newborn baby. Once they are introduced to this world, they start developing and learning about themselves through external surroundings. It teaches them how other people behave, believe, and bequeath learned knowledge of their surroundings for posterity.
Similarly, employees get to understand the organisation more through its culture, rather than the work it does. Good company culture can have extremely beneficial outcomes for employee productivity and retention, as research states.
It creates a sense of purpose and connection, a basic human need as distinguished by Maslow, in his hierarchy of needs. Furthermore, good company culture helps employees foster positive values and better learning capabilities.
What Are the Success Indicators of Good Culture?
There are plenty of researches that study organisational culture and the factors that constitute a good culture. In order for a company to have a good, successful culture, the company should have:
A Sense of Community
Rather than simply emphasizing core values and beliefs, a company should instead work on creating a community-based culture that instils a sense of higher purpose in employees. It helps them identify with a social group and generates higher productivity towards achieving goals.
Open Communication and Feedback
Good company cultures have defined structures for communication and feedback processes for employees. This allows transparency in the background mechanisms and helps employees be creative in their role completion process.
Foster Innovation and Creativity
Rigid company culture is bad for the company’s health. Good cultures provide a more flexible and relaxed environment that boosts employee creativity and innovation in their work. They put in the effort to complete their tasks in a better way than defined by the organisation.
Meaningful Work for Employees
As stated before, having a sense of community in the culture polishes an employee’s sense of purpose in life. Good cultures present employees with meaning in their work that gives them higher life satisfaction. It makes them value their work more and results in better productivity.
Opportunities for Personal Development
Companies that offer opportunities for growth and personal development have a tremendously positive culture. It fosters newer talent and polishes existing skills to bring the best out of an employee. It is a win-win for both, the company and its employees.
Types of Team Players
Companies mostly prefer to have employees that are good team players. One might understand that a good team player is a one-size-fits-all kind of employee who compromises on his own good for the greater good of the company and his team.
However, it isn’t as simple as that. There are various types of team players identified through the expression of their highest quality, for example:
Detail and task-oriented, contributors are thorough in what they do. They tend to establish complete information sharing among team members regarding tasks at hand and make sure to encompass every aspect of it.
They can be seen as responsible, organized and reliable, who tend to motivate their team to achieve their tasks.
Collaborators are entirely goal-oriented who aim to get a job done through any means necessary. This allows them to be flexible and accommodating with their team members so that each member keeps up with the whole team. The collaborator ensures high integration within the team.
Having conflicts within the team? The communicator will likely step up and resolve issues through their relaxed, diplomatic temperament. Communicators are seen as process-oriented while being a people’s person. They tend to mitigate aggravating situations through their tactful and enthusiastic nature.
Some people simply like a challenge. The challengers are those team players that are seen questioning everything the team is doing. They appear to be adventurous, outspoken, principled and honest. With their questioning mindset, they tend to explore the nitty-gritty of tasks at hand and create an opportunity for other members to gain more understanding about their work.
How to Improve Employee Culture?
Whether your employees are happy or demotivated with their work, good company culture is a must. Despite having well-defined task outlines for the ease of employees, a company needs to provide a good culture so that an employee may prosper. To create a better culture, you should:
Show Employees Your Expectations
Highlight the expectations you have from an employee right from the start. Allow them to process your expectations in line with their capabilities before giving them a task so that they get in the right mindset. If employees are aware of the company’s expectations, they work more towards achieving them. This results in appreciation of both the employee’s capabilities and the company’s fair expectations from the employee.
Communicate with Your Employees Constantly
Communication is most definitely key. Imagine an organisation like a computer system. An organisation without communication is like a computer system without its processing capability, it is only a room full of individual components that are not integrated together.
Communicating with employees regularly allows them to receive periodic feedback and understanding of what is going around in the company. This makes them feel useful for the company; they see themselves as a crucial component in the process of achieving company goals.
Clarity and professional communication is the cornerstone of successful business interactions. Employers should focus on following professional protocols to channel their communication effectively to employees.
Set Goals That Are Clear and Share Them with Employees- Including How They Fit into the Big Picture
Similar to having clear communication, a company should have clear and concise goals that should be communicated to every employee. Additionally, the company should inform the employees of the rationale for including them in this process; to instil value in their existence for the company.
All-in-all, a company’s culture is considered to be an important aspect in creating a highly productive, accommodating, happy and integrated workforce. As the culture includes the knowledge of the company’s values and beliefs, aligned with its mission and vision, employees get to know the company best through its culture.
Forming a healthy company culture has proven effects on the organisation’s success to failure ratio, resulting in higher employee retention and work satisfaction. Hence, companies should focus on developing their culture for their employees to make them feel more at home.