Why company culture is the new competitive advantage
Three seriously easy ways to make a great culture even greater, and be ‘stickier’ for your people.
It’s extremely difficult to deliver an absolutely precise definition of what a great corporate culture entails, but the fact of the matter is that most of us recognise it when we see it. Or when we hear about it from friends or family who is offering gushing praise for their employers.
Equally, news of a caustic corporate culture spreads faster than ever today, with the help of social, so companies who don’t invest in their culture can pay a huge price in terms of recruiting and retaining people. There is no question about it - organizational culture is important.
Corporate culture has always represented a kind of ‘unfair competitive advantage’ when it comes to identifying, recruiting and retaining the brightest and the best. But even if you believe you’ve got a work culture that delivers and also appeals to today’s labour market, there are still some quick wins to strengthen that culture even further.
Celebrate your company culture
We’re not suggesting that loud bragging is the way forward, but you should be proud of your company’s achievements – and proud to celebrate them with your people first and foremost. If you’ve just had twenty team members raise €5,000 for Barretstown by taking part in a Virtual Cycle Around The World as part of your CSR objectives, make sure that they’re treated as heroes.
This could be via your internal comms, or maybe with a celebratory cake for elevenses presented by the CEO. These are seemingly small things, but they’re critical in making specific types of behaviour become second nature in a company.
Value great work
Great work comes in many guises. It can be the pitch team winning the biggest ever contract in the history of the company, or the R&D team coming up with a fantastic new product or service. But remember, too, that great work can also be the thousands of small things done really well. Maybe a two-page memo from a member of the team that absolutely nailed the agenda or a sooner-than-expected solution to a problem from a task force.
In both cases, it’s important to acknowledge and reward the achievement. In some cases, this could be in a monetary format, or via an internal rewards programme. But equally, it can be just dropping into the office of the relevant team member to say “well done, you absolutely nailed it.” It’s part of our human condition that we yearn to be valuable – and valued – so it really is very hard to overdo the simple act of thanking people for going the extra mile.
Empower your people by simply trusting them
One of the most common reasons that departing team members cite in exit interviews is that they hated being micromanaged. It’s not just the fact that, in many instances, the management might be coming from someone more senior up the chain, but less able in the specific skillset.
It’s also the fact that micromanagement is really just another way of saying that you are not to be trusted to carry out the work you’ve been hired to do. This can create a difficult work environment. This issue is even more important right now as companies and their people look to work out the best way of working in this post-Covid era.
For people who choose to work from home or engage in a hybrid model, it’s really important that the company culture lets them get on with it on a day to day basis, confident that they’ll make it happen just as surely as if they were working from Head Office.
We recognise, of course, that theory is one thing, but the practice is something else entirely. All three of these key principles demand management time and involvement, which is why a platform like Frankli can pay for itself so many times over.
By automating the process of fostering, acknowledging and rewarding within your culture, you’re even further ahead of the competitors when it comes to creating a truly great business culture.