In previous posts, we’ve discussed digital transformation and the Covid-19 pandemic’s employee reshuffling effect. But how has this shift toward digital processes and distributed workforces changed the way business gets done? In this three-part series, we’ll explore how to establish and preserve a strong company culture in an era when increasingly more employees work remotely.
Why Is Company Culture Important?
Google “company culture” and you’ll find a range of definitions. Most agree that company culture involves shared values and the approach employees take to doing their work. Culture includes work systems and processes, but it’s more about the people who use those systems. In short, culture is the working spirit of an organization.
Maybe Jack Welsh, former CEO at General Electric, best summed up the importance of company culture: “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly,” he said, “is the ultimate competitive advantage” (The Predictive Index). In other words, change is constant, and companies that can adapt to change, because workers are engaged and motivated, are the ones that succeed.
Culture isn’t just a buzzword. Companies today know that culture has a real impact on identity, retention, and image, all of which influence customer behavior, says Forbes magazine. So, which companies have the best culture? According to the career website Comparably, that conducts an annual employee survey about company culture, the global organizations with the best cultures include names like Google, Adobe, and Samsung. But great culture isn’t just for the top dogs. Comparably named a bunch of little guys, too.
Creating a Positive Culture
How did these companies build a strong culture? Alan Kohll, founder and president of national corporate health and wellness provider Total Wellness, says companies must be intentional about culture. They should think about the whole employee from a physical, mental, and emotional viewpoint, and create programs that encourage and reward positive behaviors. Employees want to feel a sense of purpose in their work and know that what they do makes a difference to the company and in the world. To accomplish this, companies need to create a strong mission statement and values that reflect the standards they share with employees. They need to stress how each job contributes to that shared purpose.
Other ways to build culture include:
- Establishing goals and letting employees have a say in those goals
- Teaching active listening to managers to ensure every employee feels heard and understood
- Celebrating success at the team, department, and company level
- Fostering social connections to build camaraderie among employees (think parties, social hours, team lunches, etc.)
- Recognizing employees for their great achievements
- Offering ongoing learning, training, and development opportunities to keep employees sharp Programs like Jigsaw Interactive can help by providing a virtual solution that’s focused on learning, is cost effective and provides detailed analytics around the learning event. Contact us to find out how.
- Showing true appreciation for hard work and loyalty
Through these means, companies can build a culture that attracts and retains the best employees. As finance guru Clark Howard likes to say, “Romance your employees and they will romance your customers” (Clark.com).