The Role of Corporate Culture in Training and Retention – Part I

Corporate culture can be difficult to define because it encompasses numerous elements. Culture is expressed through an organization’s ideals, objectives, outlooks, policies, and procedures.   Regardless of any claims a company may make about its culture, that culture is truly defined by the combination of its employees’ and customers’ experiences. Do the employees consider it a good place to work? Is compensation fair? Is the environment safe and friendly? Are programs and practices effective and equitable? On the flip side, customers are concerned with factors like product/service quality, easy and prompt communication, speed of delivery, and problem resolution.

A company that attains high levels of worker and client approval is recognized as having a thriving corporate culture, but the steps that individual owners and managers take to achieve these results may look different according to their industry and goals. One thing that strong corporate cultures have in common irrespective of the industry is a commitment to, and investment in, ongoing training. A robust training culture enhances employee work experience, which in turn trickles down and affects customer satisfaction.

According to Bersin by Deloitte, organizations with healthy learning cultures perform significantly better in the competitive market. The research indicates that such organizations are 32% more likely to be the first to market with new products and services and are 17% more likely to become market leaders. Their employees have 37% higher productivity because of greater employee engagement.

Belief in Professional Development and Employee Engagement

While every organization has its own unique culture, successful companies do not leave that culture to chance. They don’t simply throw together a business plan, hire the first people who apply, and see what happens. On the contrary, they hire the right people and train them properly, infusing them with the requisite skills, passion, and drive to shape the company culture according to management’s goals.  This in turn cultivates success that propagates itself.

The first step is for an organization to understand and believe that a vigorous learning program has enormous power. If management doesn’t understand and buy into that vision, efforts to promote training will be lackluster at best, and possibly nonexistent.

Think about all the times you’ve had to lead a project, write a paper, or sell a product you don’t believe in. It doesn’t work as well or feel as authentic as when you’re passionate about something, does it? The same holds true with company culture. The people leading the company need to build a firm, research and experience-based belief in the value of continuing, relevant education and professional development to implement effective training strategies.