Corporate culture has grown as an area of focus in recent years and is arguably more important for leaders to consider than ever before. As awareness of the concept has grown, employees have become acutely cognizant of corporate culture--and if your business is lacking in the culture department, you may be in for a rude awakening.
Among those who have left their jobs within 90 days of being hired, 32% cited company culture as the reason.
When applying to a company, 88% of job seekers indicated that corporate culture held "relative importance," and 46% said it was "very important."
In the throes of the digital revolution, where social media, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and the internet of things (IoT) have conspired to radically alter the traditional work environment and available job opportunities, the business has become its employees. Consider how social media is by far the most cost-effective way of advertising or the fact that word-of-mouth still trumps all other forms of lead generation when it comes to both new revenue streams and hiring opportunities.
Loyalty to team, boss, coworkers, or company was the top reason that 50% of surveyed employees do not quit their job -- that's something to be excited about. As such, the focus of business leaders should be to create a culture that is worth advocating for. Here are three ways businesses are driving a desirable culture, both internally and externally.
1. Incorporate Personalization
Do you think it'd be difficult to maintain a good corporate culture if you had over 62,000 employees? Of course it would. UBS investment bank, however, recently used personalized video as a tool for cultivating staff alignment with the company's vision.
To ensure these videos were engaging, UBS enlisted the help of video personalization firm, Idomoo, to customize each clip so it included the employee's name, gender, tenure, role, and other relevant attributes. The results? Nearly a quarter of the employees viewed their videos, with a 70% completion rate, and a staggering 100% of the feedback received was positive.
In any large organization, it's too easy to feel like a number and disconnected from the brand and culture. personalized messaging at scale can help motivate employees and make them feel appreciated, seen, and connected -- which is how an employee should feel.
2. Genuinely Positioning Values at the Forefront
Social media management platform, Buffer, does not have a physical office. In fact, when they reached 50 employees back in 2015, they consciously decided to ditch the office. Today, they command a formidable corporate culture, despite being one that is entirely remote.
Buffer embraces six core values, which are at the forefront of everything they do as a company (hiring, product vision, marketing, etc.) -- and can be comprehensively reviewed on its dedicated landing page. However, what impresses me the most about Buffer isn't the fact that they simply have values that they stand by, but the genuine, impassioned level of cultural transparency that makes you say, "that's the kind of company I want to work for (and stay at forever)". Take a look for yourself and try not to be impressed.
Providing potential hires or current employees with such rich, open insight, creates a level of engagement that all businesses should strive for.
3. Deeper Employee Empowerment
If you use Slack or Microsoft Teams, you might think you're already leveraging tech to efficiently empower your employees (and send some funny GIFs while doing it). And if you're using Google Drive or Dropbox for file sharing and organization, that's not enough, either. Smarp, for example, drives employee engagement and advocacy through brand information-sharing hubs, allowing employees across business units and branch offices to stay in the loop on what everyone is up to -- and to share content about it with the world.
Perhaps even more interesting to me than Smarp's culture-amplifying product is the extent to which culture is their brand. Last summer, the company published a 35-page overview on their values and mission in the first place -- they call it The Smarp Way of Working handbook. What's your business' way of working?
By using your company's culture as a recruiting asset, you're able to attract talent that's most likely to gel with the whole. And by empowering your workforce, you're turning your employees into an army of loyalists and influencers.
Whether or not you already have a rock-solid corporate culture, there are always ways to strengthen and fortify it further. Prioritize the conversation and opportunities for improvement; otherwise, you will quickly risk being de-prioritized by your workforce.