It can be hard to quantify the importance and impact of a great company culture on a business' bottom line. But a recent Glassdoor study found that company culture is the single biggest predictor of employee satisfaction, regardless of employee salary. It makes sense that a strong culture can increase an employee's happiness, productivity and passion for their company. But did you know, disengaged employees can cost U.S. businesses up to $550 billion per year?
Time to think twice before underestimating the value of building a rich culture.
While the recipe for a great culture can vary from company to company depending on individual principles, goals and structure, there are certain universal parts. Here are three things every company can do to change company culture and help their organization thrive.
1) Create a Clear Vision
A successful company culture starts with a strong foundation. Establish a clear vision or mission statement that embodies what your company stands for. This will help lend purpose to the culture you are trying to build.
David Hassell, CEO of performance management software company 15Five, says, "A company's purpose is the bedrock of their culture, but it's much deeper than what you post on your wall or website. This is a touchstone to be used in day-to-day interactions with co-workers, customers and investors." When employees can easily understand and get behind a company's vision, culture can more easily follow suit.
"For example, our purpose is to help create the business environments where people naturally become their greatest selves," Hassell explains. "So with every decision, employees ask themselves: 'Will this lead to achieving greatness for those involved?'"
Make sure that your vision is authentic and embodied throughout your company. Then, actively incorporate it at all levels, from customers and suppliers to executives and stakeholders.
2) Embody Your Values
Culture often gets mislabeled as "perks," according to Gene Caballero, co-founder of lawn care company GreenPal. But true culture is about defining and aligning the values of the organization with its actions.
"Strong culture is created when each member of the team believes in the same thing. When that is the case, trust emerges, and when you have trust, you have loyalty," explains Gene.
3) Foster a Collaborative Environment
Strong teams are also an important component of company culture. Team building can help improve connections around the office, create a friendlier work environment and lead to higher employee engagement and loyalty.
"Have random meetings around something completely different than work to build team chemistry," proposes Keith Paulin, CEO of daWorks. "For example, we'll schedule a 'Team Relax Session' where we ask a question like 'What is your dream vacation destination?' Something to get us engaged and have conversations that make us laugh."
A strong culture may mean the difference between a semi-productive business with high turnover and a long-lasting company with a strong reputation. Define an authentic vision that employees can truly embody, incorporate positive values and create a positive work environment to develop an effective and enduring culture.