Company Culture: Why it is important and how to build it

The culture of an organisation affects not only the employees but also its overall operations. It affects the company’s brand, perception and bottom line.

Company Culture: Why it is important and how to build it

The culture of an organisation affects not only the employees but also its overall operations. It affects the company’s brand, perception and bottom line.

Culture is a collection of ethical precepts that guide human behaviours. And values are definitive human convictions. They define what is good and bad, right and wrong, important and unimportant. Although we are inherently value-laden, societal culture and our experiences shape our values over time.

Company culture or organisation culture is a self-sustaining pattern of behaviour. It determines how people work and interact and how things are done. The culture of an organisation defines employees’ experience, business operations, digital transformation and sustainability of the business.

Across the world, companies are trying to put out fires started by COVID-19. And they might be dealing with the devastating effects of the pandemic much after it is contained. Pandemics create pandemonium. Coronavirus is the first global health crisis since the 1918 Spanish Influenza.

According to Johns Hopkins’ sociologist and historian, Alexandre White, the global pandemic has caused fear, anxiety, and paranoia. Parents are worried about the welfare of their children. Children are worried about their aged parents. Employees are scared of losing their jobs. Employers are scared of losing customers and inability to sustain their businesses.

How to build a strong company culture

The executive leadership of an organisation defines its culture. But the employees are key to maintaining the organisation culture and the ultimate success of the organisation. The Deloitte Core Beliefs & Culture Survey shows that companies with a strong sense of purpose and culture have strong financial performance.

Organisations that scale globally are imbued with calmness and candour. These organisations give employees options in the form of convenience in dressing, extensive remote options, vogue leave and care packages. The common lie is that only tech firms or startups give employees these options, but the secret of high-scaling organisations is in their progressive culture.

Progressive organisation culture enables employee retention and provides a common sense of ownership and purpose.

Empathy is also an important ingredient in a company’s culture. Past and present events have shown that organisations must be empathic in their business operations to retain staff and customers. For instance, the CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky, was emphatic in his letter to Airbnb’s staff. He detailed the financial health of the company and the roll-out of a staff retrenchment.

A common denominator of culture across all organisations is talent

Effects of a Strong Company Culture

In addition to its impact on revenue, a good culture affects companies in these five key areas:

1.  Attract and Keep Talent: The most significant way of sustaining a company culture is through the recruitment and onboarding process.

One of the high-scaling companies that have maintained a commanding outlook via their recruitment process is Paystack, highlighted here. In the last report by Techpoint on Paystack’s core team of about 112, there has been an impressive number of mid-career professionals who have worked with industry leaders but are presently on board the Paystack journey. It takes more than a good paycheck to attract good talent.

2. Improve Efficiency: What COVID-19 showed C-suite is that oftentimes, less is more; you can somewhat do more with fewer people. As a result of the global pandemic, a lot of organisations were forced to shed weight and reduce headcount on non-essential staff in the quest to maintain core business survival and preserve their books. This article Future of work is choice explains efficiency further.

Currently, productivity includes flexibility, convenience, and leveraging technology which is viewed as an enabler, rather than a disruptor.  For productivity to be maximised, talents need to be comfortable, bright and motivated.

3. Employees become Advocate: In a time where companies are slashing budgets on ads/promotions that don’t have massive turnover leads, the best and most sustainable form of marketing is still word of mouth, especially in the age of influencer marketing. Delve into the world of Twitter and you will find motivated staff tagging their organisations’ social media pages on their with Bio; this is a simple and free way of getting more eyeballs, accentuating your companies and creating top of mind awareness in marketing.

4. You differentiate yourself in the marketplace: With the influx of more capital in the form of venture investments, mergers and Foreign Direct Investments, there are competitive ways organisations are standing forward and attracting customers, aside from products and services offerings. The current dynamics of work has enabled companies to set up attractive perks to attract top talents, from vested employee shares to remote work, company lunch and free times and staff care-packages.

As COVID affects our societal way of life and as we take health precautions, the culture of the future will aid physical isolation to flatten the curve.

Organisations must build structures that aid talent cohesion emotionally and socially as human connection brings complex values to our lives: relationships give us a sense of belonging in the group, a sense of identity in contrast to others in that group and an almost therapeutic-support system; a cure for loneliness.

5. Having a Healthy and Committed Team: What differentiates most teams is the commitment and sheer application of knowledge of staff to different tasks. A bad employer loses the most productive hours of his staff to job search as talents send out applications, CVs and cover letters using paid company hours while anxiously looking for exits out of organisations.

Not to mention, a healthy culture reduces stress, chaos and burnout in your organisation.

In conclusion, no matter how cool, talented, educated or rich you are, how you treat people tells all. Integrity is everything.

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