What does a positive company culture look like? If you are to ask Southwest Airlines, they will tell you their culture entails creating an environment in which every employee knows they matter. They go further to state that they lean on the elements of appreciation, recognition and celebration.
Company culture, although implemented differently by many companies, is the set of practices that guide how people are led and nurtured in an organization. In many instances, the company’s core values will be reflected in the culture.
It has become increasingly important for businesses to pay close attention to their culture. Here are seven benefits of a positive company culture.
Increased job satisfaction
A positive company culture plays a large role in determining how content employees will be with their jobs. Culture determines how people are treated, how they treat each other and how the company deals with both internal and external stakeholders.
When the culture is positive, employees are happy to come to work, they will gladly recommend the company and will stick around in tough times.
Improves teamwork and collaboration
One of the benefits of a positive company culture is improved teamwork. When teams are strong, people share ideas readily, they help each other achieve the common goal, stress levels reduce and employee well being improves.
Employees spend a lot of time at work with their colleagues, it is important that team member relationships are healthy. Research now shows that it is beneficial for workmates to go beyond simply being cordial, to being friends.
A positive company culture, one that emphasizes caring for colleagues as friends, supporting each other, compassion and understanding, treating one another with respect and gratitude will improve both teamwork and collaboration.
Positive company image
Perception matters. Another benefit of positive company culture that businesses can enjoy is an improvement in how their external environment perceives them. A company that is known to have fair policies in dealing with their customers and their community will be more attractive to new customers.
Just like social media can be used to signal a positive company culture to potential hires, it has the same effect with your customers.
With improved teamwork, you can expect to see an improvement in productivity and communication which in turn impacts productivity.
In a Harvard Business Review article titled “Proof That Positive Work Cultures Are More Productive”, co-authors Kim Cameron and Emma Seppala point out that “a large and growing body of research on positive organizational psychology demonstrates that not only is a cutthroat environment harmful to productivity over time, but that a positive environment will lead to dramatic benefits for employers, employees, and the bottom line.”
When you have developed a positive company culture, you will find that you will have employees who are confident enough to communicate their ideas and to ask questions where they need clarity. Employees will also be comfortable enough to speak up when they make a mistake, knowing that they are in a learning versus punitive environment.
Reduces stress in employees
Who hasn’t had a stressful week or month at work? It happens. However in a toxic workplace, stress is chronic. The signs of a stressed out workforce are easy to see: loss in productivity, staff absenteeism, increased illnesses, and over time, an increase in employee turnover.
Another benefit of a positive company culture is a reduction in stress. Because there is open communication and prioritization of employees, they will be able to speak up when they feel overwhelmed.
The responsibility for mitigating stress also lies with supervisors and managers. Employees should be encouraged to take their breaks, for instance. Having employees who work 10 hours, seven days a week isn’t a sign of productivity, rather it is a precursor for stress, loss of morale and burnout.
Good leaders should be encouraging their team to try developing a daily walking habit, or undertake regular meditation or some other form of relaxation.
Remember that managers will be the drivers of culture in the company so they should lead by example. As they encourage employees to take their breaks and annual leave, they should do the same.
Ability to attract top talent
A positive company culture is of benefit when it comes to attracting talent. And that culture can be seen right from the initial hiring stages. If teamwork is a part of your culture, you can go ahead and introduce job candidates to the people they might work with.
Another way culture can be used to attract talent is through employees. Today, job candidates are able to do a lot of background research on a job before they walk in for the interview.
Sites that feature online reviews from employees, the company website, your social media platforms and those of your employees all provide an accurate window into your company culture.
For example, if an employee shares about a reward they received to their LinkedIn profile, it can indicate that your company culture is one that values and rewards people.
Talent will also learn of your company culture from former employees. It can be through word of mouth or through sites like Glassdoor where employees review their employers.
More streamlined decision making
Let’s go back to the example of Southwest Airlines. Their corporate culture puts employees first, ahead of profits and ahead of customers. Should management find themselves in a situation that, for instance, would compromise their employees but earn the company more money, the decision to choose their employees isn’t a hard one to make. Their culture guides them.
Taking this kind of stance shows employees that they are valued and this will in turn increase employee morale.
In the same way that positive company culture guides the behavior of employees, it also makes it easier for them to make decisions. Employees can refer to the culture guidelines when it comes to making tough decisions or choosing between competing choices.
It is no longer enough to only provide employees with a decent workplace and a salary. In the modern work world, the needs of the employee and so the responsibilities of the employer have expanded.Managers and business owners need to work on creating a positive company culture that inspires their teams and leads them to do their best work. The benefits of a positive company culture can be enjoyed by remote teams and by companies both big and small.