Establishing a great organisational culture means having a clear and consistent vision and knowing how you want everyone - both internally and externally - to view the company.
And in the past 10 years or so organisational culture has become a hot topic.
In a recent speech, the Chairman of ASIC (the Australian Securities and Investments Commission) Greg Medcraft states there is a number of ways having a good culture can benefit your organisation.
- Increasing customer loyalty, brand and reputation
- Attracting and retaining good staff
- Improving the quality of decision making by valuing diversity of thought and making the most of differences
- Reducing or avoiding the financial impact of fines or remediation incurred through bad decisions.
In contrast Medcraft asserts a poor organisational culture can have a huge negative influence on how we do business and recruit staff.
It can even lead to misconduct and result in significant financial costs - as well attracting and retaining unsuitable staff.
In a world where people are more empowered than ever – and with technology and social media an ever-present factor – we now have unprecedented access to information.
As a result, if a business is not behaving in the correct manner, the public will soon let them know via a number of means other than just the mainstream media.
Of course, when we are considering organisational culture and staff satisfaction, employee remuneration is also highly important.
These days however, many employees admit to being happy to work for slightly less money - as long as they believe in the job they are doing and fully support the organisation’s culture.
In the ‘old days’ most business leaders and CEOs put the business first, and people second.
However, nowadays it is much more widely recognised that it is the people who make a business successful.
Therefore, the more you include your people in the operation of a business the better the employee contributions.
Of course this in turn, leads to better customer appreciation.
‘Culture’ is defined as the set of behaviours, values, rewards and rituals that make up your organization.
You can ‘feel’ culture when you visit a company, as it is usually evident in the employees’ behaviour, enthusiasm - and even within the space itself.
Recent research by New Deloitte shows that culture, engagement, and employee retention have become the top three talent challenges facing business leaders.
More than half of the business leaders surveyed recently rate these issues as urgent - a big increase from around 20 per cent last year.
The reason for this is simple; as the economy picks up so does the bargaining power of employees.
So why is it that the retention of good employees is such a bugbear for many companies?
And why are more and more job seekers being lured towards companies with strong, positive cultures?
It could be because many of the newer companies - like Google, NetFlix and HubSpot have high culture ratings - offer their staff things like free books and education.
Also, some of these companies believe so strongly in transparency that they even post their board meeting notes and ‘company manifestoes’ online.
For example, NetFlix’s culture manifesto ‘freedom with responsibility’ is currently one of the most popular documents on the Internet - with more than 11 million viewers.
‘Value statements’ are also appearing everywhere nowadays.
Google has its 10 ‘truths’ (with ‘focus on the user’ a major one) - while LinkedIn declares itself to be in the ‘human service’ business and calls itself a ‘tribe’.
Such companies are usually listed in Fortune’s ‘Best Companies’ list, as well as Glassdoor’s ‘Best Places to Work’ and LinkedIn’s ‘Most In-Demand Employers’.
All proving it is not always the remuneration but often the culture and conditions of the organisation, that helps determine its success.