Posted by Tessa Wegert on February 02, 2016
How important is corporate culture? When it comes to attracting and retaining creative and marketing talent, it’s everything. From your vision to your values and the structure of your workplace, culture has the power to define your business, drive performance and energize your employees.
According to LinkedIn’s United States Staffing Trends 2016 Report, close to 40% of talent leaders will make employee retention a top priority over the next 12 months. This means that strengthening your corporate culture is now more important than ever. The reason is simple: superior marketing and creative talent is in short supply. Employees have options. If you can’t communicate the virtues of your brand, and deliver on that promise, they’re likely to go elsewhere.
Here’s a look at why corporate culture matters, and what you can do to amp yours up today.
High Turnover Can be Costly
The process of onboarding employees and getting them up to speed is always expensive, so retention efforts can equate to significant cost savings.
If you consider what employees need to experience job satisfaction, respect and trust are at the top of the list. Therefore, these characteristics should be central to your company culture. Building a culture of trust and respect involves maintaining an open line of communication by encouraging dialogue, inviting feedback and promoting cross-team collaboration. By showing your workers that you prize their opinions, and calling attention to the creativity and marketing prowess they bring to your brand, your company will be better equipped to keep them.
Good Culture Increases Productivity
An attractive company culture can create a happy workforce, and this happiness is linked to productivity. Economists at the University of Warwick conducted a series of experiments that found happiness can increase employee productivity by up to 12%.
Among the tools researchers used to boost contentment and a sense of well-being were comedy clips, fruit and free chocolate. Those subjects who watched the comedy sketch or ate chocolate while performing an assigned productivity task displayed increased levels of performance.
This explains why businesses from tech companies to marketing agencies go out of their way to provide unique workplace benefits. Ad agency McGarryBowen serves its employees Mister Softee ice cream straight from the truck in the summer, while financial research firm FactSet offers cupcakes, Chinese food and pie.
Others, like Inuit, have game rooms, while Twitter has a rooftop garden where staff can take a break to play corn hole. Pixar’s perks include an open-concept design to encourage teamwork and creativity, and amenities like an organic vegetable garden that’s used by its on-campus chefs.
All of this helps to create a company culture that’s friendly and fun, which can trigger a chain reaction that leads to more effective workers and more satisfied customers. “People who are more psychologically well and happier tend to be better producers,” said organizational psychologist and Kansas State University Management Professor Tom Wright.
Good Culture Increases Morale
Aside from boosting happiness and, in turn, productivity, your company culture also influences employee moral. Ask yourself whether your current culture inspires employee self-confidence, and whether your workers are enthusiastic about coming to the office every day.
If the answer is no, then you could benefit from making a few more positive changes. Celebrate both personal and team accomplishments like successful campaign launches, or introduce an office “Gratitude Jar” where executives can thank their teams—and workers can praise each other—for a job well done.
Don’t forget to encourage your workers to go beyond your business to cultivate their personal interest and pursuits. Establish a couple hours of “personal project time” each week, or implement a sabbatical. Adobe and Deloitte are among the companies that do the latter; according to Inc. magazine, “These kinds of extended breaks give individuals a viable option beyond quitting or transferring to a different company.” You should also consider implementing flexible work schedules that allow for better work-life balance.
Finally, take the time to select employees that fit your company culture from the start. Your workers play a huge part in shaping the overall experience for others, so finding—and keeping—the right talent is paramount to your ongoing success.