Why Company Culture Might Be Everything

CULTURE | Feb 26, 2018

The job search isn’t all about position and salary, anymore.

For talented workers, a good job with good pay isn’t hard to find. Candidates are looking for the great jobs, and that means looking beyond the numbers to a company’s culture. Understanding what a company values in their leadership, how they cultivate their atmosphere and the ways they recognize and reward employees can be the decisive factor in whether a candidate accepts a position or keeps looking. People spend more time at work than home, and they want to know their job will be a good place to be.

It’s no wonder the internet is full of articles describing how to ask the right questions in an interview about company culture. “What makes you proud to work at this company?” “Is risk-taking encouraged?” “How do you invest in your teams?” “How are your teams structured?” These common questions are all seeking to understand the soul and character of a company up front, before an offer letter is signed.

The importance of company culture goes far beyond the signature on the dotted line – it should not just attract top talent, it should retain it, as well. The real value of a company investing in its culture is that it keeps employees happy, keeps them loyal, keeps their focus and energy on their work, and, simply, keeps them.

The numbers speak for themselves. Companies with an established commitment to investing in their company culture have a 13.9 percent turnover rate, compared to a 48.4 percent turnover rate at companies with no real buy-in to their work environment. In a world where only 32 percent of employees feel truly engaged while working, internal cultural initiatives are critical to keeping employees challenged, supported, and proactively expanding their engagement.

Nobody wants to feel like a number on a factory line, something companies who dedicate resources to the development of their internal culture know. Investing in the company culture is an investment in the employees themselves—it communicates that the leadership cares about the wellbeing and happiness of its hires. So, companies that understand how to communicate their investment and buy-in to their internal culture tend to have a happier, more stable workforce.

Along with being repeatedly listed as a Best Place to Work by Forbes, Southwest Airlines communicates their LUV for employees by engaging them on social media, offering bonuses for good work and committing to transparency. CEO Gary Kelly routinely addresses his employees directly, a show of respect for the concerns of all of his employees.

Likewise, Netflix is also a Best Place to Work. They have earned this distinction not only by breaking the mold for traditional entertainment consumption, but by changing the way company culture works too. Employees at Netflix are not given regulations on how many hours to work or vacation days they can take. However, they are evaluated on their performance and achievements. The autonomous and self-sufficient culture Netflix has created effectively attracts and retains the best talent.

Southwest and Netflix aren’t the only ones breaking the mold and focusing on company culture. Most competitive companies are constantly reassessing and revamping their internal culture to compete for and keep top talent. Of course, a revamp only works if companies are also working hard to communicate changes and accept feedback from employees. How do you tell people about their awesome benefits or what the CEO’s direction is for the company? Should they read about it on Twitter with the rest of the world, receive a generic email from HR, or get visually engaging communication that is easy to understand? Hopefully, it’s option three. Every leadership touch point and communication opportunity affects the way your internal company culture is understood and appreciated. Taking the time and effort to communicate your benefits, the pillars of your culture and how your company is growing and shaping itself means your employees are constantly reminded of the amazing place where they work and the ways they are cared for.

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If you’re ready to change how your people use their benefits, experience company culture, and take actions that drive success at work and in life, we’re ready to help. Together, we can raise the bar on your employee communication and produce measurable results so that you can grow and thrive.

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