These days, it's very hard to explore the job market without stumbling across the idea of "company culture." It's a hot topic in the HR industry. Every growing company wants to highlight theirs, and job seekers are increasingly attracted to positions based on the promised culture.
Companies like Google have built reputations on the unbelievable culture offered to employees, where as other companies-like Uber and Zillow-have had to pivot the outsider's view of their company culture to reinvigorate interest in potential hires.
So what exactly makes a company culture, and why is it the buzzword currently on everyone's mind currently? Let's explore it.
Home Away From Home
It's estimated that, in the course of their lifetime, the average person spends about 20% of their waking time at work and 50% of their waking hours during a typical work day. We spend a LOT of time at work, so it's incredibly important that we actually like where we spend our time.
Thus, the importance of company culture comes into play. As someone who works at a company dedicated to measuring personality, I love Alison Doyle's simple description, that "Company culture is the personality of a company." Everything that a company offers, stands for, and believes in combines to create the culture of that organization.
A great example of this comes from someone I've already mentioned: Google. The notoriety of their culture, however, extends beyond the free food, nap pods, and incredible health benefits-their culture offers a casual atmosphere, chances to pose questions freely to leadership, and even common spaces architecturally designed to encourage collaboration between teams and hierarchies.
You're The Best Around
For job seekers, finding a company culture that resonates with them can be incredibly enticing, frequently becoming the key factor in accepting a job offer. As a business, the way you highlight your company culture is important, as is making sure any new hire fits what you've already begun to grow.
Organizations without the financial freedom to offer a multitude of perks and freedoms are still able to play their company culture to their advantage. Offerpop, for example, opted for an open floor plan, where it wouldn't be unusual to find "…company CEO and founder Wendell Lansford sitting next to an Offerpop employee six months out of college." They're able to compete against larger companies when it comes to hiring because their culture reflects the expectation that every employee is valuable, and encourages teamwork at all times. They supplement this with the constant reminder of advancement opportunities in the organization and simple, inexpensive ideas, like a popcorn party, to coincide with every product launch.
Equally as important to a candidate being hooked in by your company culture is your company being a match with the candidate's personality. At Traitify, we encourage clients to assess their entire team and then deliver an assessment to prospective employees as soon as possible. This empowers hiring managers to consider how well newcomers will fit the existing company culture in addition to what is on offer within their resumé.
Stay On Target
Outside of reeling in the ideal hire, company culture has long-term impacts on your organization. Based on your offering, employees choose to join your team, with the obvious idea that they'll be happy working there, so it's on you to follow through with this.
We've discussed it previously, but dwindling happiness is a common reason an employee will choose to leave a job. By maintaining-and staying true to-your company's culture, you'll retain team members and reduce long-term turnover. This not only eliminates the cost of rehiring, but you'll keep the momentum and morale of your team high, and thus prevent a drop in productivity.
Larry Alton of Forbes take this a step further. He says that maintaining a strong company culture can elevate an organization above its competitors. Employees will take on the company's identity as their own and run with it. The vision and goals of the company become the vision and goals of the individual, and the more powerful and engaged your culture is, the more initiative and movement you'll see from your team members.
By understanding and making your company culture a priority of your organization, you'll not only open yourself up to hire and build a stronger team, you'll reinforce the culture that attracted them in the first place.