Does your company culture really matter? Of course, it does. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t be sitting here talking about it. As time creeps on and society keeps changing, especially since Covid turned how we work upside down, employers of all sizes are trying to figure out ways to best ensure their employees stick with them. Seemingly overnight, the world went from brick-and-mortar workplaces to millions transitioning their employees to work from home.
Undoubtedly, a great number of these workers realized the benefits and the freedom of working from home and found themselves with considerable extra time. We saw a boom in entrepreneurship and new ideas. Many employers found themselves scrambling to find new employees, but the question is, how can we get those new employees to stay.
For those just joining the party of being business owners and entrepreneurs, I will spare you the indignity of taking a massive dive into exactly what company culture is. It is exactly as it sounds. The culture that your company leads. Everything from your leadership style, mission, how you treat employees, and how they treat each other, many things make up to form the collective culture of your business.
Your business's culture is absolutely crucial to 3 key things.
2. Your employee retention
3. The talent you attract
Sounds pretty important, huh? That’s because it is. A toxic culture can be a swift death knell for even the most well-intentioned people and businesses. Ultimately, your culture will be what your company is known by. I mean, unless you become an absolute juggernaut of a titan in your industry, like Apple, Google, or Amazon, in which case your product or service is in such high demand that it shields you from your culture, but even those companies, as much as I respect them, have their horror stories.
The first thing to keep in mind is that you won't be able to please everyone. You know this in both aspects of your life, professional and personal. It is just the hard truth. Somebody will always get pissed off and somebody will always be upset. Luckily, the good almost always wins out over the bad, and the same rings true for the business world.
Does promoting a world-class company culture that attracts the best and brightest the talent pools have to offer to mean you need to have bean bag chairs at every desk, arcade machines in the break room, or whatever else your mind conjures up? No. It does mean, however, that you need to value two things, above all. Employees and customers…..Wait! Kyle, what about revenue and profits?! Are you telling me to not put revenue on the list of things to make a priority?! No, of course, I am not saying that. I am saying that it should be number 3. Show your customers that you are more than just the product or service that you put out, and word will spread through the consumer world incredibly fast. Show your employee’s that you care about them and you will see productivity, output, and sales skyrocket. With the right sales process, of course ;-).
For your employees, invest in them. Take an actual interest. Show them that you are more than just the boss. Be clear with your rules and expectations, but make sure you aren’t working them to death and providing them with growth opportunities both inside and outside of the office. These people placed enough confidence in your company to work for you and you need to show that your appreciation goes beyond just a paycheck and fancy benefits package. Bring in the right people to motivate. Bring in the right people to handle conflict resolution. Bring in the right people to train them with top-notch techniques. Don’t just provide them with the tools to succeed, provide them with the motivation.
What do you want your customers to think of when they hear your company name? Not your name, but your company’s name. What do you think of when you hear Patagonia? Tom’s? Wal-Mart? Costco? I am sure that each name conjures up thoughts of their business models, but it should also bring up thoughts on what their brand stands for. You don’t think of Tom’s sales for their incredibly impressive numbers, but you think of them for what they promise to do for every pair of shoes sold. For Costco, you think of their bulk item prices but you also think of their notoriously low-paid CEO who prefers to invest a hefty portion of the profits back into its employees and the community around them.
Let’s talk about the inevitable “I’m sure my companies culture is fine, why should I change it?” I’m not saying you should or that you even have to, but there is no harm in asking your employees what they would change if they were in your position and why? The answers may surprise you. You may find out something is going on in your employee pool that you had no idea about. Something affecting your revenue and an issue that you need to deal with immediately, not only for the sake of your numbers but for the sake of your employees. One of the things The Slaymaker Method does is work specifically on company culture and employee satisfaction. The last thing I want to hear about is an unhappy employee. Even worse, I don’t want to hear about an employer lose a superstar employee that felt like they didn't matter to the company. We have all been there. We can all cite jobs that we walked into thinking were fantastic and only a short time later feel burnt out, not cared about, and decided to look for opportunities elsewhere. We also can probably recall seeing one employee leave and take a handful of the really great employees with them, simply because they have all had enough. They got tired of their managers and leaders not hearing their concerns.
The truth of the matter is, enhancing your company culture is one of the easiest, potentially cheapest, and most profitable things you, as a business owner and leader, can do. I’ve said it a million times, invest in your employees and they will take better care of you and the company than you ever could have dreamed.