What exactly is culture?
Consider the difference between working at a Starbucks and your local coffee bistro. They’re selling essentially the same products, to the same marketplace, with the same number of staff performing the same jobs for about the same pay.
But everything else can differ wildly, including:
- Their business goals
- How those are communicated
- Why do people come to work there
- How they go about doing their work
- How do they feel when they do
It’s not the work–it’s how and why it is done. Why does it matter? Culture translates into how customers feel when they buy a coffee there. Its impacts on and implications for business are staggering.
Culture is critical to attracting great staff: “Culture and leadership are 3x more important to employees than salary,” and “60 percent of people said the most important factor when considering a new job was ‘the company has a reputation as a great place to work.’
It’s also critical to retain them: Company culture is the primary reason to quit for 47% of workers considering leaving their current roles. A one-point increase in employees’ happiness doubles their probability of remaining at their job. And there has never been a better time to focus on culture.
The pandemic led two-thirds of employees to reflect on their work, with 83% saying “finding meaning in day-to-day work” was their top priority.
Yet only 12% of executives believe their companies are driving the ‘right culture,’ and 75% of companies have no plan for employee engagement.
This unprecedented situation means that culture can be the silver bullet for an organization and the secret to success for leaders and their teams.
As a culture consultant with more than two decades of experience, I’ve helped organizations of all sizes create a better workplace. Sometimes this looks like a culture care package, with scheduled training on specific topics.
Sometimes this means creating a new process or product, such as an enhanced onboarding experience that creates employee engagement. And sometimes, it looks like a full culture health check, with a science-backed survey that leads to developing (and delivering) a custom culture plan with the most needed.
The Role of Leadership in Shaping Culture
Leadership plays a pivotal role in establishing and maintaining a company’s culture. Leaders’ values, behaviors, and attitudes set the tone for the entire organization. Leaders prioritizing open communication, collaboration, and ethical behavior often foster a positive and inclusive culture.
Strategies and Solutions
1. Clear Communication: To ensure alignment, leaders must articulate the company’s mission, values, and goals.
2. Lead by Example: Demonstrating the desired behaviors and values encourages employees to follow suit.
3. Invest in Development: Providing training and development opportunities fosters growth and shows a commitment to employee success.
Statistics and Research
According to a study by Harvard Business Review, companies with strong leadership and clear cultural values outperform their competitors by 20% in revenue growth.
A survey by Gallup found that 70% of the variance in company culture can be attributed to managerial leadership.
Establishing a unique culture for your company cannot be overstated. From attracting top talent to retaining employees and driving business success, culture is the backbone of any thriving organization. Leaders play a crucial role in shaping this culture, and their actions and attitudes can profoundly impact the entire company.
By understanding the importance of culture and implementing the abovementioned strategies, business leaders can create a positive and productive environment that fosters growth, innovation, and success.
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