Beyond the Buzzword: Is Your Company Culture a Help or Hindrance?

September 05, 2018 By Julie Kramer - Leave a comment

shutterstock_87881311You can’t get very far in HR circles without bumping into the term “company culture”—and there’s a good reason for that. More than a buzzword, in competitive markets, your company culture can either give you an edge or edge you out of the running.    

What is it, exactly? It’s tricky to pin down. Some HR folk define it as an organization’s personality and core values—part business style, part code of behavior. Either way, company culture impacts how both customers and employees interact with your business.

In some organizations, for various reasons, leadership has always focused more on the bottom line and less on less intangibles like company culture. If yours is one of them, you have some catching up to do.  

Why Company Culture Matters

According to research, a healthy company culture can drive productivity, profitability, performance management—even turnover and retention, which are increasingly important in the face a labor shortage. 

According to a study by Deloitte, 94% of executives and 88% of employees consider workplace culture a key to business success, linking engaged, motivated employees to higher-performing companies. 

In addition, Gallup’s 2016 Q12® Meta-Analysis—which studied 82,000 businesses and 2 million employees—concluded that companies with the most engaged employees are 21% more profitable and enjoy 20% more sales production than those with the least engaged employees, while reaping the benefits of improved retention and attendance. Where do you fall on the spectrum?

Quick Quiz: Need to Improve Company Culture?  

You undoubtedly have an opinion regarding the state of your company culture, but answering these questions might provide some additional insights: 

  • Do your employees seem happy to be at work? How about your managers? (How about you?)
  • How do your employee retention rates stack up to your industry standards?
  • Do multiple employees have chronic time and attendance issues?
  • Is time theft or property theft an ongoing problem?
  • Do managers actively address performance issues with employees, or do they stay mum?
  • Is your recruiting process warm and personal or strictly by rote? What about your onboarding process?
  • Do you ever hold organized teambuilding activities?
  • Do you think all employees know the company’s mission and core values? Do they understand what their role is in upholding them?
  • Do you have a formal communication process in place for employees?

If your answers lead you to conclude you’ve got some work ahead of you, don’t despair—there are a number of straightforward steps you can take to enhance your workplace culture.  

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8 Ways to Improve Company Culture

According to the Deloitte study, employees have a clear picture of what a thriving company culture looks like. Desirable qualities include open communication across the organization, enthusiastic employee recognition programs, and easy access to management. Respect, trust, teamwork….all these factors contribute.

Now, here’s eight ways to instill them in your workforce:  

  • Make an effort to improve communication between management and staff. Be more transparent in sharing your vision and goals; make it part of your recruiting and onboarding process.
  • Don’t settle for annual performance reviews. Use your performance management software year-round to check in with employees. Reward top-performers throughout the year with gift cards or paid day offs, etc. There’s no such thing as too much employee recognition and appreciation!
  • Take steps to improve workforce relationships, whether through team-building exercises or company-wide events. Hold periodic “brainstorming days,” where employees are asked for their thoughts on improving productivity and service.
  • Consider investing in small perks. While you may not be able to offer a daily yoga class like giant companies do, how about a monthly “cake day” to celebrate all employee birthdays for the month?
  • Use your workforce management software to identify problem areas within the organization. If your time and labor system allows, generate reports that identify where your attendance problems lie. Then you can focus in on turning things around.
  • Ditto your retention and turnover rates. Use your HR software’s analytics to pinpoint problem teams/departments/managers, and take action accordingly.
  • On that note, don’t tolerate bad apples, no matter how talented they may be. Toxic employees destroy the morale of all those around them. You can’t afford to have them on board.
  • Train front-line managers to give employees some freedom in choosing how they’ll get the job done—i.e., to stop micromanaging and give employees a chance to shine.

Use Your HR Software to Improve Company Culture

If your current HR and payroll software doesn’t support a healthy company culture, check out EPAY Systems’ HCM solution. Our onboarding and performance management tools will provide you with the flexibility you need to communicate core values with employees, while our robust workforce management module will help you measure and manage employee behavior. Let us show you—take the two minute tour.

Filed Under: Human Capital Management