According to Merriam-Webster, “culture” was the most popular word in 2014. And for good reason. If Glassdoor, Linkedin, and Indeed don’t say your company is a great place to work, you might be risking losing your employees to one that is. Now that the economy has turned around, employees have stronger bargaining power, making the term “company culture” one of the most important words in corporate boardrooms to date.
Culture is the values and practices shared by members of a specific group. Therefore, company culture is the shared values and traditions of the company's employees. And yes — it is indispensable for your company.
Quite literally, company culture can make or break your company. Companies with an adaptive culture that aligns with their business goals and evolving needs of employees routinely outperform their competitors. Some studies report the difference at 200% or more.
And it seems like most companies have some serious work to do. According to a 2015 Gallup study, only 31.5% of U.S. workers are engaged in their jobs in 2014.
So, how can you increase employee engagement? According to Josh Bersin, founder of Bersin by Deloitte, a company that analyzes corporate HR, talent management, and leadership, five core elements increase employee engagement:
- Meaningful work
- Hands-on management
- Positive work environment
- Growth opportunity
- Trust in leadership
“Casual Friday," “work-from-home Wednesday," office yoga, happy hours, the dartboard in the breakroom; all of these non-traditional work activities and events can be categorized into company culture and result in higher employee satisfaction and retention.
We’re not saying you need to pull out all the bells and whistles like Google with their unique perks such as free onsite physicians and nurses, legal advice, gourmet meals, laundry services, transportation, gym, and, well, basically everything else. But, we do suggest you discuss the current company culture within your office and open the channels for employees to share what they think would make the office a greater) place to work. Things like offering incentives, bonuses, team building events, or even something small like lunch brought in on the first Friday of every month could raise company morale and increase employee retention. "As the saying goes, 'culture eats strategy for lunch.' And free lunch is now part of the culture," said Bersin.
For more information about company culture and employee retention, download our guide to employee retention.
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