If you are a business leader who stays informed about modern management techniques, then you’ve probably heard the term “company culture” many times before. You don’t have to look far to find dozens of articles from various viewpoints that emphasize the importance of this concept for success in most industries.
Unfortunately, many people approach the issue without really understanding the purpose of workplace culture and how it differs from simple amenities or other employee engagement strategies. The important thing to keep in mind is that company culture creates tangible value by empowering employees, establishing performance standards and streamlining core processes.
The Nature of Company Culture
Your company’s culture is a set of established attitudes and behaviors that pervade all levels of the organization. It directly affects the way that team members interact with each other and determines their mental state while performing key job responsibilities. It is a sustained and self-propagating mentality that defines the character of the company, and is usually reinforced by both management and employees.
Workplace culture is successful when it serves the company’s interests by elevating the fundamental values that are essential for growth and profitability. For example, employees of a small startup are often expected to adopt a flexible attitude and willingness to expand their role as circumstances change. In this case, a productive culture is one that encourages team members to make their own decisions, take initiative on projects and share key responsibilities as a team.
Employee Satisfaction and Engagement
When we talk about employee engagement, we are describing the level of satisfaction that workers feel with their employer. There’s no doubt that happy and engaged employees are a good thing. However, there is a big difference between treating employees and convincing them to adopt the company’s core values.
Providing free food for employees or scheduling casual dress days every month may make workers happier, but they don’t necessarily provide meaningful value to the organization as a whole. That is not to say that amenities are a waste of resources, but they shouldn’t be the focus when developing a productive company culture.
Shaping Employees Through Productive Culture
Employee engagement and company culture are closely linked, which makes it difficult to analyze and understand them separately. Ultimately, the quality and value of an organization results in a rise in employee engagement and performance.
Keeping employees happy and loyal is a result of positive culture, not the source of it. As a business leaders or manager, you should keep this in mind as you seek to instill culture into your workplace environment.