Corporate culture is more than shiny foosball tables and Friday fireside chats. It’s more than a weekly happy hour in the office or an office getaway. While those things all seem pretty great, what is corporate culture anyway? Corporate culture is built upon a value system; a company’s beliefs, values, ethics and method of working. Embedded within that system is the way employees are treated by their employer, from inside the workplace, to outside. This ties directly to health and wellness–in other words: employee benefits.
The foosball table? That comes next.
Culture is best described as the overall lifestyle of a company. Down to the heart and soul of that lifestyle.
A healthy culture is a comfortable environment in which employees are happy and can do their best work. Moreover, that healthy culture will attract more talent, because naturally, good employees want to be a part of good companies. On the flipside, an unhealthy culture breeds negativity, and can ultimately lead to complete failure for a business.
When was the last time you took a step back to look at your company’s culture? Here are some red flags to look out for:
The office is a little too ‘lax. While many new startups are started by young millennials today, a lack of business and life experience can lead those workplaces to prioritize fun before work. Relaxed attitudes and days that start late aren’t the secrets to business success. An immature culture needs to grow up if it’s going to evolve.
Your company perks are in-office only. Good company culture means caring for your employees even after they’ve left the office. This shows that you care for your employees as people, not only staff. Health benefits help staff to be their best selves, in and out of the office.
An old boys club mentality. On the flip side, some businesses refuse to change or accept new ideas or new people. Dated thinking and an unwillingness to keep up with the times through culture and technology is going to leave a business in the dark ages.
The office community is lacking. If coworkers are unwilling to share information between them, your workplace may be breeding an environment of mistrust and poor communication. Furthermore, when communication spreads, so do company values. At the end of the day, you want your employees to all be working towards the same purpose, together.
The culture is based only on results. Organizations that see employee-employer relationships as only transactional – “you get a paycheque for doing your job and that should be enough” – lose talented employees who don’t feel appreciated or invested. Most people want employment that has meaning, not just money.
Anything sound familiar? While few company cultures are absolutely perfect, most aren’t completely horrendous either. Besides, a 360-degree culture turnaround is likely not necessary (or achievable – or even advisable!)
Here are some ways to help you improve the health of your workplace environment:
Involve your employees. Your staff plays the largest part in shaping workplace culture. In addition to letting them know about a shift in culture, ask them to help build it. Reflect on the vision of your ultimate corporate culture regularly, and ask your staff for their input on such. Many will probably have ideas about the steps necessary to achieve it. Regular open-dialogue office chats will help move those ideas forward.
Show your employees you care about them–long-term. It’s important to invest in your people the same way you invest in your overhead. As a result, your employees will invest in your company by working for you productively and sticking around. Caring for the health of your employees is the most effective way to do this. When they’re happy and healthy–so is your business.
Remember your vision. Has your company’s path veered away from its original destination? Maybe you’re in the midst of creating a new vision and mission and value statements. Re-authentication is important, and often the way a business evolves for the better. Nurture accountability and build buy-in by pulling out those statements regularly, sharing them with your employees and measuring whether your actions are aligning with your vision. In other words, check back in with the heart of your business regularly.
Show, don’t tell the way. As a leader, your role is to lead the charge–whether that means a slight tweak or a major overhaul. Don’t mistake that for taking a strictly top-down approach – positive change doesn’t happen because the boss orders it. Tell your staff where you’re going, ask for their input, and make it a habit to exemplify the values that you’re striving for every single day.
If you would like to know if we can help you attract and retain top talent by adding Group Insurance Benefits to your business and strengthening the security your employees feel while at work and away – I’d love to chat.