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Why Corporate Culture Matters

If there is anything to learn from office relations, like the criticism Amazon faced recently in the New York Times over their Seattle office’s demands on workers, the takeaway here is that corporate culture matters. Why? Because without a happy, engaged and productive workforce that enjoys their time working for an employer, a business will have a hard time attracting and retaining talent.

What is corporate culture?

It is the essence and the soul of an employer’s company – the small pieces that make their workplace so unique. The building blocks of an essential corporate culture rely on the components of a company and their policies that cater directly to an employer’s current workforce, and the recruitment pieces that work in favour of attracting those that are considering joining the team. In essence, corporate culture consists of beliefs, company reputation, and the messages that are spread to employees on a daily basis.

Is it all perks?

While catered lunches, beer Fridays and foosball in the kitchen all amount to a certain level of excitement and entertainment for employees, these items are merely pieces in the overall game of corporate culture development and management. Perks are a definite plus, and often can sway some individuals if they’re looking at only perks, but they are not the sole factor when it comes to retention and attraction. So if you’re looking to spice up your business with a fun Friday activity, you need to ensure the other essential elements of corporate culture are present (i.e. values, reinforcement of those values and a clear direction).

How it benefits retention

A crucial part of developing a strong corporate culture (and showing it to employees) is by having all senior staff practice what they preach. It is easy for employees to become disheartened and unmotivated if the values of a company aren’t something that is being reinforced to all employees by those in charge.

Before anything can be implemented, it is important for an employer to identify the core principles of a corporate culture, which are made to benefit the employee. Therefore, it is important for employers to survey their audience to know where areas of improvement lie so that they can provide a working environment suited to the direct needs of their employees.

How it can be used for attraction/prospecting

How do candidates figure out where they want to work? They examine the employer’s values, or company culture, and try to envision where they fit into it all. What do you offer employees? What kinds of activities do you participate in? What are your mission, vision, and values? These questions are important to those peering into an organization from the outside, because they don’t know what this new environment will bring along with it and are searching for clues. So how can an employer demonstrate a glimpse into their workplace? By promoting company initiatives, perks, and showcasing a day in the life of the company. If a corporate culture is strong, employers need to leverage this bond and promote it far and wide for those seeking solace in a role with a new company.

Just as every person has their own personality, the personality of an employer’s workplace needs to shine through their corporate culture so that relationships can be built with prospects seeking new employment, and current employees that are reliant on an organization to provide them with a positive place to work.

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