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Company Culture is King – Here's Why

Zappos' CEO Tony Hsieh has famously said, "Your personal core values define who you are, and a company's core values ultimately define the company's character and brand. For individuals, character is destiny. For organizations, culture is destiny."

Some companies, like Zappos, are known for their innovative company culture, while others are known for their toxic environments. Most companies, however, fall somewhere in the middle – they know their culture could be better but haven't done much to improve it. But why is company culture so important?

Without a concerted effort to develop and cultivate a positive company culture, your organization runs the risk of reinforcing an unhealthy one which can have devastating consequences. These impacts include high staff turnover rates, decreased employee productivity, low team morale, poor brand perception, and difficulty recruiting top talent.

So, do core values plastered on a wall really make that big of a difference? Well, no. Just adding a "teamwork makes the dream work" poster to your office décor is not enough. But, if a company can successfully infuse positive core values into all aspects of the organization – truly live and breathe them – then, yes, corporate culture can be transformative.

Group of employees with hands in the middle

Company culture impacts all aspects of your organization – from public perception to financial performance and beyond. A strong culture provides a framework for employees, customers, and your bottom line to thrive. Here's how:

  1. Builds your brand: A good company culture, supported by a set of core values, builds your brand. It defines both your internal and external identity – it is what employees, job candidates, customers, partners, competitors, and other stakeholders will think of when they hear your name or see your logo. Plus, a focus on core values provides principles to guide and align employees. Everyone is embracing the same set of beliefs as they work toward a common goal.
  1. Retains talent: Company culture undoubtedly motivates and retains your best people. By providing a workplace where employees are encouraged and developed, you illustrate your commitment to fulfilling your workforce's professional and personal needs. And, employees who feel like they are a part of a community, who feel like what they do makes a difference, are more likely to stay where they are.
  1. Supports recruiting efforts: Not only does a strong culture retain top talent, but it can also help with your recruitment efforts. Increasingly, job seekers and employers are placing a high priority on culture fit. In fact, a recent survey found that one-third of job seekers would pass up the perfect career opportunity if the corporate culture was a bad fit. A vibrant and supportive corporate culture is a powerful tool for attracting top applicants and sets your company apart from competitors who are dipping into the same talent pool. Additionally, engaged, happy employees become excellent company advocates and brand ambassadors. When employees love where they work, they tell their friends – A-players know other A-players.
  1. Enhances your bottom line: A solid brand and engaged employees are great – but do those translate to better company performance? You bet. Improve your company culture to enhance your bottom line, as satisfied employees tend to go above and beyond the duties and requirements in their job description. They get more work done, drive above-average performance, and are more likely to have positive interactions with clients, partners, and other stakeholders.

Company culture gives people and the work they do purpose and connects everyone via a shared belief system. At iHire, we don't just talk the talk; we walk the walk. Yes, we have our core values (growth-focused, transparent, collaborative, accountable, innovative, committed, and optimistic) displayed in just about every room, but our culture is much more than that. We weave those core values into everything we do – our morning team huddles, social events, wellness program, collaborative brainstorming sessions, community outreach, recruiting efforts, and other initiatives.

These elements come together to create an engaging environment that allows our employees to strike a work-life balance, prevent burnout, build trusting relationships, and feel that the work they do is meaningful. Does it work? I'll let the fact that we've been around for 20 years (and continue growing!) speak for itself.

In the end, investing in your organization's culture will create a strong brand identity, motivate and retain employees, aid in your recruitment efforts, and ultimately lead to a more profitable organization. For additional advice on how to improve your company culture, check out our employer resource library.

by: Michelle Emmons
July 09, 2019