These days, companies and organisations use the term “company culture” liberally.
It appears in everything from career postings and websites to job descriptions and orientation literature.
But what exactly does company culture mean?
And how can companies leverage not only this phrase but how it’s internally defined in order to more effectively attract job applicants, engage talent, and also retain team members when all is said and done?
Software Advice, an online reviewer of talent management technology, recently conducted a survey, in which workers were asked a simple question:
What does an ideal company culture look like to you?
The top answers were:
It’s not too surprising that ‘Casual/Relaxed’ topped the list. After all, companies like Google are well-known for their fun and easy-going workplaces, where employees can enjoy incentives like game rooms, cafeterias stocked with free food, napping pods, on-site daycares, and more.
However, creating a company culture that employees love isn’t always just about the on-site perks that you offer your team members.
In the survey mentioned above, another question was posed to workers:
What traits of a company culture would make you more likely to apply to an open position with a company?
Interestingly enough, a third of respondents answered that honesty and transparency would be the biggest priority to them.
In other words, it means more to job applicants and employees to know that their leaders are going to treat them and communicate with them in a fair and open way.
What does this mean for leaders, managers, and companies?
How to build a company culture based on honesty and transparency
Advertising your culture as being one where team members can enjoy honesty and transparency throughout every facet of their experience—from communications with management, to staff meetings, to even internal emails—may very well make for a more attractive organisation, and thereby make for happier employees who are more likely to be loyal to your organisation (thus naturally increasing employee retention).
“If companies are seeking to attract candidates using their company culture as their primary recruiting hook,” says human resources researcher Erin Osterhaus, “letting it be known that your company is home to an honest and transparent culture might just be the most effective way to build your employer brand.”
But, as the old adage goes, “actions speak louder than words.” Culture begins with those in leadership, so supervisors and managers should constantly ask themselves, “Am I being candid? Am I being transparent?”
It’s not enough to simply publicise the characteristics of your company’s culture. You also must take action to bring those characteristics to life.
How can you easily integrate those characteristics into your every-day working routine then? Here are some ideas:
- Openly communicate your company’s goals to team members.
- Share successes and create an open forum where employees can learn from setbacks.
- Encourage an environment where employees can freely come to their leaders and where leaders actively nurture the working relationships between themselves and their team members.
- Stress honesty in communications with vendors and customers.
- Allow employees to voice concerns, offer ideas and seek counsel without the fear of punishment or a defensive reaction.
- Reward employees who follow company policy and demonstrate honesty on a consistent basis.
These simple tenets can be easily implemented and will begin to create an environment where your team members flourish because of an honest and transparent culture. More than that, employees will appreciate a working environment where they feel seen, heard, and validated, and are more likely to be loyal to your company as a result.
Are you looking to transform the culture in your workplace? Contact us today for our culture measurement and development services. We’d love to meet with you to help your team realise its potential and better achieve your company goals.