The Increasing Importance of Culture
The company culture is critical to the success of every company. A strong culture can help nurture employee experiences and can be increasingly effective in staving off employee burnout.
The problem, which is often the case with most things as they relate to HR, is the fact culture is constantly transforming. And as a result, it’s where most HR professionals say they need to focus their time, to the tune of 17 percent according to the HR Exchange Network’s State of HR survey.
“Culture is the lynchpin of success or failure,” Everis Global Human Resources Director Joseph Gregory said. “You can have the best strategy, but if your culture isn’t aligned… either you’re going to fail or at best, you’re going to be sub-optimal in your execution.”
One place Gregory says a bad culture can lead to failure is in attracting talent. Why? He says training and development, diversity and equality, technology and social impact are all important to workers entering the workforce now.
In fact, the statistics support his statement.
Culture is one of the factors potential job candidates are using to determine whether or not they want to work for a particular company. According to Glassdoor’s 2019 Mission and Culture Survey, 77% of adults in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany would consider company culture before putting in an application. 79% would consider the company mission before applying.
Not only is it about attracting employees, Gregory says it’s about retaining them as well. It also determines how engaged employees are with the organization.
According to Gallup, 4 in 10 U.S. employees strongly agree their organization’s mission and purpose makes them feel their job is important. Furthermore:
“By doubling that ratio to eight in 10 employees, organizations could realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism.”
So, what does this mean for HR?
“There’s a lot of different types of culture. Often times, there really isn’t a right or wrong answer on culture. The most important thing is there is consistency and the employees are aligned in that culture,” Gregory said. “I don’t believe it’s one-size-fits-all but when you have multiple cultures or when you have pockets of employees that don’t buy-in to the culture you’re trying to project… that’s when you can potentially have issues.”
“It comes down to communication and getting the correct buy-in,” Gregory said. And it’s not only with executive leadership. You also have to get buy-in from the organization’s staff and its employees. To do that, HR has to define what the culture is for the company, what it looks like and what the benefits of enacting the chosen culture are for the organization and the employees.
“Culture is something that is lived. You can feel it when it’s done well. It’s not just a bunch of lip service,” Gregory said.
Culture can be a strategy all to itself, but it can also be part of a larger one. As pointed out earlier, employees in today’s workforce want to connect with their organization and feel their work matters. That’s crucial to the employee experience. The employee experience strategy within organizations will only grow more important as new employees enter the working ranks. Each will bring with them new desires and will want their employers to realize those desires. The goal for HR will be to find a way to realize those desires and implement them for all.