Why is company culture important?
Company culture is important because employees want to enjoy their time at work and they are more likely to if they fit with the company culture. Employees are more likely to stay when they feel fulfilled, therefore decreasing the costs of recruiting, hiring and training. It is estimated that the cost of replacing an entry-level employee is 40% of their salary and the estimated cost of replacing a senior-level employee is 400% of their salary. It is clear, that from a financial point of view, keeping the employee’s happy and engaged is of great benefit to the company.
In addition, according to Gallup, reducing employee disengagement can result in productivity gains of between “£52 billion and £70 billion” for the UK economy. The stats speak for themselves, happy employees benefit the company and the wider economy.
Here are 5 steps to help you reinvent your company culture to ensure you have a happy and engaged workforce.
Step 1 – Strengths and Weaknesses
The first step is to evaluate the company’s current position and performance. Highlight what areas are producing results and which areas need support. Employers can learn from their customers and employees why parts of the business are failing.
The first question to ask is, are your customers happy? This can be measured in multiple ways, firstly, Customer Effort Score is a metric that measures how much effort your customer must put in to solve their issues. Customer Satisfaction Score is a widely recognised measure of customer sentiment. CSAT measures a customer satisfaction with the service their received, when interacting with a brand.
Once the customers have been understood, it is important to learn from the employees. Are the employees happy? This can be measured through a Net Promoter Score which understands employee’s loyalty and willingness to be ambassadors for the company. NPS understands the proportion of promoters (advocates) and detractors (critics) within the business. An employee Net Promoter Score can highlight the happiness of the employees very easily.
Step 2 – Clarity and Communication
Clarity and Communication. It is time to discuss how the weaknesses of the company are going to be combatted. This step requires clarity from the leadership team. The leadership need to be clear on how a change in culture will benefit the weak aspects of the company. It is also important to remember that the process of changing company culture will not happen overnight. It will take time for the new process to come into effect and even longer to see actual change. The leadership must identify the most effective methods of communicating this change to their employees. This can be achieved through a companywide meeting, or organising smaller meetings, with less attendees, whereby questions can be asked, which can provide feedback with the opinions of the employees.
Step 3 – Direction
Set the direction of the company. A culture change is needed, how will this be achieved? Are the current employees able to take the company to where we need to be? Can we retain/upskill our current employees and do we need some fresh talent? The leadership team need to identify the perfect team and build it. For the growth of the company, all employees need to work well in a new culture.
Step 4 – Motivation
It is important that staff are motivated to keep working hard, even whilst getting used to the new processes and way of thinking. Employees showing willingness to change and be a part of the new culture should be rewarded for their efforts. Simple rewards such as allowing employees to leave early on a Friday, show the employee that adapting to the new culture will benefit both themselves and the company.
Step 5 – Lead by example
It is important for the leadership team to adopt the new culture from the get go and pave the way for the rest of the employees to follow. For example, to increase productivity, the new culture rewards the most productive employees to work from home one day a week. By creating a flexible working environment, the new culture can greatly benefit employees who have a young family, for example. However, if the leadership aren’t taking advantage of the new working environment, then it is unlikely that the rest of the team will.
Step 6 – Monitor and assess
At this stage, the culture change is usually established, and it is time to assess if it is bringing the improvement that was required by asking employees what they think. Are the employees enjoying the culture? Are they happy and benefiting from the new processes? It is also important to look at the position of the company and assess whether the company is benefiting. Are the weak areas of the business starting to improve?
With all these steps in mind, it is important to remember that the culture of an organisation is essentially its DNA. Changing the culture of an organisation can be a difficult process, which takes time. However, if all levels of the organisation, from top to bottom believe in the change and understand why it is going to be beneficial, then cultural change can be achieved. If an organisation wants to continue to grow and succeed, then it must follow the correct process.