Company culture is the fabric of any organisation. It informs all business behaviour, how your employees treat their jobs and how things are done – and getting it right is crucial for business success. In fact, culture is the most discussed talent issue on earnings calls, with mentions growing 12% annually since 2010. And yet, only 31% of HR leaders agree their organisations have the necessary culture to drive future business performance.
A company’s culture comprises a variety of elements: its vision, ethos, leadership style, values, and beliefs – and it’s culture that makes employees feel excited about coming to work every day!
Why should you communicate company culture?
It’s not enough to have a culture and simply expect your staff to live and breathe it every day. If you don’t communicate your culture and just allow one to develop on its own, there’s a risk that employees will all end up with entirely different impressions of it. By clearly and regularly articulating your culture and making sure it’s threaded into everything you do, you ensure consistency in its meaning and leave no room for misinterpretation.
There is simply no point in only paying lip service to a culture and not actively embodying it. In fact, doing so – a practice known as word-deed misalignment – will likely rub your employees up the wrong way and can lead to disengagement. For example, does your company talk about embracing flexible working, only to make it actually very difficult for employees to work from home? Or do you talk about the importance of taking a lunch break, only for managers to pile on so much work that employees are glued to their desk? Or do you talk the talk when it comes to diversity and inclusion, only for your company stats to tell a whole different story?
When envisioning your company culture, it’s important that it matches what you truly stand for, rather than simply what you preach but do not practise. Failing to be transparent can be costly from an employee engagement perspective, and ultimately can threaten retention.
The power of “thank you” should never be underestimated. It can help to support a culture of recognition, while helping staff to buy into your company culture. After all, employees who feel appreciated are more likely to feel invested in the business and what it stands for.
Communicate culture at all touchpoints
Your culture should be apparent from the very first interaction an employee, or a candidate, has with your company. Everything from the candidate experience – such as job descriptions and careers portals – to the onboarding experience, and company meetings throughout the employee lifecycle, should convey a sense of your company’s culture.
Read more about how to communicate an epic culture and value set through onboarding here.
Lead by example
For culture to be taken seriously, the leaders that promote it must themselves embody what it stands for. If a key tenet of your culture is ‘openness’, a leader should not sit in his office with the door closed all day.
If one of your values is ‘innovation’, but new ideas in the company are regularly dismissed, then this is does not help to promote the culture you’re trying to cultivate.
Have culture ambassadors
There will always be employees in the business who embody culture more than others – whether they are leaders or simply employees who truly believe in your company’s mission and values. Recognising and rewarding these types of employees will encourage others to emulate their behaviour and will help to establish a framework of desired work patterns and behaviours.
HROnboard, an ELMO company, offers a best-in-class software solution that reduces the amount of time HR teams and leaders spend securing the best candidates and undertaking the critical onboarding process for new hires. Our solution also helps manage internal employee role changes and can create a smooth and seamless process for exiting employees. For more information, reach us here.
ELMO Cloud HR & Payroll offers end-to-end solutions for the entire employee lifecycle, from ‘hire to retire’. This includes recruitment, learning, performance management, payroll, rostering / time & attendance, and more. For further information, contact us.