Company culture is one of the most common buzzwords of late, but have you ever stepped back and thought about what “company culture” really is?
I speak daily with clients, candidates and even competitors who simply fail to understand the importance of company culture to their business. They will commonly offer beers on a Friday, take away the business attire and call it a culture. For me, one of the things that everyone at Mantell Associates does well is explain what a corporate culture really is, and all the team know that by working in the right way, culture will breed success.
The definition of company culture encompasses the beliefs and behaviours of a business, as well as interactions between management, employees, and clients.
It is implied, not defined, as culture exists in our everyday lives – not just at work. A successful corporate culture improves the quality of employees, employee turnover rate, motivation, and productivity.
A question often asked by candidates is “what is the culture like?” Whilst I have no squabbles with this as a question, I will often flip this and ask, “what is a culture to you?” Candidates can sometimes feel that the culture is something to entice them – talking about the social element, the pubs they go to, where people take lunch, that sort of thing. Do not get me wrong, all of those do contribute to company culture of course, but what is so often overlooked within culture is a company’s ethos and values.
So, how does company culture affect performance?
A group of employees focused on individual targets will quite simply not achieve the same results as those working towards a shared goal and end game. Again, one of the most common downfalls is that employees do not understand their organisation’s bigger picture. By being open and clear about the company’s overall vision, and transparency about what the company is looking to achieve outside of financial goals and how it plans on hitting these, the feeling of inclusion, shared responsibility and ownership will naturally drive performance.
Company culture should be malleable, visual to all employees at all levels, shared by all and, where possible, created by everyone for each other. By all means, put some money behind the bar on a Friday and reward people for success, but make sure they know why they work for you and not your competitors.
An engaged employee is a valuable and profitable employee.
Mantell Associates is a specialist Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences headhunting organisation. To find out how we can assist with your recruiting needs, contact Vincent Mackay on +44 (0)20 3778 0990 or firstname.lastname@example.org.