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Company Culture Is More Than a Mission Statement

company-cultureWe get it, not all companies can be Google, offering complimentary laundry services, haircuts, gourmet meals, nap pods, swimming pools... We can go on but you get the idea. Google discovered early on that a happy employee is a productive employee. When you can hold on to great employees, it means less time and money spent on recruitment and training. And keeping those employees happy? That will translate to your bottom line. Read on to discover why company culture is MUCH more than just a mission statement.

What Exactly Is Company Culture?

You provide your employees with their own work space, a break room, and the occasional birthday cake for Linda in HR. What else could they possibly need? The fact is, there’s a new generation of business owners and these millennials have been shaping the definition of company culture, making some big changes in the industry. Company culture is defined as the personality of a company and defines what a company, from an employee perspective, is like to work for.

The Link Between Employee Happiness and Productivity

Today, employees know that sometimes they’ll need to put in more time in order to get the job done. If your company makes the work environment cheerful and fun, then they are more likely to stay a little longer and go the extra mile for the business. According to the latest research at University of Warwick, happiness makes employees 12% more productive.

Additionally, a Columbia University study uncovered that the likelihood of job turnover at an organization with rich organizational culture is just 13.9%, a mere figure in comparison to the 48.4% turnover in a poor company culture. You don’t have to be an expert to discover why: unhappy employees tend to do only the minimum and great workers who don't feel appreciated for their hard work quit.

Connecting Happiness to Profit

Ok. So we work harder when we are happy. But does that really affect the bottom line? Yes. Dr. Sgroi, one of the doctors who led the previously mentioned Warwick study, stated: “The driving force seems to be that happier workers use the time they have more effectively, increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality.” So, more work + quality product = profit. There’s mountains of hard evidence that shows happy employees lead directly to better performance and as a result, higher profits. Take a look at the 2014 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For. Last year revenues increased for those companies by an average of 22.2%.

Ways to Change Your Company Culture?

The evidence is overwhelming and rather convincing. But you don’t need to throw weekly volleyball matches, or cheesy balloon-a-thons to get happy employees. Below are five great ways to show your employees that you care:

  1. Pay fairly - at the end of the day, it comes down to whether or not your employees can make a living. Smart leaders invest in their people.

  2. Provide great benefits - whether it’s a good health plan, daycare, casual Fridays or free lunches once a week. Benefits make people’s lives easier and better. Your employees will feel like you care for them leading to increased loyalty and them going the extra mile for you.

  3. Keep your door and mind open - when managers are approachable and open to new ideas, employee engagement soars. On the other hand, when workers are scared to voice their opinions, their frustration grows.

  4. Share profits - when employees share in the good times, they will be more focused and willing to dig deeper in the not-so-good times. When the literary sensation Fifty Shades of Gray raised publisher Random House to record heights, the company gave every employee a $5000 bonus. This is just smart leadership.

  5. Make your workplace fun - encourage your employees to be themselves, showing their personalities and quirks. When there is a seamless work/life mesh your employees will feel more comfortable and may even spend more time at the office! Games, laughter and fun are great stress relievers that’ll renew and refresh your employees.

The bottom line is happy workers make for more profitable companies. You can hear it from the game rooms at Google, smell it emanating from the ice cream shop at Facebook, and see it with aligned yoga mats on the rooftop of the OpenDNS office. Companies are investing in their most valuable assets: their employees. None of this is rocket science; In fact, it’s Leadership 101. Good workers simply won’t stick around a drab, mechanical, cold and repressive environment. Developing happy workers is what 21st century leadership is all about. And guess what? It makes leading a lot more fun, too!  

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The Oregon Small Business Development Center Portland Community College has  helped thousands of businesses over the past 30 years. We combine one-on-one  advising with programs taught by business experts, giving our clients the  resources they need to grow their businesses. We’ve celebrated many successes  with our clients. We'd love to celebrate your success. 

Topics: Professional Development, Small Business, Growing a Business, Leadership

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