Why investing in culture matters when you’re growing your business

Author Ivan Smiljanic Read bio
Tags: company culture team
Date: February 21, 2020

Understand, define and grow your culture to attract talent and empower your team.

The term Company culture has been gaining popularity in the business community lately. What exactly is it and why is it so important? 

Company culture is a set of shared ideals, values, goals, attitudes and norms that depict a certain company/organization. Company culture provides guidelines and expectations for employees and clients, and it’s considered to be the most powerful weapon to attract, recruit and retain talent in the company.

Tech giants like Google and Netflix are famous for their company culture. They offer free food, yoga classes, tons of fun activities and a flexible schedule. But we’re all aware of the fact smaller companies can’t compete with this. So small businesses have to be thrifty with the company culture and what they offer to remain competitive and appealing to employees.

The good news here is that a positive and stimulative work environment can be done without a big budget, and within any company, in any industry. If employers take the time and effort to invest in the happiness and well-being of their employees, positive company culture will follow. 

Let’s dive deeper into the company culture and see why it became important in the first place. 

What culture is

Company culture is defined as the beliefs and values that define what matters and how a company behaves as a whole. The way we see it is that company culture is the sum of everything – it’s the foundation that carries everything. 

Unfortunately, only few leaders understand the culture or let alone choose to invest in it. 

One of the simplest ways to see your company’s culture in action is to notice the behavior of your team and yourself. Watch carefully how communication goes down – what is said, in what manner and what is not said. 

Culture exists from the moment the company is born. It will definitely have an impact and the leader’s job is to identify it and make sure that the impact is positive.

Why company culture matters

People deserve to do meaningful work that they love, and that is why culture matters.

Let’s not forget about the strong business case for investing in company culture. A healthy and positive culture positively impacts a business in next key ways:

  1. Attracting new talent – people (especially millennials) want to join companies with a strong identity and a strong sense of direction. Top talent is hard to find and attract, and culture significantly helps.   
  2. Retaining and nurturing talent –  healthy and positive cultures keep employees engaged in work and engagement is known to reduce turnover. 
  3. Better decision making – you can get the best out of your team when all of the employees are on the same level and behavior. Less confusion will occur, and decisions will be made more swiftly, which will ultimately help everyone be effective and productive.

Leaders that can see the positive impact of culture, and its significance, can get started on defining what their company culture will and should be.

How to define company culture

There are two steps you need to take in the process of defining your company culture.

The first step is to get a clear picture of what the core purpose is. Why does the company exist in the first place? What are your team and you trying to accomplish?

With the “Why” being clear, you can move to defining the “How” – your values and core. These are all essential pieces of how you behave in the pursuit of happiness and purpose. In case you need some inspiration and a push in the right direction, check out the culture of huge brands like Netflix or HubSpot. Sometimes seeing what other companies do great can help get things rolling. Just make sure you don’t copy them entirely and lose a sense of what your company is and stands for. 

Building your company culture

Once you define the company culture the next step is to work on making it a reality.

This can be as simple as bringing the purpose and culture code to life in the processes and team members within your company. Some of the earliest and sweetest wins for building company culture can be found in rethinking how you recruit, hire, meet, plan and communicate. 

By empowering your team, you can accomplish so much in the process of building a culture. Being committed and dedicated to building the culture will create a healthy work environment and stack the odds of success to your favor as a bonus.