CULTURE – Possibly the most over-used but under-valued word in the current world of business and commerce.
For many forward-thinking businesses, gone are the days of securing candidates on talent alone. As a candidate, you’re now more likely to be selected on your core values and how these values align with the company you’re applying for, rather than your excellent organisational skills, or your degree in linguistics!
Culture is definitely king in the current work environment, with more and more companies outlining their core values and selecting employees based on how closely they match with these. This approach greatly helps businesses provide their own clear sense of identity that would-be employees can align with.
By employing someone who fits with your company culture, they should ‘in theory’ make an easier transition into the team and stay within your company rather than leaving after a short time because they aren’t happy, or they are not meeting your expectations.
Research from HR software company, Breathe, found that 60% of SME leaders expect a positive workplace culture to improve levels of customer service and satisfaction, while a third of British workers quit their job because of poor company culture. So, brand and business culture are incredibly important – both to an employer and as an employee.
One company that has become particularly famous for their core values is American company Zappos. Just do a quick search on CEO Tony Hsich and you will see multiple videos of him evangelising about the importance of core values and how they drive everything they do as a business. Zappos even have a number of interview questions based around the candidates’ core values to help them gauge how suitable someone might be to work for the Zappos brand.
Culture is also embracing a world of differences. Let’s be very clear here, employing the exact same person many times over isn’t the answer – this would never work! Aligning values, isn’t the same as duplicating values. Having different interests and opinions keeps our businesses open-minded and respectful. A collective of different people sharing similar values is incredibly powerful – this is the real magic.
For example, some of the core values Zappos have used are ‘embrace and drive change’, ‘create fun and a little weirdness’, ‘pursue growth and learning’ and ‘do more with less’. They’re short, snappy and to the point, and are not too prescriptive, but they immediately lay out the ethos of the company.
Here at Brand Elect we build brand strategies to ensure the outside of the business is representing the values from within. As consumers we recognise the value of community and shared interests, so it’s no surprise that those businesses that genuinely promote their culture are connecting well with their intended audiences. When a company is proud, it’s very contagious. It’s like the old adage, “be a good business to work with, and for!”
More and more, job seekers are considering the culture of a company when applying for roles. Salary is one deciding factor of course, but it’s shared attitudes and behaviours that really resonate with people. Additional benefits such as; Birthdays off, Casual Wednesdays, Early Finish Friday’s, Company Sports & Leisure Activities, Mindfulness & Wellbeing Initiatives – all of these truly endorse your status as a business. These sentiments go a long way to demonstrate a company cares about its employees (and itself).
So, we finish our article with this one simple question. Ask yourself, what does my company stand for, and am I aligned?
If your business is in need of brand and cultural alignment, we would be delighted to work with you – it’s never too late to be part of the Culture Club.