Zappos' CEO Tony Hsieh has famously said, "Your personal core values define who you are, and a company's core values ultimately define the company's character and brand. For individuals, character is destiny. For organizations, culture is destiny."
Some companies, like Zappos, are known for their innovative company culture, while others are known for their toxic environments. Most companies, however, fall somewhere in the middle – they know their culture could be better but haven't done much to improve it. But why is company culture so important?
Without a concerted effort to develop and cultivate a positive company culture, your organization runs the risk of reinforcing an unhealthy one which can have devastating consequences. These impacts include high staff turnover rates, decreased employee productivity, low team morale, poor brand perception, and difficulty recruiting top talent.
So, do core values plastered on a wall really make that big of a difference? Well, no. Just adding a "teamwork makes the dream work" poster to your office décor is not enough. But, if a company can successfully infuse positive core values into all aspects of the organization – truly live and breathe them – then, yes, corporate culture can be transformative.
Company culture impacts all aspects of your organization – from public perception to financial performance and beyond. A strong culture provides a framework for employees, customers, and your bottom line to thrive. Here's how:
Company culture gives people and the work they do purpose and connects everyone via a shared belief system. At iHire, we don't just talk the talk; we walk the walk. Yes, we have our core values (growth-focused, transparent, collaborative, accountable, innovative, committed, and optimistic) displayed in just about every room, but our culture is much more than that. We weave those core values into everything we do – our morning team huddles, social events, wellness program, collaborative brainstorming sessions, community outreach, recruiting efforts, and other initiatives.
These elements come together to create an engaging environment that allows our employees to strike a work-life balance, prevent burnout, build trusting relationships, and feel that the work they do is meaningful. Does it work? I'll let the fact that we've been around for 20 years (and continue growing!) speak for itself.
In the end, investing in your organization's culture will create a strong brand identity, motivate and retain employees, aid in your recruitment efforts, and ultimately lead to a more profitable organization. For additional advice on how to improve your company culture, check out our employer resource library.