It is an established fact that building a great organization takes much more than recruiting smart talent. One must have a clear strategy and the vision to implement it. Not so long back subsidized lunches, regular team-outings, office play-areas etc. were a must-have for an enhanced employee experience. Then, Covid19 struck, bringing down to ground business strategies built at a CEO’s high-table. Yet, some organizations not only managed to survive the onslaught but also rebounded quicker than their competition. With the business world descending into a turmoil, many credit their corporate culture with being the great redeemer.
Corporate Culture is an implied set of values that create a psychological environment unique to an organization. This slow-evolving phenomenon defined and cultivated through Senior Leadership finds its genesis in the collective traits of recruited talent. This is why recruiters sometimes reject a prospect by claiming “the ‘it’ factor is missing”. Shared values, tacit social order, a mutual sense of purpose etc. are some of the many aspects that play a role in developing the corporate culture. The key is to create a distinctive cocktail that has the right blend of these factors. Let us look at some key areas that define corporate culture:
- Adaptability: Over the past year, many organizations have demonstrated well an overnight transition to the new normal. In this firefight, innovation took a backseat whereas the desired agility and speed stood handicapped by half-hearted efforts of digital transformation. Hosting legacy and majorly offline systems will no longer guarantee survival. Organizations must fully integrate systems in order to set-in lasting behavioral changes related to digital transformation. As we move into a hybrid work model, companies will have to build trust within a workforce that is ‘distributed’ and working remotely. Agility and adaptability should be definitive traits of a corporate culture.
- Hire right: Talent can be groomed, attitude cannot! In a connected world, organizations go out of their way to avoid recruiting professionals who could be bad influences on their colleagues. One’s perception of an organization depends on their interactions with its employees. Employees should realize that they represent their employer even outside of professional obligations. One bad hire has the potential to cause an irreparable damage to the organization’s culture as well as the brand. No wonder then that organizations do not entertain ‘high achievers who are not a team person’.
- Put employees first: Take care of your employees and your employees will take care of your customers. The pandemic witnessed employers bending backwards to accommodate their employees’ ‘situation’. Gaining feedback from employees and implementing it through their assistance in itself will lead an organization on the right path. Organizations that put words into action tend to retain their workforce better.
- Develop informal Leadership: Identify the informal leaders within your teams. These employees may not hold any formal leadership position, but can influence a particular subordinate base through their approach. In any crisis, the team inadvertently looks up to such professionals for a direction. Often, such informal leaders help bring in behavioral changes. Such resources are a boon in developing employee centric programmes that encourage collaboration.
- Team-spirit: The success of any organization is in direct correlation with the camaraderie within its teams. Situations like the pandemic would be difficult to overcome without a strong team-culture. Nurturing teams is a time intensive process. Bringing everyone onboard, communicating regularly and learning from each other are essentials that strengthen a company culture. A cordial work environment can be a great beginning to building lifelong friendships. When colleagues trust each other, company culture builds upon itself.
- Communication: People consume loads of information in today’s world. Hence, it is imperative for the leadership to communicate with their employees frequently. Leadership should be at the forefront of explaining new initiatives. This makes employees feel as a valued part of the decision-making process. Communicating employee success stories can be a great way to motivate one’s talent-base to give their best at work. It also breeds healthy competition. Demonstrating the learnings and impacts of company initiatives increases people involvement.
No matter the industry you serve, employees are the best trumpeters of your company’s culture. Designing and delivering a distinctive employee experience in line with the business culture is the key to sustained growth no matter the challenges ahead.