There’s a lot of buzz about the word “culture” and what it means within an organization. A culture is built on a company’s mission and core values. It describes what a company represents both within its walls and to the outside world.
If a company lacks a solid mission and goal, nothing will go well. But, if employees are focused on a common, clear goal, they’ll be driven to do their jobs no matter where they’re sitting, or how they’re scheduling their work.
Culture must drive every single corporate decision, including hiring practices. Every employee should be committed to the firm’s mission. Office design must reflect the culture, and any philanthropic activity a company engages in should also have a direct link to the mission.
At Indeed, our mission is simple: We Help People Get Jobs. Everything flows from that core message. Our employees respond by knowing exactly what they’re working toward and how to accomplish that goal.
With over 5,000 employees globally, Indeed’s mission helps keep our employees engaged and focused. We have designed our offices to promote an open, collaborative culture. To further promote collaboration, we have invested in Inclusion Resource Groups for all employees. Our volunteer efforts are focused on our mission of helping people get jobs.
It boils down to “practicing what you preach.” Companies can talk about what they want their culture to be, or offer employees rewards to promote it, but in the end it needs to be actionable.
To build a sustainable corporate culture, focus on these three areas:
1) Environment – Research shows that 90 percent of what we perceive about our world is absorbed visually. And, visual perceptions greatly influence our overall impression of our surroundings. That’s why a company’s physical environment is so important to get right.
In creating an office environment, there is no “one size fits all.” Every company is different and every workforce is different. Authenticity is essential. A physical office space should reflect a company’s culture and employees’ needs. In turn, it can play an important role in employee engagement.
Two main factors encompass office design: the brand values and the company’s culture. For a company, it’s a case of “know thyself” but also “know your employees.” If possible, employees should be consulted about their preferences. Above all, the chosen design should reflect the company’s image and help facilitate corporate goals.
At Indeed, our open office environment reflects our collaborative nature and younger population. No one has a private office at our firm.
2) Benefits and Perks – Consider the main age group of employees you seek to attract and retain. Does your benefits package provide the key benefits that people in this age group want and need? At the same time, it’s important to make sure your benefits package doesn’t discourage workers in other age groups.
Employers who want to stand out should focus on more than just benefits - job candidates seek perks that offer work/life balance or recognition. Those types of benefits are nearly as valuable as compensation, according to results of our Science of Talent Attraction Study.
The study shows that good location, flexible hours, benefits and meaningful work were the most important attributes beyond compensation when people look for a new job. And with 71% of people in the labor force actively looking for or open to a new job, a rewards culture can play a meaningful role in attracting candidates to your company.
Indeed offers unlimited paid time off to its employees. We also find that telecommuting options are very well-received by employees. In companies where flexible work arrangements are conducive to the business model, remote work policies can be an attractive benefit.
3) Communication – I’ve always believed that if you treat employees like adults, they will behave like them. Talking to employees like they are children is an easy trap when you have to communicate something difficult. But, it’s important to remember they are adults and they can handle honesty. So, be honest about why changes are being made.
While we can’t always disclose everything, keep in mind that employees can see right through “corporate talk.” Listen to your employees’ questions or concerns. An honest, open dialogue will help ease any stress that may come with the change.
At Indeed, open communication is part of our company culture. We provide employees with multiple channels for two-way communication. Employees have regular access to senior leaders. We also promote transparency about the company’s culture by maintaining an honest dialogue about any changes.
Whether you’re a large corporation, or a small, family-owned business, offering employees free lunch and ping-pong tables will only get you so far. But by building a strong, action-minded culture that provides employees with career advancement and opportunities to make an impact, you’ll not only attract top candidates, you’ll retain them.