A focus on corporate culture can improve a company’s bottom line

No matter how you define corporate culture, it will have an impact — good, bad, or ugly — on your company’s bottom line. In a new article for Lancaster Online, Eric Parker writes, “Corporate culture isn’t just a definition printed on the front page of your employee handbook. And it’s not about providing traditional benefits like health insurance or year-end bonuses.”

Parker continues, “Instead it’s a set of actions that defines the workplace. A small-business culture might be defined by flexible scheduling, volunteer initiatives, or even an office snack drawer. It doesn’t stop there, though. Leadership, team cohesiveness and workplace trust all contribute to your company’s culture.”

Here are some areas to focus on in your corporate culture:

Recruitment, hiring and retention

“A healthier job market gives workers more employment choices, including better opportunities to work as a freelancer or contractor. That means it’s imperative for small businesses to recruit, hire and retain top-quality talent.”

“Now, more than ever, your recruitment efforts are impacted by the quality of your culture. From social media posts to employer review sites like Glassdoor, former and current employees unhappy with your corporate culture have access to digital megaphones that can help sink or skyrocket recruitment.”

“A positive workplace culture will also reduce turnover, which translates into lower human resource costs for recruitment, training and onboarding. Lower turnover also decreases the loss of critical institutional knowledge and reduces the downtime associated with losing an employee.”

Productivity

“Disengaged employees — those who don’t feel valued, respected, supported or secure — are 37 percent more likely to be absent and 60 percent more prone to errors, according to studies by the Gallup Organization and Queens School of Business.”

“A negative company culture also triggers productivity-reducing stress. It’s true that some stress can be positive, especially if it helps drive innovation and growth. But prolonged negative stress — the kind that comes from poor leadership, dysfunctional teams or overly demanding workloads — leads to disengagement. It also has a direct and painful impact on your bottom line in the form of higher costs for health insurance and workers’ compensation.”

How to measure culture’s ROI

“The return on investment of company culture can seem like an intangible that’s hard to quantify. But you can understand its impact on your company’s health by looking at specific metrics.”

“For small-business owners, one of the simplest ways to measure culture is to survey employee satisfaction. Create your own questions or use an employee survey template — you’ll find plenty of examples online.”

“You may have a lot to juggle as a small-business owner, but it’s worth your time to review your corporate culture and its impact on employees and, in turn, the bottom line.”

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