Whilst corporate culture has always been important, it is not surprising that virtually every recent workplace survey points to an overwhelming correlation between a positive, people centred workplace culture and business stability, growth and profitability.
Gone are the days when colleagues were prepared to suffer in a working environment where the culture did not reflect their own ethics and aspirations; instead, nowadays, in our ever-more fluid work environment, they will regularly decide to ‘jump ship’ and find a work base that best fits who they are and what they believe in. Nowadays, employees want to feel that their talents are being maximised, appreciated, in a place that reflects their values - it simply isn’t worth it to remain in a negative or ‘toxic’ environment.
Glassdoor’s most recent Culture & Mission Survey (July 2019) reflects this mood perfectly:
58% of employees and job seekers say company culture is more important than salary when it comes to job satisfaction – this figure is even higher for 18-24 year olds – at 62%
70% of employees and job seekers would not apply to a company unless its values align with their own personal values
80% of employees and job seekers would consider a company's mission and 77% its culture before applying for a job in that company
64% of employees and job seekers reckon company culture is one of the main reasons to stay in a job
Working in the recruitment industry and witnessing the current ‘War for Talent’, we know first-hand the undoubted increased pressure for staff retention within organisations. A company’s ability not only to attract, but to retain good people is what sets it apart from the competition: this all comes down to the culture within the business.
We’ve observed for ourselves in Ireland, the culture of an organisation is increasingly near the top of the questions we are asked by candidates when they are assessing any job opportunity. And any good recruiter knows that to find that all-important ‘right fit’ they must immerse themselves in the culture of the company they are recruiting for – and understand a candidate’s aspirations, in order to ensure that candidate shortlists truly reflect what the company is looking for (and vice versa).
People want to work in an environment where they can meet their own professional goals, are valued, respected and, most importantly, – happy. We all spend a huge proportion of our lives in work, so, naturally enough, we want to feel positive and content in our workplaces.
With this increasing pressure on staff retention, the role of strong management providing proper leadership has never been more tested. There is all too often a massive contradiction within the workplace definition of these two titles, management and leadership, between the millennial generation, younger and much more socially mobile (increasingly the majority opinion), who believes leadership and management is about reinforcing a positive culture – flexible, respectful, innovative – and those of a previous generation who see management and strong leadership as outcome focused and don’t understand just how crucial workplace culture has become in the battle for staff retention.
Leadership qualities, often quoted as being ‘the difference’, include, in today’s world, ensuring a workplace environment where everyone is treated as equal, respected for their performance and where their opinion is valued. In fact, within this positive workforce culture where people identify with the values of a business, colleagues will work much more closely and better together.
They will go above and beyond the normal requirements – inspired by the collective desire to ‘make it happen’ for the business they are part of. As a result, the business will thrive and grow.