If you work in an office or with a group of people, you’ve probably heard the phrase “company culture.” By now this word has lost its meaning as it has been written about, spoken about, and capitalized on by what feels like every outlet and influencer in every industry. However, this repetition is dangerous because it diminishes the actual importance of company culture.
We’re adding to the noise, but hear us out: Company culture is crucial in the workplace because it is, essentially, how people feel. Another word for it would be “fun factor” or “vibe.” It is what establishes the overall tone of a workplace and influences the way people work, interact, and live their lives (in and outside of work).
So why should you care about company culture? First off, it can make you rich – monetarily, of course, but also in the quality of your life: rich in passion and happiness; drive and motivation. Company culture influences your mind just as much as your wallet. So let’s focus on the three most important ways it can make you rich:
“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” This statement is only half right. Being passionate about what you do is crucial to not going insane, but it’s also important where you’re doing what you love. This type of happiness is derived from a supportive, encouraging, and comfortable work environment. This environment is important in the marketing world, where people often have to pick themselves up from the ground after exhausting ideas and executions. It’s crucial to have an environment where people can open up, be vulnerable, and share their best and worst ideas.
The key here is to understand that work isn’t always fun, even if you enjoy what you do – it is not supposed to be; it’s work. However, it can’t end there. You have to try and remedy this problem, understanding it and then doing things to make it easier when it occurs. For some people, this means working with a collaborative group in a well-lit environment. For other people, it means working in private, in the dark and listening to music. Everyone is different, but the environment in which you do your job, literally and mentally, will ultimately influence HOW WELL you do your job.
Make sure the workplace is somewhere people will enjoy spending most of their time.
Do better work.
The concept is straightforward and pulls from the last point: Happy people work harder. There is nothing worse than an unmotivated employee. Hate your job, hate what you do, the people you work with, etc., etc. Think about an environment where people build on your ideas – where you collaborate with coworkers that you respect, admire and trust on a professional and personal level. This area is big and open, with natural light coming in from windows and, hey, they even let dogs come to work. Doesn’t that sound nice? Now, on the flip side, think about being stuck in a dimly-lit office all day – maybe a cubicle surrounded by three wall – workings with people you not only don’t like but aren’t even sure what their names are. Which situation do you think you’ll be more likely to do better work in?
We’re not trying to say silence and minimal communication is a bad thing, but, more often than not, it creates a tense and closed-off work environment. It’s important to remember that no matter what you do as a profession when you go to work you’re working with people as part of a larger team. Everyone there wants the same thing: do a good job. An environment that rewards good work also promotes good work.
If you love what you do and where you do it, you’re going to produce much better work.
Make more money.
Notice how all of these points are leading into each other? By loving where you spend 8-10 hours every day, you’re more likely to do better work. Better work will attract people and clients who admire and want good work. Work equals money. Our final point is probably the most obvious because it completes the full circle that is the result of good company culture. We don’t need to rant on about how doing good work will make you money.
Doing a good job you can make more money in the long term (duh).
Now that you understand the biggest benefits of company culture, how do you create it?
Well, you don’t.
The tricky part with company culture that most people get wrong is assuming it’s created overnight. Company culture cannot be forced. It is built over time – through difficult times – by the employees and the environment. If you hire bad people, you will have bad culture. If your office space is not fun to be in, your culture will reflect that.
Company culture can be used to elevate the best parts of a team or business, but it can also put a spotlight on some of the biggest flaws. Handing out gift cards to employees for doing a good job but scolding them when they make a mistake is not a good practice. This is not genuine, and people will take notice. Working with employees to do a better job, helping them overcome challenges, talking to coworkers in general – it shows that you care about the people you’re around and the work that you’re doing. This type of interaction creates a connection that is often absent from most businesses today, but could greatly benefit them.
They say not to mix your personal life with work. That was a great saying in 1950, but it’s 2017 and it’s okay to be a little more and human in the workplace. At its core, company culture is like a giant plant. You can take care of it, watch it grow, or you can pretend it doesn’t exist and eventually it will die and start to smell bad.