The phrase”company culture” is often assumed to be just another buzzword—to fall under this assumption, however, would be a mistake.

Truth be told, company culture is the underlying essence of any business—it’s the way people feel when they’re working with or for you. Companies thrive on an engaged workforce, in fact, happy salespeople can increase profits by up to 37%.

While there are a combination of factors that contribute to workplace satisfaction, what ultimately keeps your team coming back each day is their sense of belonging—instilled feelings of pride, worth and acceptance—all of which are byproducts of company culture. A great culture can even deliver talent to your door. The question is, how do you go about creating culture in the workplace without breaking the bank?

How to Get More From Company Culture

If an employee feels like they “fit” within your work environment, they’re naturally more likely to enjoy working at your company. People enjoy working for places that respect their needs, share their values and support their ambitions. A great culture attracts and retains happy, loyal employees, both of which cultivate valuable repeat customers through their great service.

The concept of culture in the workplace isn’t new. Yet still, people have only recently begun to give company culture the attention it deserves. In fact, one study shows that 86% of people say company culture is critical to long-term success. The trouble is, only 12% of employees think that their employer is cultivating the right culture.

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While poor culture leads to unhappy, uninterested and unproductive employees, the right culture can transform your business—here’s the proof:

  • Turnover at companies with poor culture is around 48.4%, compared to only 13.9% for organizations with good company culture.
  • Companies appearing on the Fortune “Best 100 companies to work for” can achieve up to 495% returns on investments.
  • Businesses with strong culture in the workplace can achieve up to 4x as much revenue growth as their counterparts.
  • Organizations named as a “Best Place to Work” can recognize a .75 stock value increase on average.

Ultimately, positive company culture encourages creative, happy work from loyal employees. When your customers love the place they work for, they’re willing to go above and beyond to facilitate its success.

Steps for Creating Culture in the Workplace

Just as there’s no one-size-fits-all roadmap to running the perfect business, there’s no ultimate plan for creating culture in the workplace. However, there are things you can do to improve your chances of a powerful company culture.

Step 1: Hire People Who Align with Your Values

Implementing a good workplace culture starts with figuring out what’s important to your business and brand. The more you know about your internal aims and objectives, the easier it will be to hire professionals whose personal goals coincide with your own.

During the interview process, ensure you check for signs that your candidate’s attitude matches your own. Ask questions like ,”What do you look for in an employment opportunity?” or “How will you contribute to our goals?” Some employers even bring candidates in for a test-run to see how they integrate with pre-existing staff.

Step 2: Facilitate Feedback

No healthy working environment can thrive without proper communication. Employees should have the opportunity to talk about their issues, address their concerns, and air their ideas without fear of repercussions. Lack of feedback can breed a culture of silent dissatisfaction, which can damage the workplace.

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Employee advocacy tools can help employees to communicate with their peers more effectively—particularly when they’re concerned about face-to-face interactions. Alternatively, search for other feedback routes too, like suggestion boxes or anonymous surveys.

Step 3: Respect & Recognize Employees

Think about the last time you got a pat on the back from someone in your professional network. The chances are that it made you feel a lot better about your employment, and even the people you work with—53% of workers say that their relationships in the office would be improved if they received more recognition.

A recognition program doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective. Try creating a gamification system that rewards employees who perform best in your advocacy campaigns, and you could find that your efforts pay for themselves.

Step 4: Support Employee Growth and Development

Today’s employees are looking for more than just a salary. They want an opportunity to achieve their goals and explore their skills with the support of their employer. Investing in training programs and development strategies could be the key to getting better buy-in and more loyalty from your staff.

Not only do growth opportunities keep workers happy by showing them that you’re invested in their long-term development, but they’re great for business too. The more skills your workers have, the more you’ll benefit.

Step 5: Create Opportunities for Collaboration

Often, creating culture in the workplace is all about making sure that your employees know how to work together successfully. The only way to effectively build bonds between the people in your team is to give them opportunities to collaborate on projects and initiatives that benefit the business.

For example, an employee advocacy program is a great way to get your people working together in a format that’s naturally social, creative, and fun. Just remember, if you decide to gamify your advocacy program, make sure that you’re rewarding the right achievements to keep everyone happy and engaged.

Building a Bench Using Company Culture

Company culture isn’t just a great way to keep existing employees happy—it’s also a powerful recruitment tool. If you’re looking for opportunities to hire talented people, it makes sense to show your would-be hires just how wonderful it can be to work for you.

Just as horror stories about toxic corporate cultures can send applicants running in the other direction, powerful tales about employee empowerment can make your brand more appealing to job seekers looking for a new role.

For instance, it’s no surprise that Netflix is often regarded one of the best places to work. Their commonsense approach to culture ensures that employees know what’s expected of them at the office, which means that there are fewer chances for conflict. By asking their people to police their own activities, Netflix has been able to attract employees that are self-sufficient, and creative.

Creative Ways to Show off Company Culture with Content

To attract new recruits with company culture, the first thing you’ll need to do is figure out how you’re going to show off your incredible brand to potential hires. The most obvious way to do this is to use employee advocacy as a method of sharing in-depth insights into what’s going on in the workplace. After all, when a candidate looks for information about what it’s like to work for your business, they’re more likely to trust the input of potential coworkers, then the promises of an employer.

Experiment with some of the following techniques, and you’ll find that you’re attracting amazing talent to your workplace in no time.

Pull Back the Curtain

When skilled professionals are looking for a new employer to work with, they often like to visualize themselves within a potential role. The easiest way to help hires determine what it’s like to work for you is to provide them with a raw, unfiltered view of life inside your workspace. Instagram snaps of people working on projects that aren’t ready to be released or ask some of your employees to share vlogs of their experiences on Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn.

Fashion company J. Crew has seen some ups and downs throughout the years, but their “Behind the Design” series is a fantastic insight into what creative content can do to reveal the realities of working with a brand. The company shares sneak peaks into the creative and manufacturing processes of popular styles, which helps them to appear more transparent in the eyes of customers, while also giving would-be employees an idea of what they can expect.

Showcase Satisfied Employees

Another way to attract talent to your team is to give them an opportunity to step into the shoes of existing employees with curated content from your staff. This is where your employee advocacy campaign will really shine, as it allows you to demonstrate that your brand is made up of real, authentic people, with values that resonate with your business.

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A lot of articles about company culture and employer branding reference Zappos for it’s exceptional approach to transparent employment. However, the thing that really makes this company stand out is its “Inside Zappos” social media pages. On these platforms, the company constantly gives shout-outs to its employees, shares pictures, and allows workers to post their own content too.

Just some of the ways that you can show company culture in the workplace include:

  • Posting pictures from your employees that are curated through your employee advocacy platform
  • Invest in company culture videos that include interviews with crucial workers throughout your team
  • Allow your employees to show their sense of personality by asking one of them to take over your social accounts for a day
  • Support thought leadership by drawing attention to articles and blogs that your staff create for your brand

Be Loud About Your Benefits

Your company culture isn’t just about crowds of happy, smiling employees, it’s also about the amazing benefits you can offer to your hires. These days, you may find that your talent is more attracted to your unique benefits package than a higher potential salary. Remember, 71% of employees who are satisfied with their benefits feel loyal to their employer.

The benefits you implement for your workers should resonate with the image you’re trying to portray through your company culture. For instance, Twitter wants to be known as a fun, quirky organization, which is why they offer everything from yoga classes, to unlimited vacation days, paid lunches, and rooftop meetings.

Consider the kinds of perks your perfect employee might be looking for. If you’re not sure what to offer, you could always ask around your existing staff to find out what they like most about working for you, and what they’d change if given the choice. Many workers are beginning to focus more heavily on opportunities for remote and flexible working, for instance.

Stand for Something

Finally, sometimes showing off company culture is about looking for ways to demonstrate your commitment to something bigger than yourself. Getting members of your team involved with local events and efforts for corporate social responsibility can be a great way to not only showcase culture but also network with new potential hires.

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For instance, SolarCity paints a picture of unified workplace culture by consistently demonstrating its commitment to important issues like sustainable energy and support for certain classes of people. For instance, the company recruits both college students and military veterans that demonstrate their passion for reversing climate change.

Think about what you want your business to be associated with, and look for opportunities to collaborate with other groups that will help you to show your values.

Cultivating Stronger Company Culture

Company culture is so much more than another workplace buzzword.

A company culture is the heart of your brand. It’s the thing that will continue to engage your employees and attract new talent even if your salary offerings aren’t as high as your competitors. Implement the right company culture, and you’ll benefit from a team of loyal, committed brand advocates who are ready to help your organization succeed.