The modern workplace is more than just a list of tasks and a paycheck for each employee. Effective managers and business owners understand that in order to foster enthusiastic, healthy, and contributive employees, they need to develop the right corporate culture.
Doing so can engender a workplace that employees enjoy being a part of, rather than a setting they have to be a part of. While it does take extra time and resources to do, it has had a significantly positive impact for businesses that commit to it – in stark contrast, just consider the fact that disengaged employees cost US businesses up to $550 billion each year.
That’s why developing the right corporate culture is so important. Recently, members of the Nexus IT Consultants team appeared on Mountain Connections to talk about it:
When you think about corporate culture, you might picture the Silicon Valley version of it – how Google has ping pong tables and daycare service and high-end staff cafeterias. But that’s just one, rather limited interpretation.
“The reality is that’s not what culture is,” says Earl Foote, CEO of Nexus IT Consultants. “Corporate culture is the set of norms or values by which you behave and govern within your organization. It’s not just a statement of ‘this is who we are’ – it’s the actual behavior.”
Whereas at one point corporate culture amounted to doing your job in order to be paid for it, the modern workplace is much different. Employees seek a fulfilling and rewarding experience – are you providing that?
One of the results of the initiative to develop corporate culture and the proliferation of the above-mentioned Silicon Valley-style workplace is that older workers are having a harder time fitting into the modern professional landscape. Those over 38 find they don’t align with more modern culture standards and are often passed over for younger counterparts.
“A lot of these companies have kind of gone the wrong direction, where they create a younger, “bro” culture,” says Lindsey Ivie, Director of Strategic Partners, Nexus IT Consultants.
Ideal corporate culture is about activating your employees – how do you do that?
“We’ve worked hard to develop a culture that’s based on an abundance and growth mindset, it’s a culture that produces positive results for our clients, our team members, and our organizations as a whole,” says Earl. “Overall, we try to provide people with something really engaging and meaningful to do day in and day out, and give them a path to follow and ways to advance.”
One challenge many managers have with corporate culture is the possible outcome of offering professional development. That is, if you invest in your employees so that they can grow and improve, won’t they just move on to another job that pays more, and benefits from your investment?
It’s a possibility – however, in the time that you have the employee, they’re likely to do better work for than they would if you weren’t investing in them. Furthermore, if you have a compelling enough corporate culture, that’s all the more reason for the employee to choose to stay with your business.
“Even if that means that at some point they advance out of our organization, that’s OK, right?” says Earl. “We are abundance-minded, and it’s OK if they find another career path. We have lots of great relationships with our past employees.”
In the end, corporate culture is what you make of it. Yes, it’s a greater investment in your business, but the return you could get is undoubtedly worthwhile.