Most companies do not take proactive activities to develop or promote company culture. This is because company culture is an aspect that is hard to measure. It’s invisible, after all.
More than invisible, it is oftentimes neglected. Certain company leaders tend to focus on products, on service, and on quality alone. These things, they believe, are the sole indicators of their company’s success.
But what these people may not know is this:
There is one indicator more important than KPIs like product, service, quality. To better measure company success, you have to check how strong your company culture is.
What is Company Culture?
Company culture is a strong underlying factor that indirectly affects company productivity. A company with strong, solid culture will perform better than one driven only by profits.
I’ve seen this firsthand with some of the companies I’ve worked with, opened, or owned. In these companies, I met owners and bosses whose primary goal was to make profit. And they were quite transparent about it with their employees.
There, the boss completely focused their operations and goals towards generating profit and margins. This, in turn, built a team focused only on profits and margins as well. What does this then lead to?
One natural effect of a company driven by money and sales alone is that employees leave. After all, if the company they’re currently in only wants to make money, they’ll only want to make money too.
And if they only want to make money, what’s stopping them from chasing greener pastures?
How does Leadership Drive Company Culture?
Company culture is heavily driven by leadership – by the principles company owners hold. These principles must be cascaded down to the employees. A company with a leader and strong vision for a common good will have employees who will share this vision.
Let’s say there is a company whose leader believes in promoting local talents. That same company will breed employees who believe in the same principles. In effect, they will strive to prove that local talent can compete on an international scale.
Thus, leaders who believe in social responsibility inspire employees to give back to society.
This one common vision has to be shared by the entire company. When a leader sets the direction in which to go, that is the direction in which the company will work towards.
What Kind of Vision Promotes Good Company Culture?
My personal belief is we as humans are here to improve society. I, as an entrepreneur, have a social responsibility to improve society. In my own way, I have a duty to give things with value. In whatever our companies do, we aim to improve a certain aspect in human life.
Profit will follow right after. If you can bring in value through your service, people will see the value and then be willing to pay for it. So profit becomes the byproduct of the intention – and the intention should naturally be to do good.
I’ve seen this firsthand when our company struggled some time ago. I felt that, with all the troubles our company is going through, people would start to leave. But to my surprise, we kept most of our employees in the end. I learned later on this was because of our strong company culture.
I know this because of our attrition rate. Our rate is low compared to the industry average; we’ve kept the rate down to single-digit. This is because of the company culture we instilled – where we believe people are better than we think they are.
What Happens When a Company’s Culture is Driven by Leadership with a Good Vision?
When you drive people to a common vision – to your vision – they will stay. After all, they believe in the vision you’ve presented to them.
So if your vision is to do good, employees will stay with you because they want to do good.
If your vision is to make profit, employees will stay with you because they want to make profit.
So the real question you should ask yourself as an entrepreneur is this:
What are your principles as a company? And are you following those principles to create a strong company culture?