A winning company culture is when people enjoy working for you. It increases employee engagement and happiness, which leads to better retention, improved performance, and greater output. A strong company culture also plays a major role in attracting the best candidates for your business. When folks interview with you, they are looking to see if your organization is somewhere they feel connected to and can see themselves grow. In this post, we’ll explore how you can use the workplace and onsite experience to positively reflect your company’s culture to potential employees. A clue: it’s not all ping pong tables, green plants, and bottomless beer taps. Let’s dive into:
- What is company culture?
- How the workplace can improve your company culture
- 6 tips on how to design your workplace to let your company values shine
What is company culture?
Company culture is how your people do their jobs in the workplace. It’s made up of systems, processes, and behaviors—and it impacts the way people feel about the company’s mission and the work they do. This includes their behavior in the workplace, how they interact with one another, and the shared values they believe in. When you think of company culture, think of it as the personality of your business. Defining your company’s culture isn’t a one-time thing. It’s something workplace and HR leaders spend a long time building and iterating on to reflect their organization’s journey and goals. It’s also something that’s become drastically more important for people as they look for jobs. In fact, 62% of people listed a toxic company culture as the main reason they left their jobs last year. With company culture being the top reason your talent is leaving your organization, it’s important you understand how to get it right. Now let’s look at how the physical workplace can benefit your company culture as you continue to build it.
How to use your workplace to improve your company culture
The physical workplace is a great tool for showcasing your company culture. For example, Google is renowned for their offices. Basically a huge playground for adults, Google’s offices reflect their company culture of dreaming big and getting creative. They have bold colors, nap pods, massage rooms, and free gourmet meals. The physical workplace not only entices talent to want to work there, but also reflects how Google employees feel about working at Google: they have fun. You don’t need the mega-budget to replicate offices like Google, but it’s important not to underestimate the power of your workplace on culture. Here are some ways your physical workplace can help foster a company culture that attracts and retains talent:
- Relationship-building. When coworkers can come into the office to build relationships with teammates, it fosters a culture of collaboration. Back to one of the key benefits of the workplace above, it also allows folks to connect and feel as though they belong. The more time they choose to spend in the physical workplace can have a positive effect on company culture.
- Team morale. If teamwork and collaboration sit at the core of your company culture, then designing your workspace to have room for people to get together is crucial. Supporting interactions in the workplace will go a long way in boosting morale and making your employees feel connected to your company’s culture.
- Flexibility. Giving employees some control of their own schedules is empowering and motivating. When they have more choice over when they work remotely and on-site, they will be more engaged and ready to contribute to the company’s mission and culture.
- Social activities. The number one benefit of working from the office, according to employees, is socializing with work friends. People get excited to go to the workplace when they think of the fun, impromptu social interactions that they could have with colleagues. For future talent, this can be a major attraction tool as they consider making new friends at work.
6 tips to guarantee your company values shine in the workplace
Your candidates (and employees) want to feel connected with your company’s values when they visit the office. As each person enters the lobby, they should get a feel for what your organization represents: your mission, idea, and brand. Remember, company values define what you stand for–it’s therefore important that your workplace represents that as closely as possible. Here are six tips for how you might align your physical workplace with your company values to wow top talent:
1 - Show off your brand
Make it clear whose lobby your candidates are in by incorporating your brand’s colors or adding design elements that show off your company’s values. For example, at their headquarters in San Francisco, Samsara’s front desk looks sleek and streamlined, like its brand. They’ve incorporated a few stand-out features, including an LED sign of the company’s name.
2 - Make sure it’s clutter free
Treat your lobby like you would your home when you have guests over. A clean, well-organized lobby reflects well on your company as a whole. On the flip side, a messy, disorganized space can leave a bad first impression. Set the right tone by tidying up the lobby every day—or multiple times a day, if necessary.
3 - Upgrade your waiting area
The lobby is the very first place your candidates will walk into. So it shouldn’t be an afterthought. Beyond comfortable seating, provide guests with refreshments, Wi-Fi, and company swag to take home. Finally, don’t underestimate the importance good lighting can have on creating a welcoming environment–nobody wants to wait in a dingy and dark room.
4 - Impress guests with the best technology
Digitizing the sign-in experience for your guests will not only impress them as they walk through the doors, but it’ll also make them feel at ease in your workplace. Impress candidates with a sleek iPad (or two) at reception, where they can quickly enter all the information your organization needs without hassle. This shows off your company values by immediately making visitors feel welcome in your workplace and confident that your tech is up-to-date.
5 - Demonstrate sustainability
Talent–especially younger talent–now consider a company’s ESG (environment, social, and governance) values heavily when choosing their next job. In fact, 34% of UK workers would refuse a job offer if they didn’t align with the company’s environmental values. Making it clear to candidates on-site that you value the environment and work in a sustainable way is important. Ensure you have recycling bins around the office and, to the point above, go digital with any necessary paperwork.
6 - Balance work space with social space
Your social space is an important part of reflecting your company values. It might be as simple as a kitchen area with enough amenities to support your workers getting through the day. It could be a lounge area with couches. Whatever your choice and budget, ensure it reflects your company values.
The reality is, you don’t have to fill your workplace with nap pods, massage tables, and free meals to boost your company culture. When it comes to attracting and retaining the right people, authenticity is key. Making some simple changes to improve your workplace will work wonders for your company culture. It’ll also help you attract and retain your best employees. A win-win!