What is company culture?

Company culture is an organization’s expression of its core values and identity into social customs and norms, business practices, and vibe. Organizations, like religious or ethnic groups, naturally develop their own work cultures and distinct characteristics.

A healthy work culture includes these essential components:

Why should HR leaders care about company culture?

As guardians of the work culture, HR leaders play a crucial role in influencing employees and managers and shaping the company culture. A healthy culture drives success and can directly promote:

In a Hibob survey, 77%  responded that culture was an essential aspect to consider when looking for a new job. Similarly, in an SHRM report, 20% of employees reported leaving their jobs due to dissatisfaction with the culture. 

What can HR leaders do to improve company culture?

HR leaders can nurture their company culture and navigate it in a positive direction. Incorporating these elements can help HR keep the culture on track:

  • Give employees a voice. HR leaders can foster an environment in which management and leadership value employees and encourage them to feel comfortable. When employees feel valued, they are more motivated to perform high-quality work and achieve goals. HR leaders can facilitate a method for receiving, evaluating, and implementing relevant employee feedback.  
  • Strengthen the good vibes. Positive energy is contagious. HR leaders can cultivate a happier workplace by recognizing employee achievements, directly thanking individuals for specific contributions, and demonstrating empathy towards colleagues.    
  • Align culture with company identity.  HR leaders can collaborate with executives to identify the ethos they want to convey and the type of culture they want to thrive. If, for instance, an organization seeks to promote employee autonomy, they can offer flexible work hours, implement employee-manager collaboration for establishing goals, and include employee feedback into processes and decision making. HR leaders can further increase employee autonomy by surveying employees to discover how they’d like to take greater ownership of their work.  

What types of HR programs and activities determine a good company culture? 

Each organization may define its desired culture differently, yet by implementing essential programs, HR leaders can enhance the culture and guide it in the desired direction. These systems, among others, can provide a solid framework for a flourishing culture:

Core processes and systems can create a unified, stable, community, and growing culture, which directly nurtures employee engagement, retention, and motivation.