THE IMPORTANCE OF CULTURE IN THE WORKPLACE
“Culture” ranked as Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s #1 word of the year in 2014. Although the word culture can be used in a variety of ways, it is most often referred to in business as the “company culture” or “corporate culture”.
Culture has been a reoccurring topic in our office for quite some time. We continually strive to develop a culture that fosters creativity, self-expression, and fun, while maintaining the professional balance required to operate a successful law practice. What is culture in a business setting? Corporate culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that shape how a company’s employees and management interact both internally and with customers/clients. Culture is not typically defined in a mission statement or established from a company’s inception; it is something that happens organically and with time. Culture can be reflected in a company’s policies and procedures, benefits, treatment of employees, and every other aspect relating to a company’s operations.
Although culture has been an organizational behavior topic since the 1980s, it is more prevalent and important now than ever as the new generation of millennials enter the work force. Why should you be mindful of the “culture generation”? Quite simply, employees expect vibrant and fun cultures. When employees buy-in to the company culture, the organization generally experiences lower employee turnover, increased productivity, and happier employees and customers – all factors that lead to cost savings and increased revenues.
Everyone knows of the companies with exceptional cultures: the Googles, Zappos, and Facebooks of the world. However, I am not suggesting that every company needs to offer onsite complimentary daycare, yoga, and arcade rooms to foster a positive culture. Culture can be developed as easily as treating employees with respect and honoring the age-old saying, “Treat others as you want to be treated.”
With so much uncertainty in business as the times and technology change, one thing is certain: those who enjoy going to work perform better – the importance of culture is here to stay.
By Dan C. Edwards, Esq.