Company Culture: The world is embracing people's first culture, and maybe you should too

Nataša Mlađenović
Nataša Mlađenović
Sep 12, 20228 minute read

Company culture is a term used to describe the collective values and behaviors of a company's employees - it's the personality of a business if you will.

The company's culture will have an influence on your business in a variety of ways. A strong corporate culture, for example, is generally characterized by more engaged and inspired employees. This can result in increased productivity and better performance.

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In recent years, there has been a shift towards what's known as a 'people first' culture in businesses around the world. This type of culture puts employees at the center of decision-making and fosters an environment of trust, respect, and collaboration.

In this article, we'll discuss why company culture is important, how the world is embracing a people-first culture, and why you might want to do that too.

Why Is Company Culture Important?

The importance of healthy company culture cannot be stressed enough, as it is the backbone of your organization and the driving force behind your success.

Organizational culture also plays a huge role in shaping the brand image of a business. A positive culture helps create a solid and favorable brand image, which attracts more customers and clients.

It also defines the way employees interact with each other, clients, and customers. It shapes the values that guide decision-making and influences how employees feel about their work.

Attract and Retain Talent

Especially in recent years, with the rise of attrition rates and the war for talent, company culture has become a major differentiating factor when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.

Job seekers are increasingly looking for companies that share their values and offer a positive work environment. In fact, a recent study found that nearly 60% of millennials would leave their current job if it didn't fit their lifestyle or didn't match their values.

So in order to not only attract but also keep the best employees, it's important to offer a compelling company culture, and this is where People's first culture comes in.

What is People's First Culture?

As we mentioned earlier, there has been a global shift towards what's known as a 'people first' culture in businesses. This type of culture puts employees at the center of decision-making and fosters an environment of trust, respect, and collaboration.

In a people's first culture, every decision made, should not revolve around profits, but rather the well-being and happiness of employees. People's first cultures also typically offer employees a good work-life balance, flexible working arrangements, and opportunities for professional development.

It's therefore not surprising that the modern workforce is looking for companies that offer this type of culture. After all, who wouldn't want to work in a company where they feel valued and appreciated?

Why You Should Embrace a People First Culture

With the rise of the Great Resignation, and more and more people voicing their dissatisfaction with the traditional 9-5 work model, it's becoming increasingly clear that the world is ready for a change.

A lot of companies took that as a sign to start re-evaluating their company culture and values. And as a result, we're now seeing a growing number of businesses around the world embrace a people-first culture.

If you're still on the fence about whether or not you should do the same, here are three reasons that might convince you:

1. It Helps You Attract and Retain Top Talent

Company culture is a major differentiating factor when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent, and by creating a culture that puts your employees first, you are not only creating a healthy environment for them to work in, but also creating advocates for your brand.

It's a simple way to promote your brand in the most organic way possible, as a happy employee is twice as likely to recommend their company to a friend, and also three times more likely to stay with the company, according to Kris Boesch, author of Culture Works: How to Create Happiness.

In short, there are no better recruiters than your own employees, and by putting them first, you're essentially ensuring that your company will always have a talent pipeline.

2. It Improves Employee Engagement and Productivity

Employee engagement is one of the most important indicators of success for any organization. When employees are engaged, they are more productive, and creative, and have a positive attitude towards their work.

A people-first culture helps improve employee engagement by making sure that employees feel valued and appreciated. In turn, this leads to higher productivity and better results for the company.

3. It Creates a Competitive Advantage

When you combine all of the benefits of a people-first culture, it's not surprising that it gives companies a competitive advantage.

Since 2009, a portfolio of Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” companies outperformed the S&P 500 by 84.2%, while a similar portfolio of Glassdoor’s “Best Places to Work” outperformed the overall market by 115.6%.

And the recent rise of the Quiet Quitting movement has shown as well, how easily overall productivity can drop when a company's culture is not aligned with its employees' values.

Employees are the heart and soul of any organization, and by putting them first, you are not only creating a healthier workplace but also setting yourself up for success.

How can you tell if your company has a healthy culture?

A healthy organizational structure is defined as one that is conducive to a healthy work-life balance, respectful and collaborative relationships between employees, and opportunities for professional development.

In short, it is a structure that puts employees first, rather than profits or productivity, and as a result, creates a happier and more engaged workforce.

If you're not sure whether or not your company has a healthy culture, there are a few things you can look for. Don't leave this up to chance, actually ask them!

Regular check-ins or surveys can help you get an accurate pulse on the health of your company culture. Here are some topics that you can use to gauge the health of your culture:

1. Do employees seem happy and engaged in their work?

The first thing you should be looking out for is whether or not your employees seem happy and engaged in their work. If they're constantly complaining about their job, or seem disengaged and uninterested in their work, then that's a sign that something is wrong.

2. Do they feel like their opinions matter and they have a voice in the company?

Another important aspect of a healthy culture is whether or not employees feel like they have a say in how the company is run. If they feel like their opinions are always dismissed, it's a sign that the culture could be improved.

3. Do they feel like they have the opportunity to grow and develop in their career?

A healthy culture will provide employees with the opportunity to grow and develop in their career. If employees feel like they're stuck in a dead-end job, it's a sign that the culture could be improved.

4. Do they feel like they have a good work-life balance?

A healthy culture will respect the employees' need for a work-life balance. If employees feel like they're always working and never have time for their personal life, it's a sign that the culture could be improved.

5. Is there a strong sense of community and connection among employees?

A strong sense of community and connection is another key indicator of a healthy culture. If employees feel like they're part of a team and they have each other's backs, it's a good sign that the culture is healthy.

6. Is the company's mission and vision clear and inspiring?

If employees can't articulate the company's mission or vision, it's a sign that the culture needs some work. On the other hand, if employees are passionate about the company's mission and vision, it's a good sign that the culture is healthy.

7. Do employees feel like they are part of something larger than themselves?

If employees feel like they are part of something larger than themselves, it's a good sign that the culture is healthy. This sense of purpose can be a powerful motivator and help create a strong sense of community.

8. Are employees proud to work for the company?

If employees are proud to work for the company, it's a good sign that the culture is healthy. This pride can be contagious and lead to even more engaged and productive employees.

9. Do employees feel like they are respected and valued?

If employees feel like they are respected and valued, it's a good sign that the culture is healthy. This respect should extend to all employees, regardless of their position or title.

In a truly healthy workplace, that focuses on the employee's wellbeing, you should be able to answer all of those questions with a resounding "yes." If you can't, then it's time to start thinking about how you can improve your company culture.

The first step is always going to be acknowledging that there's a problem. From there, you can start to brainstorm ways to improve the culture and make it more conducive to a happy and productive workforce.

Summary

So whether you call it a "people first culture" or a "healthy organizational structure", the bottom line is that putting your employees first is not only the right thing to do but also the best way to ensure your company's long-term success.

If you're not sure where to start, try taking a look at the questions above and see which areas you need to improve. Once you've identified the areas that need work, you can start to brainstorm ways to make improvements. And remember, it's always a good idea to involve your employees in the process. After all, they're the ones who are going to be affected by the changes.

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