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June 15, 2021

Company Culture: What Goes Into It & What You Get Out of It

HJ-PR superstar intern, Samantha Aaronson, takes a deep dive into the immense importance of company cultures. Something we at HJ-PR try to implement every day.

Company culture can be defined as a set of shared values, goals, attitudes and practices that characterize an organization. It’s the way people feel about the work they do, the values they believe in, where they see the company going and what they’re doing to get it there.

You’re sitting in your cubicle, in your office, next to your co-worker who doesn’t even know why she started working here in the first place, to work and only work for years on end, clocking in and out without knowing the names of those you pass everyday, eating lunch at your desk due to the absence of a communal break room. Not that you would’ve eaten there in the first place. The growing feeling of “why am I here” and the declining sense of respect you have for those around you.

This is the result of poor or nonexistent company culture. You can picture it, I can picture it. But neither one of us wants to work at a place like that. 

You want to work at a place that excites you, that not only encourages you to create top-of-the-line products and deliver gold standard service, but has a mission and vision that you relate to and can dive head-first into when you sit down at your desk each morning. 

The way to achieve this is through the creation and cultivation of a strong company culture. I say both creation and cultivation because it is one thing to establish programs and initiatives, but it is another to nurture an ongoing culture and continuously refine what makes your organization, and working at it, so unique.

For example, take Amazon. At Amazon, the company culture is clear and speaks to an overall strategic purpose: work every day like it is “Day One.” This mentality encourages – no, expects – employees to work as if everything is as new, fresh, exciting and simple as the first day Amazon opened its doors. The company runs on the idea that the day Amazon reaches “Day Two” is the day processes become more important than product and complexity slowly drives the death of the company. 

Picture it.

You’re an Amazon employee. You’re not working day in and day out next to that coworker who doesn’t know why they’re still there, because you all just walked through the doors and it’s the first day of work. Every. Single. Day. It is a day filled with excitement and potential and your personal drive has never been greater than it is today. But that’s every single day!

It’s a recipe for success.

But it’s not the only way to do it. Regardless of if you have a “Day One” culture like Amazon or the “take as many vacation days as you want as long as you get your work done” culture of Netflix or if you have the small, inter-connected, cutting edge culture of HJ-PR, having a company culture and cultivating that culture will most definitely benefit your company in the long run. 

The benefits of a strong company culture show themselves in many ways but most specifically in the double bottom line: among profit and people. Very simply, having your company on the same wavelength and dedicated to the same ideals increases productivity. With the increase of productivity comes the increase of business and, ultimately, the increase of profit. (Score!)

On the other side of that coin is the people. Company culture positively influences areas such as employee satisfaction, retention and advocacy. 

If an employee is recognized, and subsequently rewarded, for their hard work, they are more likely to feel valued by the company and will be more likely to put their best foot forward while on the job. 

If an employee understands how their work betters the community and world around them, they are more likely to feel connected to their work and take pride in what they produce. 

If an employee takes pride in their work and is fulfilled by the impact they’re making, they are more likely to remain at the company to continue the good will. 

Finally, if an employee believes in the work they do, they are more likely to advocate for the company in their own networks, increasing public sentiment among already-loyal customers and new, potential ones. 

These are all environments and emotions that can be born from the creation and cultivation of a strong company culture. And with increased satisfaction, retention and advocacy comes increased productivity. 

And with the circle coming to a full close, you have a win-win situation. 

Ultimately, it is no wonder creating and cultivating company culture has become more and more of interest to public relations professionals over the last couple years. The value of it can not be overlooked. Nor overstated.

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