Every business needs a competitive edge, whether it’s in the quality of their products or services, their dedication to customers, or some other aspect they can leverage to outdo their competitors. What many businesses may not recognize, however, is that their company culture can be used as a differentiator—thereby boosting employee recruitment and retention, as well as gaining ground in sales.
As we have noted before, every business “comes with a unique culture, a set of agreed-upon values that govern the way the company does business.” What makes your own company culture unique may be just the thing that helps set you apart from the competition.
Here are action steps to keep in mind:
Be sure your culture is clearly defined and understood.
Generally speaking, a company culture is made up of three elements: its mission, its values, and its vision. Each of these elements should be clearly spelled out for the various stakeholders (employees, customers, vendors, etc.), so that everyone involved understands what your business stands for.
Where can you post a statement regarding your mission, values, and vision? Ideal settings include:
- Prominent display on your business website
- In your employee handbook
- In selected marketing materials
- On your email signature (in condensed fashion)
The greater the visibility, the more likely it is that people within the organization (and beyond) will better understand what you’re all about.
Leverage your culture for recruiting purposes.
The appeal of your culture may be among the strongest points your recruiting team can call upon when seeking individuals to fit existing or new positions.
That’s because “prospective recruits who would fit into your culture are far more likely to immediately feel a connection, want to be part of the culture, and apply to join your team,” notes Culture Amp. The opposite is also true, in that “a clear culture helps you funnel out people who aren’t a good fit for your organization.”
Focus on culture and retention.
By bringing on more new hires that align with your company’s mission and values, you increase the chances of these employees staying on for the long run. These individuals identify themselves with the organization and help promote it through their actions both on and off the worksite.
Encourage employee referrals.
An employee-centric culture places a high priority on the contributions of the workforce. When employees are engaged with the company, they are more likely to spread the word among their various networks.
An engaged employee is an ideal “recruiting source,” in that he or she will talk up the company with friends and colleagues. By incentivizing employee referrals (through gifts, prizes, etc.), a company can gradually build a workforce of like-minded individuals—particularly those who respond favorably to a culture that welcomes their contributions. In such cases, everyone wins!
Boost innovation and creativity.
A workforce made up of loyal employees aligned with the company culture is capable of just about anything. If your objective is to establish a pattern of creativity and innovation, “let workers know how much you value their ideas,” says the Association for Talent Development. Strive to incorporate innovation as “one of your company values” by discussing it “during staff get-togethers and all-company meetings.” A company culture that promotes innovation and creativity already has a competitive advantage over other businesses still struggling to define their cultures.
Want to learn more about how a company’s culture plays a critical role in the success of the business? Register for one of most popular TAB Boss Webinars, “Culture – If You Build It, They Will Come.”