Company culture is a term often bandied about, but don’t underestimate its power when it comes to staff retention.
There are a lot of buzzwords and phrases that leaders like to throw around when they talk about working life, including wellness, diversity and inclusion, and company culture.
However, while many can be accused of paying lip service to these topics, the importance of them must not be diluted.
Workplace wellness, diversity and inclusion, and a good company culture are all essential parts of a well-functioning business. A diverse workforce has already been proven to be more effective than a non-diverse one.
Workplaces that don’t look after their employees’ wellbeing are more likely to suffer high staff turnover at the hands of unhappy, burnt-out employees.
And while it might be difficult to sum up what makes for a good company culture, those who have it know why it works.
Good company culture trickles down
One of the most important points about good company culture is that it must trickle down from the top. Managers, leaders and CEOs must be driving the company culture in a positive direction and leading by example.
Sean Winters is a senior technical support engineer at New Relic in Dublin. He said one of his favourite things about the company is that its CEO is an engineer himself. “He was elbow-deep in code at the beginning of the company and as the company has grown, he still remains committed to making a product that makes engineering lives easier,” he said.
Collaboration is key
Another good marker of good company culture is an atmosphere where employees are encouraged to talk, collaborate and get to know each other. Employees want to work with other people who are passionate and have drive, and collaborating with such people is the key to a positive culture.
Alexandra Bostina is a business development consultant at New Relic and she said she loves “working with people who love what they do and are committed to [making] everything better”.
“It’s a fun and dynamic place to work,” she said.
It’s not enough to simply allow collaboration to happen. A good company culture will encourage employees to actively bring their passion to work. The workplace culture should make employees feel comfortable in themselves when they come to work and be encouraged to express their ideas and drive.
Glenn Cahill, vice-president of commercial EMEA at New Relic, said authenticity is a key part of the company’s culture. “I think it’s really important for people to bring 100pc of their personal energy and their passion for technology and business to the workplace, and you can really only do that if you’re being your authentic self,” he said.
The importance of onboarding
All of these components are essential for staff retention, but it’s important for businesses to remember that a good culture starts at the beginning of an employee’s journey. That means giving them a positive onboarding experience.
Winters recalled his two-month onboarding period with New Relic and said that, after it was complete, he was able to “make an impact on the team pretty much straight away, despite being fairly new”.