This is why it’s so important to have a company culture that attracts and retains top talent. After all, your contact center employees are the face of your brand. They’re the ones interacting with customers daily, and their attitudes and behaviors play a big role in shaping customer perceptions and defining the customer experience.
How do we define strong company culture?
There’s no one size fits all answer to that question, as every company is different and prioritizes different things. But in general, a strong company culture typically includes some or all of the following elements:
- A focus on employee satisfaction and happiness
- Opportunities for employees to grow and develop their skills
- A positive, supportive work environment
- Opportunities for socialization and networking
- A sense of belonging to a larger community or team
- A sense of purpose or mission that employees can buy into
- Clear objectives that align all employee activities
- Pride in their company and with the people they work with
- Ownership in the company mission and values
In real terms, let’s look at some reputable companies that have elevated their company culture game. A great example is Google. Google’s focus on innovation, creativity, and collaboration has helped them become a leader in the tech industry. Their company culture attracts top talent and helps employees feel engaged and satisfied with their work. As a result, Google has some of the lowest turnover rates in the industry – and that says a lot when considering the highly competitive industry they are in.
Another great example is Zappos, a company well-known for its exceptional customer service. Their focus on company culture starts with their core values, which include “delivering happiness” and “putting the customer first.” This focus on culture has helped them become a leader in the e-commerce industry and has resulted in very low employee turnover rates.
8 things you can do to make sure your company culture becomes a lasting competitive advantage:
1. Define your company culture.
The first step may seem obvious but is often overlooked – clearly defining what your current company culture is and then deciding what you want it to become.
- What are your core values?
- What does your company stand for?
- What kind of work environment do you want to create?
- What kind of employees do you want to attract and retain?
- What lasting impression do you want employees, customers and partners to have of your company?
You can take this as far as you need, implicating human resources, marketing, senior management and of course, your employees. Once you have a clear understanding of your company culture, it will be much easier to start making changes.
2. Create an environment that supports employee satisfaction and happiness.
Your company culture is only as good as your employees make it. If employees feel unhappy or unsupported, they will not be engaged in their work and will not be productive.
A great way to support employee satisfaction and happiness is to create an environment that is positive, supportive and encourages growth. This could mean providing opportunities for employees to learn new skills, offering mentorship programs, or investing in employee development.
3. Implicate all levels of management.
Company culture starts from the top and trickles down. Senior management (and all levels of management) needs to be on board with the company culture and be willing to support it through their actions. This means setting the right example, being open to feedback and making changes when needed, and investing in company culture initiatives.
4. Be clear about company objectives and values.
All employees should be aware of company objectives and values, and how their daily activities contribute to the overall goal. This clarity will help employees feel more engaged in their work and proud to be part of the company.
5. Encourage employee ownership.
Encourage employees to take ownership of the company culture and make it their own. This could mean coming up with new ideas for company events, volunteering for committees or simply communicating your company culture in a more systematic way throughout the year.
Company culture is a powerful tool that can help you attract and retain top talent, improve customer service and create a lasting impression. And plus, there is no company culture without your employees, so it makes good sense to elicit and encourage their daily buy-in of the company’s mission.
6. Promote your company culture.
One of the most important aspects of creating a strong company culture is communicating it effectively to employees. This includes defining your culture in clear and concise terms, sharing stories or examples of company culture in action, and being consistent in your messaging. You should also make sure that your website and job postings reflect your company culture – in addition to social media, marketing materials and even the office decor.
Make sure your company culture is visible and easily accessible to everyone who interacts with your company.
7. Evaluate and adjust as needed.
Company culture is always evolving, so it’s important to regularly evaluate how it’s working and make changes as needed. This could mean surveying managers and employees, reviewing employer rating sites and keeping an eye on social media activities. Your company culture is a living and breathing animal that will evolve and change over time, so it’s important to monitor and feed it.
8. Celebrate your company culture.
Finally, make sure you celebrate your company culture often! This could mean hosting company-wide events, celebrating anniversaries or simply taking the time to acknowledge and appreciate your employees for their contributions.
Attract and retain high calibre candidates
Never has it been harder to attract employees. With so many open positions with remote work possibilities, you are no longer competing with your neighbour, you’re now competing with the world for top talent.
Positive, engaging company culture can help you attract the best and brightest employees. Employees want to feel like they are a part of something, that their work matters and that they are contributing to something larger than themselves. They want to feel valued and appreciated. And when faced with two equally beneficial opportunities, people will always select the one that delivers the greatest on-the-job experience – especially true with younger generations that value the employee experience and demand work-life balance.
With a rewarding company culture, you foster greater employee engagement which leads to lower turnover rates – minimizing the need to constantly recruit for current positions and invest more time in recruiting for new positions.
And in case you forgot – there are no more secrets anymore! Everything is made public online. Disgruntled employees have many opportunities online to post negative comments about their employers. For companies with good company cultures, their posts read like golden honey attracting hungry bees to their door – everyone wants to work with companies that are rated highly by their employees.
How can company culture help improve customer experience?
Positive company culture can help improve customer experience in a few ways. First, as we just stated, it can help attract and retain top talent who are passionate about delivering great customer service. Customers can develop long-term relationships with your service staff and you don’t have to continuously reinvest in new recruit training that can threaten service levels.
Second, company culture can help motivate employees to do their best work. When employees feel like they are part of something larger than themselves and that they are contributing to the success of the company, they are more likely to go above and beyond for customers – because they truly care. They feel valued as productive members of the team contributing to the greater good, and pass on this care to your customers.
Third, it can help create a more cohesive team that is focused on delivering a great customer experience. Employees who feel like they are part of a team and that their work matters are more likely to cooperate and collaborate for the benefit of the customer. When provided with the required collaborative tools, such as cloud-based contact center solutions, they can work more efficiently and effectively to resolve customer issues.
And finally, strong company culture can create a lasting impression with customers. As we’ve stated, it can help improve customer service and the overall customer experience. But it can also help create a brand that customers can trust and feel good about doing business with. When customers have a positive association with your company, they are more likely to do business with you again in the future.
Who says company culture is merely an HR issue? Not us.
If you want to use company culture as a competitive advantage, you need to make sure that your culture is strong and attractive to potential employees. You also need to be aware of the ways that your company culture can impact your customer experience.
There are many different ways to create a strong company culture. But it all starts with communication. Make sure everyone in your organization understands and values your company’s culture. Promote a positive, team-oriented environment, and encourage employees to take pride in their work.
If your company doesn’t currently have all of these elements, don’t worry. You can always work on building them gradually over time. But it’s important to be aware of what makes a strong company culture, so you can start to emulate those qualities and create a competitive advantage.
And remember, a reputable company culture also makes for great marketing! As Google and Zappos toot their company cultures, they are gaining free publicity and company goodwill that leads to brand loyalty and new customer opportunities.