Work culture can change in an instant.
Has anyone noticed that Uber, once embroiled in controversy, is back to being one of the most coveted places to work?
According to reports by CNBC, Uber’s progress just one year later includes a whole host of changes including:
Hiring a new CEO and ousting Travis Kalanick, the leader apparently responsible for creating a toxic “bro” culture
A newly hired diversity and inclusion officer, Bo Young Lee
Increasing the number of female tech workers to 18% from 15.4%
They’re calling it “Uber 2.0.”
Uber’s evolving story tells us one sure thing: External, customer-facing experience starts with internal culture. The video of ex-CEO Travis Kalanick berating an Uber driver just reflected what was going on inside the company.
So take a page out of Uber’s book and learn what not to do. If you can make your internal work culture engaging, positive, diverse, and rewarding, your company’s employees become your best marketing tool and your primary advocates.
What is work culture and why does it matter?
Work culture defines a company’s internal and external identity. And, the fact is that, if you don’t take the time to explicitly define and then act on this definition, the media will define it, your customers will repeat it, and your competitors will finish it.
According to the Harvard Business Review, a company’s culture is:
“Culture is the tacit social order of an organisation: It shapes attitudes and behaviours in wide-ranging and durable ways. Cultural norms define what is encouraged, discouraged, accepted, or rejected within a group. When properly aligned with personal values, drives, and needs, culture can unleash tremendous amounts of energy toward a shared purpose and foster an organisation’s capacity to thrive.”
Now, these may just be words, but hundreds of companies that fly under the radar are able to harness the “strategy of culture” to boost business revenue.
A report by Deloitte about the power of human capital proves as much: Software giant SAS has 37 years of record earnings (over $3 billion in 2019) and is simultaneously rated as “the best place to work” by the Great Place to Work Institute.
The connection between internal culture and revenue earnings is not a coincidence. SAS says that they identify trust as a “critical cultural attribute” and that they “regularly survey employees on elements of trust: communication, respect, transparency, and being treated as a human being.”
Why is creating a desirable work culture so important?
There are many reasons why creating a desirable work culture is so important. But, here’s the mistake most businesses are making:
They focus on what they want to avoid rather than what they want to experience.
Many HR policies, for example, are written in reaction to the fear of an employee’s adverse action. If you’ve ever read sections on sexual harassment or performance reviews, you’ll know this is true.
Instead, creating a desirable work culture means that you’re focusing on the benefits and positive outcomes that you want the company and its employees to experience.
When you put in place a specific plan to create a desirable work culture, you’ll be able to:
Attract the best and brightest employees because your reputation precedes you
Drive growth on all levels because you’re employees are satisfied with the work, feel like they’re making a difference, are excited to grow, learn, and contribute to your business’s bottom line
Avoid the loss related to employee churn (studies show that )
Spend less on talent acquisition because happy employees are your best advertisement and nothing is as effective as a word-of-mouth referral (additionally, brilliant people tend to be friends with like-minded individuals, so your company will be “in good company”)
The good news is that building a desirable work culture is entirely doable — as long as you’re strategic and intentional about it, and you use the right tools.
How to create a desirable work culture with employee Rewards
There are many ways to self-define your company’s internal work culture. One of the most effective — and most direct — methods is to harness the power of employee Rewards.
Indeed, employee Rewards and recognition is such an effective path to increasing a company’s organic growth, that Gallup calls it a “low cost, high impact” strategy. They also point out that:
Top performers thrive when they know their efforts are recognised and valued.
Employee recognition doesn’t work when you use a one-size-fits-all approach to Rewards.
Money isn’t the only, or even the top, form of recognition.
In Australia right now, recognition is the best driver of creating emotional commitment from employees. Surveying organisations with highly engaged workforces shows that recognition:
Increases employee engagement by 10-25%
Decreases employee turnover by 23-30%
Accounts for over half of an individual’s engagement in job performance scores
Drives up engagement at work and intent to stay
Now, you know the whys and wherefores. But what about the “how” of it?
More and more, smart businesses driven by progressive leadership are turning to powerful platforms designed specifically to help align work culture to a company’s self-styled values, objectives, and initiatives. EonX’s Rec Room is an effective example of the future of employee recognition and engagement.
Rec Room provides an all-in-one employee engagement solution that ties together Rewards and benefits, recognition, and custom Work Perks.
Businesses can create and manage their own customisable “Work Perks” catalogue to Reward employees with only the benefits that further the company’s self-determined values. This resonance reflects the work culture back to employees, who then become brand ambassadors for the company’s values to the public.
It’s a neat little cycle that works every time.
Three benefits to aligning employee Rewards with work culture
What do you get when you cross employee Rewards with work culture? This is not a trick question.
The answer is, three specific, overarching benefits.
1) Customised Work Perks reflect a company’s values
Using Rec Room, businesses can customise their “Work Perks” to their specific industry and internal culture. For example, a fitness centre might offer free vegan lunches for a week. An IT business might offer free subscriptions to a SaaS platform of the employee’s choice.
Customised Work Perks Reward employees that are already demonstrating company values. When you recognise their behaviour and Reward it, employees are incentivised to repeat this behaviour. Not only does this create a cycle of positive reinforcement, but it also indirectly signals what desirable performance is to others in the workplace.
2) A personal employee experience
Take it from the man who invented management, Peter Drucker: “The true purpose of a business is to create and keep customers.” But, as Uber’s “#DeleteUber” social media backlash proves, the path to keeping customers is to keep stellar employees.
That’s why personalising Work Perks is so important. What we do for our customers is also what we should do for our employees. If we’re customising and personalising our customers’ experiences, then we need to provide the same experience for employees.
Personalising recognition shows employees that they’re contributions are not only registered but also valued. Employees are driven to work hard because they can quantify this value — they know it won’t remain unnoticed.
3) Loyalty on every level
Through EonX’s Community Hub module, platform Admins can manage and create a custom benefits catalogue relevant to their business and to their employees.
They can onboard and involve partners, local business’ and sponsors to co-exist within the one eco-system.
Employees can not only access the Rewards they desire, but your business is also internally supporting and establishing a culture that cares about local businesses and affiliated partners. Through the introduction of this module, you’re once again subtly communicating that part of your business identity is to support local businesses and partners.
Come together, right now
Defining work culture is the first step. But, to truly make it come alive, you’ll need to connect the theory to a practice. And that’s where EonX’s employee recognition platform, Rec Room, helps you transform an idea into a movement. And, to truly inspire loyalty, you’ll need that movement to be driven by your employees’ own rave reviews.