As more millennials and gen Zs join the workforce, companies are looking for new innovative ways to appeal to a changing working class. Some companies opt to provide incentives such bonuses, gift cards, casual dress days, and even more days off hoping to spur their employees into action. These incentives, in isolation, act merely as a stimulus for promoting temporary change in the workplace but fail to foster an environment that cultivates constant creativity and productivity. Good company culture, however, acts as in invisible hand driving employees to higher productivity and a sense of pride about their job.
Before we get into all the great details of company culture, let’s consider how company policy and incentives differ from company culture, and how they can be used to complement one another. Company culture refers to the “personality of a company” and “defines the environment” a person works, whereas policy and incentives are means of achieving this culture. For example, here at Sigao, we are a people company – we believe in people first. Whatever someone needs to feel at home while at work is provided: If you can’t go anywhere without your furry little friend, bring him with you. If you eat one too many wings at lunch and feel useless, take a quick nap. If you’re like me and early morning traffic is your mortal enemy, show up at 10. Again, the culture here is what is important. Allowing pets, naps, and late starts to the day are incentives, governed by policy that reinforce the company’s culture.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably wondering how bringing dogs, taking naps, and starting the day at 10 could possibly be conducive to, let alone lead to higher productivity. It’s simple: people work hard when they love what they do. What’s a better way to encourage people to work hard than creating an environment where they love working? While some employers fail to utilize the power of culture within their organization, companies like Google, Apple and Sigao, of course, attract top talent from across the world not necessarily because the pay or title, but because the culture they offer makes them seem more special than a “typical” place of employment.
While you may still not believe wearing jeans makes me a better developer or playing Nintendo helps me create the most pristine algorithms, one thing we can all agree on is good company culture gives employees a sense of pride about their job. Hear me out; I don’t mean “this code is the best code mankind has ever seen, and we can push it straight to production without testing” sense of pride, I mean a feeling of ownership and significance, the feeling of being an integral part of something much more. When company culture is reflective of the people within the company, and that culture represents me, it means my voice is being heard. It makes it easier to believe in the mission of the company and feel like a part of that vision.
As we enter a new age of shifting culture, companies are looking for new ways to appeal to a younger working class while providing a fruitful environment to their current workforce. Utilizing culture within any company can be used to attract new talent while spurring employees to higher productivity and a sense of pride. Like it or not, the invisible hand of company culture is here to stay.