According to the latest findings from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, over 90% of CEOs and CFOs consider the culture of their company to be critical to their business success. They know, and studies have proven, that the right company culture improves camaraderie and respect among peers, a comfortable work environment, tenure, and loyalty.

It also improves the quality of service and products, and the ability to attract and keep great talent.

What is company culture?

Company culture is just as palpable as the culture you experience with every new country. It’s how its people speak to each other and the ideas, values, and rituals they share with each other throughout their day. Laid back, competitive, collective, individual—several concepts factor into creating a company identity and developing the supportive structure of benefits, events, support, and motivation for group and personal success.

Where does company culture start and why is it important?

“There’s no question that company culture starts and ends with HR,” says Craig Broome, President at Highflyer HR. “It may trickle down from the executive branch, but human resources is responsible for implementing and maintaining it.” Since a company’s culture plays a huge role in how well its employees engage, perform, and stay in their positions, it is not a small job; according to a 2017 Gallup report on the State of the American Workplace, companies that score ranked with higher engagement percentages have a serious advantage over companies who struggle with employee satisfaction.

And there are significant stats to prove it. Companies with actively engaged employees report:

  • 41% lower absenteeism
  • 70% fewer safety accidents
  • 20% higher sales
  • 40% fewer quality defects
  • 21% higher profitability.

“Each study that comes out doesn’t say anything that HR managers haven’t known for years,” adds Broome. “It’s not that companies aren’t aware of the dangers of disengagement. It’s that they don’t know how to find time to fix it with everything else they have to do to maintain compliance, payroll, benefits, and administrative functions.”

With company culture being so important, how do human resources managers actively cultivate it given their current workload?

Sometimes it only takes one thing. For several companies, that one thing is automating HR processes and platforms. Doing so not only streamlines and consolidates data, but also validates and protects it from time-consuming errors, report generation, compliance issues, and platform management. By simply removing the slow nature of paperwork, these HR teams can take the time to strategize and implement programs that not only align with company success but the enrichment of their employees.

Disengagement is costly, but an engaged workforce pays for itself and then some. When HR teams have and take the time to develop the culture, it sets up the company for long-term success; candidates are screened based on qualifications and fit, employees feel like they belong to something bigger than themselves, executives can confidently predict performance, and investors see more value. When HR managers have the time and space to work, everyone wins.

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