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100,000 hours of your life – how would you spend it?

There has never been so much emphasis put on culture in the working environment and when you add up the amount of hours you will work during your life; you begin to understand why. The average person will spend around 100,000 hours of their lives at work, an astronomical number to fathom, which is only set to increase with the retirement age continually extending.

The search for a company with an excellent culture has, for many, overtaken salary for the number one priority when looking for a new job. For many businesses it has become the main objective in their strategy for acquiring and retaining the very best talent. Culture can be instigated by the company through creating common values, goals and ensuring their employees are well looked after. However, it should go beyond that, making every employee feel part of something special is where the magic begins.

What factors contribute to a positive company culture?

Employees of all generations are now prioritising flexibility on the job as a deciding factor when changing roles, even more so than factors such as promotions or benefits. ‘FlexJobs’ reported that, 74 percent of employees, when asked why they wanted flexible work options, answered work-life balance. Having the flexibility to work from home or more convenient locations, results in a number of benefits such as: cutting back on commute stress, time and the cost of travel, which will all contribute to an employee’s well-being and result in a healthy work environment. Netflix is a strong supporter of flexible working as they provide their employees with no limitations to the amount of holiday allowance each employee has. This is based on their belief that “employees should be trusted to be personally responsible for their success.”

Professional development is another factor which strongly affects a company’s culture. This simply requires the demonstration that a company can offer the resources that employees will need to develop their skills, such as on-the-job training and mentoring. PwC has recently invested in their personal development for employees. They have committed to not only provide training and personal development to all active employees but due to their recent increase in maternity leave allowance, they also intend to offer all training and updates to women on maternity leave so they remain connected with the company.

Another contributor of getting the culture right is having a strong sense of team. Working as a team and not as an individual is a key factor that will affect well-being at work. Working as part of a team on projects and achieving something together brings a much stronger sense of achievement.

Airbnb is another great example of a company who invests in its culture. They encompass their core values of “home” in everything they do which is reflected in their company culture and the company’s workplace interiors. Employees aren’t restricted to one set working area, the offices provide employees “landing zones” instead of dedicated desks. This is to create a company workplace which “feels like home” – creating a relaxed environment where they can get the most of out their employees.

What are the benefits of having a healthy company culture?

Employee retention - The most obvious benefit of having a healthy culture, is strong employee retention. Companies that value their employees and encourage high morale and positive attitudes, will in turn, have positive employees who will enjoy coming to work every day and, as a result of which, will stay there!

Performance – If employees are working in a positive and enthusiastic culture where they are recognised for the work they are doing, they will give back in return by maintaining strong standards and be more likely to continue to develop and improve their performance. Satisfaction and happiness go hand-in-hand with improved performance.

Reputation - Companies with a healthy culture will gain a strong positive reputation not only with employees but also with potential workers. Due to the fact that a positive company culture is becoming such a key factor for more and more people when job-hunting, it is essential to attract like-minded, talented employees.

These are only a few of the benefits of having a strong and healthy company culture. If it continues to remain a priority for employees, like it is already, these benefits will be sure to grow even more. All of these factors have a huge knock-on effect within an organisation, they will sustain employee enthusiasm and, as a result, improve the success of the company as a whole.