Culture Shock: Why Employers Are Starting to Budget for Company Culture

Sutherland Editorial

More money, less problems – that seems to be the mantra driving the sudden spark in corporate spending around company culture. Establishing good company culture has always been desirable, but it’s starting to become a necessity. In a 2015 global survey conducted by Duke and Columbia University business school researchers, nearly 80% of big-company CEOs and CFOs said company culture was among their firms’ top five value drivers.

Over half of those surveyed strongly considered culture as an important influence on company creativity, profit, value and growth, and said they could boost firm value by improving company culture. Now, many companies are beginning to actively budget for company culture since they’re finding that it’s increasingly difficult to sweep culture-building initiatives to the side, and many executives are taking notice. In most cases, culture acts as the lifeline of a company. If that lifeline starts crashing, it could spell calling time of death on a company’s stable vitality.

Culture Shock: Why Employers Are Starting to Budget for Company Culture

Employers are realizing that empowering employees and fostering an attractive workplace culture where everyone is happy and thriving needs to be a priority. Once seen as merely an “added bonus,” company culture is now firmly on the budgetary radar for many executives. Creating a strong sense of culture can help a company grow by attracting better talent, nurturing them for success and retaining them longer.

Employee morale and relationships are also key for a company’s overall success. Building out a one-of-a-kind corporate workplace through company culture initiatives stifles the opportunity for a toxic working environment to take hold and fester. The healthier a company’s culture, the happier and more loyal employees tend to be. Happy employees tend to be more self-motivated and inspired, which incurs greater levels of productivity and innovation that are boons to a company as a whole.

For companies who have never placed much emphasis on company culture or kept employee experience top of mind, it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to start. Harvard Business Review identified six key components for great company culture: vision, values, practices, people, narrative and place. Most of these are pretty self-explanatory, but a good rule of thumb for companies looking for a bedrock to start building out company culture is The Golden Rule, as cliché as that may sound. Treat employees well and they will return the favor, with loyalty, commitment, engagement and productivity. These benefits, both measureable and intangible, are all hallmarks of a thriving company that puts culture and employees first.

Culture Shock: Why Employers Are Starting to Budget for Company Culture

Despite the commonly held belief, company culture initiatives aren’t massively expensive endeavors, either. Cost has always been the primary excuse to wave off company culture mindfulness, but there are easy methods to start building out an alluring company culture without breaking the bank.

Flexible work from home policies, company outings and happy hours, team-building games and fun, comfortable office amenities are all great, inexpensive ways to start fleshing out a culture employees will appreciate and prospective talent will crave. Besides, when your company’s success is on the line, there’s no price tag you can place on that…or a culture that takes the pain and dread out of coming into work. That is priceless.

Stay tuned to the Sutherland blog for more company culture insights, and be sure to give us a ‘Like’ or follow on social media (Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn).