What makes a business unique? Why do people want to work at place like Google, Whole Foods or Disneyland? The answer: culture. These places have one thing in common. They have an established culture that provides employees with a place they want to work at. For example, Google has everything on their work campus. Employees can go to the dentist, get a haircut, have a meal or even take a break in their many “play zones”. Whole foods works in a team based hiring system. Potential hires will work directly with team members who have complete control over their hiring. (Ericsson, 2007) Disneyland has an established culture of people who are dependable, conforming and careful. However, you should also be social. When dealing with a diverse group of people at an amusement park that are on vacation you should be empathetic, patient, nurturing and agreeable. (Culture & Diversity)
According to Erickson identifying your culture for your business is the Human Resource equivalent to “keeping up with the Joneses.” (2007) Often companies try to match competitors offers, health benefits or training programs. While this is useful for bringing potential candidates to the company it is not what is going to retain them. (Ericsson, 2007) Retaining employees looks at more then just what attracts them but what makes a good company great. It’s about what excites someone to come to work everyday. Northouse defines culture as “the learned beliefs, values, rules, norms, symbols and traditions that are common to a group of people.” (2016)
In order to create your culture for your company you should be looking at what makes a signature experience visible and distinctive about your company. This creates a value for your company. (Ericsson, 2007) This means you should look at other cultures in your business environment and learn the tastes, trends and technologies others offer. (Northouse, 2016) Looking at what makes them unique can help in attracting employees you want to be representing your business. For example, in my company something that makes us unique is that every employee has a voice in how we grow. Each one of us is asked to bring suggestions to the table each week. If the group decides it is worth progression then we put together a team to work on your idea.
Erickson also suggests finding your signature. (2007) How do you create a signature experience for people and/or companies you work with. Building social connections and communicating your signature experience with others will help build a customer base as well as get potential clients talking about you. For example, if I talk about how great my company is because we each have a say on how to build the company we can earn the trust of other business because it shows we will listen to what they need as well. It can also attract employees because they will have a chance to voice opinions on new strategies instead of having to just follow orders.
Once you have created a signature experience and culture, strive for consistency. (Erikson, 2007). Once an employee or client is obtained continue to show them the culture of your company has not changed. That what you promised them would continue until the day they leave.
Developing and understanding the culture of your business is important not only because it establishes your company as consistent but a noteworthy place to work but it also will help you to establish what other cultures you want to work with. This will help you to better understand the cultures around you.
Erickson, T.J. & Gratton, L. (2007). What it means to work here. Harvard Business Review, 85(3), 104-112.
Culture & Diversity. (n.d.). Retrieved November 7, 2015, from http://disneycareers.com/en/working-here/culture-diversity/