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Company Culture: The “Why” Behind Our Beliefs

Businesses have many guiding principles on how they run their operations, how they treat their employees, and even promises they make to themselves and to customers. Some companies choose to sum it up in a mission or vision statement that stays hidden on the About page of the website; other companies, those select few exceptional companies, choose to share their principals and goals publicly and often. But, more than just sharing them, those companies actually bring them to life in their workplace, using them to shape and mold the company culture employees are engaged in daily.

A more public and wide-reaching strategy seems to be beneficial for companies, with research showing that mission-driven workers are 54% more likely to stay for five years at a company. That research also shows that those same employees are 30% more likely to be high performers over those just working for a paycheck. Given the amazing benefits that come with having and promoting your mission statement, vision, and core goals/values, it seems silly not to. So, that’s why sharing (and explaining) the main principles that drive everything we do.

Set by our group CEO Sameer Penakalapati and embraced by all employees of our group companies, these are the aspects of company culture we take into account day in and day out.

1. Find passionate people and train them on skills that you need; you will end up having a better team than hiring people with skills who lack passion.

The reasoning behind this one is very simple and very straightforward – employees are happier and more engaged when they work on projects they’re passionate about. Employees are also more willing to learn a new skill or set of skills if they will contribute to an outcome they feel strongly about. Whether it be helping others or competency in a role, all people are more likely to put in the effort if they find the task at hand to align with their core values and passions.

2. An office environment filled with lack of freedom and lack of encouragement will cost more than payroll, but unfortunately, many companies don’t realize is that freedom and encouragement are free.

This mindset is truer than ever in today’s society, as a recent study by Gallup discovered that only 33% of employees are engaged in their jobs. This means that a large majority of employees are lacking the desired engagement they need, causing many to leave their company and explore other options. This, in turn, leads to good employees leaving for new/different jobs before ever being in their current position long enough to realize or perfect their true potential. The cost (and time) associated with continual re-hiring as well as the fees that go along with it much outweigh any time/productivity loss when passionate employees are taking time out of their workday for personal enrichment and growth. A study by Employee Benefits News states that the average cost of losing an employee is 33% of the company’s annual salary; so, a high turnover rate can be financially suffocating for businesses. By giving employees access and tools to get what they need to grow and learn, a company will more than makeup for it in terms of commitment and new leadership. This idea brings us to our third point.

3. Invest resources (time, money, facilities, tools, and all reasonable resources) on the team and the team will grow the business.

As stated in the previous two points, a good team/good employees are critical to your business. Give them everything they need to grow, no matter if that costs time or money now. By putting effort into good employees, you’re much more likely to keep them. They, in turn, will do everything they can to give back to a great company. In fact, a study using SilkRoad’s applicant tracking data found that, from more than 14 million applications, 655,000 interviews, and 329,000 hires, internal recommendations make up 45% of all internal hires. This is far and away from the largest category, proving that employees are still the driving force of expansion and growth for a business. That probably means they’re worth focusing on; after all, they’ll be bringing on your future workforce.

4. Treat everyone with respect, and you create a culture of teams that respect everyone, including customers.

Respect is a major element of workplace culture, one that can turn engaged and excelling employees into aloof and mediocre workers in a matter of days. A Harvard Business Review study showed that, of nearly 20,000 employees all around the world, respect is the number one quality leaders needed to demonstrate to get commitment and engagement from employees. Those that get respect from leadership reported 56% better health and well-being and 89% greater enjoyment and satisfaction with their jobs. They also are 1.1 times more likely to stay in their job than those who don’t feel respected. With respect having such a large positive impact, it’s almost a no-brainer that it’s one of the core competencies we value as a company.

5. We have defined a zero-tolerance for workplace harassment, theft of company resources (data, software, hardware, misrepresentation, intentional wrongdoing, etc.) with consequences leading up to losing a job.

While this shouldn’t be a surprise, we believe that work should be a safe, inclusive space for everyone. Knowing that you can keep personal belongings, company assets, and other things safe while working is important, and having a work culture that mandates that and holds offenders responsible is critical. While we don’t believe that every infraction should result in job termination, we believe every incident be examined thoroughly and fairly so that the proper consequence is administered, curbing any repeat offenses and setting an example of what does/does not qualify as acceptable behavior.

6. Healthy criticism, open feedback, respect for hierarchy in decision making without displaying the hierarchy, and maintaining a friendly work environment are all company proceedings we promote.

Being able to constructively criticize and offer feedback are major aspects of workplace productivity, however, there is a right and a wrong way to deliver that kind of feedback. Luckily, 89% of HR leaders agree that ongoing feedback is paramount for successful business outcomes, with values-based recognition being the most stressed feedback area. This means that tying feedback and recognition to a company’s core values and mission is paramount. By actively stating this as an aspect of the company culture we promote, employees feel more comfortable giving and receiving honest feedback, without any hard feelings.

7. New ideas, innovation in workplace processes, and anything that benefits business will be rewarded.

We don’t want our employees to just show up and to what they’re told. Rather, we want them to show up and innovate. By encouraging freedom of thought and rewarding those with a desire to move the company forward, we create an entire business that is constantly moving forward. According to a 2015 Accenture study, 82% of organizations run innovation the same way they do their regular operations. It’s then no surprise that 72% of those organizations miss crucial growth opportunities. We here at businesses are different, encouraging innovation beyond just the day-to-day tasks. By highlighting it as a core belief that is critical for maintaining company culture, we find more and more employees consistently thinking outside the box with a focus not only on making their day to day tasks smoother but on taking the company as a whole to the next level.

All of these things guide and shape our company culture, with our employees playing an active and important role in our business. We don’t want our employees to work for us because it pays the bills, rather we want our employees to be encouraged, motivated, and rewarded for disrupting the typical business operations and innovating on our daily processes, all while being respectful and honest in everything they do. Sound like a company you want to get involved with? Reach out, we’re happy to talk about our business, our platform, and our plans for the future.

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