At Jobstore, we believe that an office’s design or layout holds a significant role in defining corporate culture. And culture is inseparable from employer branding.
Shaping workplace culture is essentially building professional and personal resonance between the company and its people. In fact, it’s all about creating an environment that stimulates your employees’ engagement and loyalty.
According to an article in Harvard Business Review, corporate culture is an ecosystem that drives performance. Each person is driven by different motivations to work, and among the top motivators, work environment plays an important role.
More and more job seekers, especially millennials, determine their career prospects in a company based on cultural fit. It means that you can’t afford to ignore the impact of culture on the overall business success.
Giant corporations like Google, Airbnb, and Facebook attract millions of job applicants every year for many reasons. Besides having one-of-a-kind office designs, their competitive business advantages along with positive attitudes also adds on to their core values. And all of them translate to a thriving corporate culture.
Why does company culture matter?
Fact #1: Office culture sustains employee engagement and improves your company’s turnover rate.
Happy employees are generally more productive. It’s this simple, you wouldn’t want your staff to dread going to the office, would you?
Casual dress code, flexible working hours, or fun Fridays are some of the identities that are often associated with office culture. That can also a problem, many people tend to think of “culture” as the extra perks that seem to be exclusive to startups.
Commitment can’t be built on the tangible values such as free meals or bean bags. It takes a more genuine approach to achieve a positive employer brand. In order to attract the right talent AND ensure their career satisfaction from the beginning, you need to foster a thriving culture as part of the organisation’s branding strategies.
Let’s first take a look at your company website. Is there any section that promotes your office space and culture? By creating a unique company career page, featuring behind-the-scenes photos as well as the office spaces, you’ll be able to present a strong cultural statement to potential candidates. Not only will it help to attract talent but also allows potential employees to assess their cultural fit in the team.
Similar to social culture, there is no company culture that is better than another. Therefore, it is inaccurate to claim that startup culture outperforms traditional corporate culture. You need to take into account who your employees are and their expectations. For example, senior professionals wouldn’t feel comfortable having their staff making a bean bag their “office space” and likewise, millennials often feel uncomfortable with their seniors’ formality in all circumstances.
In brief, a company culture has to be about building mutual understanding with your team to form acceptable behaviours within the company.
Design a workspace that represents your company culture
Fact #2: Workplace environment, regardless of shape and size, signifies company culture.
You should treat physical workspace as one of the cultural elements. In other words, an ideal office should reflect the company’s culture because it affects how people approach their jobs.
Here’s a quick example. Airbnb’s culture revolves around the company’s mission: to create a world where you can belong anywhere. So their office is designed in a way that expresses that “sense of belonging”. They also pour in extra effort to constantly transform the office layout to match with the actual homestay apartments around the globe. As a result, all Airbnb staffs clearly understand the purpose of their work and are able to stay focused on the brand’s mission at all times.
It’s not a must to have a major makeover in your office. You only need to make sure that the office interior represents your organisational “spirit”, whether it’s a conventional cubicle setting or an open space concept. Consider having your mission statement, logo, and business goals displayed around the office so that everyone will get to immerse in your culture more authentically.
If you want to encourage self-improvement, why not have a mini library in your office or a break room where people can gather to exchange knowledge? Having an inspiring workplace that satisfies your organisational practices will automatically boost productivity as well as creativity.
There is no question about the role of culture in running a sustainable company. It’s as important as any other branding tools. So if you want to effectively increase your brand awareness and scale your business, it’s time to put more focus on the people and office space.