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If you spend any time in your car, you would have recently heard the latest Careers24 advert that goes like this: After a cringe-worthy office scene, a compelling voice says “Hate your company culture? Find a new job…” When I first heard this my reaction was, “Yes!! They have got it so right!” Company culture is so vital today that you could lose your best employees if you don’t make it a priority for your business.
Put quite simply, culture is the way the company’s set values are being lived out every day, through actions from everyone within the company. Often we see values on the website and walls of an organisation and then quickly detect through staff attitudes whether the culture and values are lived throughout the organisation. This results in a disconnect and the value becomes a written line with zero impact.
You know that feeling you get when you walk into an office space and your response is, “Wow, there is such an amazing vibe here — everyone seems so happy.” This is a window into the magic of a thriving culture.
In South Africa today, there are a handful of companies that have a flourishing culture where employees are engaged. How do they do this? Company leaders, not just HR or People teams, make sure that company culture is thought about strategically, with as much importance as how the company is making a profit or how the product offering of the company is doing. Meaningful elements and tools are put in place that ensure employees are striving to making an impact every day, through the lived cultures — through all levels of employees.
In order for the values to drive culture we have to ensure that, once company values have been set, they are not just stuck up on a wall, they are actually lived out — seen, felt and believed by new starters and those who are already working at your company. We all want to have the best people working for us so we have to remember that culture is not just to attract the best talent — but to ensure that once they work for you they want to stay working for you.