The integral part of a company’s success is having the right-fit working environment and culture. The embedment of it has a very long lasting effect on a company’s performance & most entrepreneurs today try to build up their own creative or a copied version to boost performance.
According to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends survey, 12 percent of the executives believe that their company is driving the right corporate culture and only 19 percent of executives believe that their companies actually have the right corporate culture.
A similar survey also reveals that over 90 percent of executives and 80 percent of employees agree to the fact that having a strong, positive workplace culture is important to a business’s overall success and productivity.
So what is organizational culture?
- Culture is how companies do things
- Corporate culture defines a jointly shared description of an organization from within
- Organizational culture is a system of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs, which governs how people behave in organizations
- Organizational culture is civilization in the workplace
- Organizational culture refers to the philosophies, attitudes, beliefs, behaviors and practices that define an organization
- Culture is the organization’s immune system
& most importantly
Culture is driven by leadership. How leaders behave, what they say, and what they value drives culture.
So what does every entrepreneur or manager want? – increased efficiency and creation of value (which in an abrupt way could be stated as cash & profit)
& what does every team member or an employee want? Being valued & being part of environment where he or she can prosper.
Although we might get into Maslow’s theories about motivation etc., the two factors stated above are the bottom-lines of expectations from an organization.
There is a potential equilibrium where team and leadership expectations meet, but the path that leads to it is quite challenging.
Before I state what we have done to create that desired working environment, I would like to point out the rewards of the right corporate culture.
1. Talent attraction & retention
Organizations that have the right ecosystem will have less challenges with attracting desired employees & keep them for a long time.
Creation of that culture makes people want to be part of it.
2. Job satisfaction ratio is high
There is no surprise that job satisfaction is one of the key criteria that employees use to decide whether or not they want to work in a company. Employers who understand the importance of investing in their employee’s development and well-being are the lucky ones in this case.
Why? Well, it’s because they are doing everything in their power to keep their employee’s job satisfaction levels high.
3. Communication & teamwork
This one is the trickiest of all, because it’s never a smooth ride, it’s all relative. However, if you want people to come together as a team, it’s much more likely to happen when you have a strong company culture. This is because a positive work culture facilitates social interaction and open communication that leads everyone to some amazing results in the future.
4. Lower stress levels & higher morale
Maintaining a positive, productive company culture is one of the most effective ways to boost employee morale at work. It helps to ensure that employees are naturally happy and they are enjoying their time around work.
5. Productivity boost
Strong company culture has always brought improvements in employee productivity levels. This is because employees tend to act in a more dedicated and motivated manner when they’re a part of positive work culture.
& finally, Yes! It all leads to happier personnel.
Here are a few numbers that will help you better understand how happier employees are good news for organizations.
- According to a study cited by HBR (Harvard Business Review), disengaged workers had 37% higher absenteeism and 60% more errors in their work. And the cost of disengagement could get expensive.
- The stock prices of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work for” rose 14% per year rose 14% per year, while companies not on the list only reported a mere 6% increase in their stock prices.
- & Infographic below states the key points perfectly.
Let me state clearly that at no given point I have stated that we as ATL have created the perfect example of such an organization. No, it is far from the truth. However, in our humble way we did successfully create an environment which outshines the industry and ecosystem of corporations in Azerbaijan in so many ways.
Achieving it is not a single course of action, on the contrary it is a variety of actions and philosophies that are implemented at various stages of company life cycle.
Therefore, I would like to state a few key factors in bullet points. However, before I do that I want to state that when we started this whole philosophy we simply wanted to create a company that we LOVE working for. When it comes to positive environment it is not derived from figures, stats, targets & profitability expectations. It derives from passion and love towards what you do in your company.
- ATL has no dress code, literally none.
- ATL only values skill & value added to the company during a hiring process, anything not related to that is disregarded
- We do not oversee our employee as an expense, they are our assets
- ATL’s family values knowledge & sharing, therefore we have one of the most successful internship programs in the country, with a sky-high post-internship employment ratio.
- We have digitalized most of our procedures. Roughly 95% of our organization’s processes are digitalized. Starting from creating a vacancy up to asking for a day off from a manager. Moreover, all processes like internal requests & purchases, hiring & human resource management are all implemented on ATL created software solutions.
- We have a work from home program, where an employee is not required to come to the office to fulfill his daily duties. My own standpoint is this – I personally do not care where the team member is physically as long as job is getting done. Even when one of the executives is uncomfortably giving me heads up about his day off or vacation, I don’t mind & encourage it.
- We do outside office retreats constantly lunches, breakfasts, visits to other regions of Azerbaijan & various team-building activities.
- Thanks to our talented HR team, we have started doing series of in office surveys & evaluations. Top to down and vice versa.
- Thanks to idea meritocracy that we have implemented since early 2019, new initiatives keep coming every week regarding increasing performance of various aspects of our company. The ATL family understands that any idea should only have a merit, its origin has to be disregarded.
- We give back to the community by doing various activities with educational facilities like ADA, Baku Oxford School, Baku Engineering University & etc. Because “Sharing knowledge is not about giving people something, or getting something from them. That is only valid for information sharing. Sharing knowledge occurs when people are genuinely interested in helping one another develop new capacities for action; it is about creating learning processes.” Peter Senge. Sharing knowledge is the most fundamental act of friendship. By building positive relationships not only within the office but with the community as well, we foster and build up a greater environment.
- As an extension of the previous “knowledge bullet point”, I would like to shine a light on two activities: Education within ATL & Expertech. We constantly try to re-educate our employees so that they can add more value to themselves and the company. This philosophy is very rewarding in long term. On the other hand, by creating Expertech platform we encourage various guest speakers to share their knowledge with our gathered audience.
- We do our best to value and reward the effort of our teams, and yes in various forms.
- There are bunch of other things we do that might seem unconventional to the naked eye but to us it has become a normal activity. Therefore, I would like to conclude this list with a video that was created by our marketing team which grasped various moments from the year 2019 & the video was shared at our corporate New Year’s Eve party: