In light of COVID disruption, many companies around the world are experiencing the effects of the Global Resignation. In South Africa, the trend is also being felt, with an October 2021 wage survey revealing that businesses are reporting staff turnover of 16% across all sectors, with reasons like burnout and toxic work culture being cited. Jeremy Bossenger, director at BossJansen Executive Search, explains why having a healthy corporate culture will attract the best talent to your organisation.
What is corporate culture and why does it matter?
Simply put, corporate culture is the glue that binds employees together and helps move an organisation forward so that it can reach its goals. It reflects the values and shared attitudes of managers and employees. Corporate culture isn’t just about how your staff members treat each other; it extends beyond your business and affects how your employees treat clients too.
It’s important because it has a major impact on an organisation’s staff turnover rate. In fact, according to a LinkedIn survey, 70% of professionals won’t consider working at a leading company if it has an unhealthy corporate culture.
Having a positive corporate culture makes employees feel like their contributions are valued, which in turn results in a higher rate of employee engagement. Importantly, from a head-hunting perspective, a healthy corporate culture makes it easier to recruit the best possible executive for your firm. When potential candidates get excited about working for a company, you can be sure it has a positive corporate culture.
Four kinds of corporate culture
The atmosphere in this kind of organisation is informal; it feels more like a family. Managers’ doors are always open to their staff and the focus is on collaboration and teamwork. While many professionals may enjoy this relaxed environment, the horizontal leadership structure can make executive decision making more difficult. Google is a good example of a clan culture.
Derived from the word “ad hoc”, this kind of culture is also relaxed, but entrepreneurial by nature: there is an expectation that employers should come up with new ideas to improve the business. While this encourages innovation and responding to market needs, it can lead to undesirable competition between employees and teams. Start-ups like Apple often display an adhocracy culture.
In a market culture, everyone’s attention is fixed on the bottom line. Managers and employees are expected to meet targets in order to win favour and be promoted. It can be a high-pressure environment, so is not suited to those for whom competition doesn’t come naturally. This performance mentality can result in burnout for top executives and may be the reason why so many have left companies during the Great Resignation.
In a hierarchy culture, there is a clear chain of command. Because procedures are highly valued, people within the organisation are sometimes neglected. However, staff members understand what is expected of them and there is a high degree of stability. Academia often exhibits an hierarchical structure.
A match made in heaven
Being aware of what kind of corporate culture exists within a firm you are servicing will help the head hunters out there to find and place the most suitable executive. Is the culture dynamic and entrepreneurial or process-oriented and structured? Is there a market culture of competition and getting results or a clan culture, which is friendly and collaborative? Understanding this will give you an inside edge when you reach out to potential executives in a bid to make a match – like Cinderella and her glass slipper – that truly fits.