Two Global Companies That Saw Quantified Returns on Culture
Culture is like that magic ingredient that takes the recipe for a happy workplace from being just okay, to being amazing - and healthy. This magic ingredient blends well with everything else at the workplace, so you get to experience a hint of this culture every now and then. Subtle or bold, culture goes a long way in adding to the health of the organisation. And slowly but steadily, this good health transforms itself into good productivity and energy, paving the way for a journey towards success. Although, the thing with good corporate culture is that you may not realise the fact that it is present, but the absence of it will surely be felt.
With all this in mind, it’s safe to say that good culture also has a part to play when it comes to earning profits - even if this is an indirect connection. Let us explain - in a company with a good culture, people are more likely to be happy, innovative, creative, curious, and hence more productive. This employee productivity works towards financial growth. Moreover, good culture not only helps with employee retention but also builds a good reputation for the company - which in turn attracts talented candidates. Which can only mean one thing: great work culture = profitability.
Netflix - Chilling with Responsibility
Known for its variety of content available for streaming, and its uber-cool social media accounts, Netflix is the world’s number one streaming service. The successful launch of the company may be credited to good timing, but the rise on the growth chart can be connected to the company’s work culture. Netflix has what we can call an ‘unorthodox’ corporate culture that follows a ‘people over process’ approach. It may not be for everyone, but they are vocal about it and it helps attract talent that can also be a culture fit. As a company, Netflix does not believe in rules and regulations only because they want their employees to be responsible for their own actions. The company offers its employees unlimited vacation days, there is no dress code and no formal expense system - in return all they expect is that employees act in the best interests of Netflix. In fact, they don’t have formal performance reviews at the end of the year either, but managers are moulded to make note of employee performance on an everyday basis. As a result, the company’s workforce is naturally a bunch of like-minded people who work together as a performance-driven team. As for profits, Netflix has made 3 times more in 2019 than it did in 2017, growing from $0.6 billion to $1.9 billion - and continuing to soar.
Zoom: Frictionless Communication
In 2013, Zoom launched as a communication platform that provides users with ease of access. As a brand, Zoom works towards nurturing hassle-free communication with customers and communities with their core vision being ‘frictionless video’. Although, this vision is not just something the product was built upon, but also something that’s at the base of their culture. The company ensures the same level of happiness at work as their product gives customers - by caring, communicating and being open to feedback. In fact, even the founder and CEO Eric Yuan stands by the idea of not just meeting needs of their customers but actually delivering happiness. Their motto is to encourage employees to think about what makes them happy, so that they can enter the workplace with these positive thoughts in mind. Moreover, the company has a group of people known as the ‘Happiness Crew’ who voluntarily drive events, team building activities for employees, rewards and recognition programmes etc. to maintain the company culture. Many of Zoom’s employees also support charities, volunteer in local social works etc and that is the same emotion of responsibility and care that they bring to work. Zoom’s revenue doubled to $331 million in 2019, and its financial profile is rising over 100 percent a year.
The Culture and Wellbeing ROI
There are many other organisations who have been a part of culture-building. Salesforce, a cloud-based sales enabling software, is known to be socially responsible as the company’s executive team leverages time and resources to do good and maintains a healthy internal communication strategy. The corporate culture at the hospitality brand Hilton Hotels is as friendly and hospitable as their concierge culture. Its employees are encouraged to be adaptive and approachable to ensure the company stands by its principles through and through.
Most organisations who’ve made it big owe their success to a healthy corporate culture. But for healthy culture to seep into the workplace, the top management must make investments towards their internal communication strategy, employee engagement, well-being, learning & development sessions, automation and AI/ML support. It’s important to note that there are many smaller organisations with lower net worth that have taken small but impactful steps towards building a healthy culture. Not all approaches towards culture-building require high expenditure, but surely require a deep-rooted emotional investment. After all, what matters is how the leadership thinks, interacts with and inspires the rest of the employees to work towards meeting organisational goals.