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You are surely aware that the word culture has been sort of a buzzword in the corporate world for quite some time now. If we look at the definition of the word on Entrepreneur.com, it is described as a “blend of the values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals and myths” all organizations develop over a certain period of time. Simply put, it is the personality of your company from the perspective of your employees and includes everything from the organization’s mission to the work atmosphere. But just how important your company culture really is?

Why You Should Care About Culture

Well, for starters, according to the latest findings from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, over 90% of CEOs and CFOs consider that the culture of their company is very important. And if that is not enough, your culture also heavily affects your workforce. In fact, a recent survey conducted by the employee engagement company TINYpulse, revealed that camaraderie and peer motivation (large parts of company culture) motivate employees to “go the extra mile” much more than money does. That basically means that even though they want good financial compensation, modern day employees also want the thing that money cannot buy, such as an office environment that makes them comfortable and motivated.

Disengagement is Quite Costly

In most cases, a cut-throat office culture can ensure engagement for some time, but it creates stress that leads to disengagement in the long term. And you have to be aware that disengagement can cost you a lot of money. Studies by the Gallup Organization and the Queen’s School of Business, have shown that companies with disengaged employees have almost 50% more accidents and around 60% more defect and errors. But that’s not all, the study has also revealed that companies with an extremely low engagement score experience 18% lower productivity, more than 35% lower job growth and 65% lower share price. And perhaps, most importantly– organizations with highly engaged workers enjoy 100% more job applications.

Attracting the Best Candidates

Speaking of job applications, we all know that finding and keeping valuable workers is a heavy time investment. And let’s face it, there is only so much you can offer workers when it comes to salary, benefits, and additional perks to stand out from the competition. Culture is your best differentiator and you cannot just tell potential workers about your culture – you need to show them.

Encourage your employees to promote your culture through posts on Facebook and LinkedIn. National Public Radio, for instance, has established a tag-board where workers use a custom hashtag to post comments about what’s it like to work at the company. You could also use content as a recruitment tool, so maybe think about hiring a creative content marketing agency to work with your director of recruitment and write a couple of articles about what it is like to work in your organization.

Fitting the Culture

Finally, one of the biggest mistakes many organizations make in recruiting, is not making sure that candidates are a good fit from a company culture standpoint. And that is why you need to have your applicants meet with multiple people in the company to help paint a vivid picture of the culture. This will help your organization understand whether the candidate fits your culture or not. Zappos, for instance, conducts two sets of interviews – one with the hiring manager, and another with the HR team, to evaluate if a candidate fits the culture. The company also offers candidates $2000 to quit after a week, because they want only those who love the culture to stay.

If you want to create a great, winning company culture to engage your current workers and attract top talent, you need to turn the tables and talk to your workers. Once you know what exactly stimulates them to wake up every morning and come to the office, you will increase your retention and win over the finest talent.