The importance of workplace culture
A Boston Business Journal series
Workplace culture is today’s business catchphrase. Here’s why it matters.
The importance of workplace culture
An employer’s perspective, as shared by William K. Bacic, New England managing partner, Deloitte LLP
It’s no secret that workplace culture has become one of 2016’s hottest topics for business leaders. Research shows that workplace culture drives not only behavior, but also plays a major role in innovation, and customer service. In terms of specific numbers, 82 percent of the respondents to the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2016 survey believe that culture is a potential competitive advantage for employers. Equipped with that knowledge, it is nearly impossible to overstate culture’s importance, especially when thinking about not only recruiting and retaining talent, but also in meeting business goals.
Knowing just how crucial of a role culture plays, we, as business leaders, should consider doing all that we can to help foster a culture where professionals thrive. A step in the right direction may require that business leaders recognize the importance of culture, and give it the attention and investment it deserves. Executives should consider working with HR to help take responsibility for culture, and support it through both a measurement process and infrastructure.
However, that challenge, like many others, is often easier said than done. To start, we leaders should visibly prioritize culture in our organizations. That means clearly understanding the values of our companies, and how they affect business strategy. We should help shape the company’s value and make sure that we are leading by example, and reinforcing the desired culture. For example, at Deloitte, we are committed to making an impact that matters in the communities where we live and work. I enjoy taking an active role in my community, whether that is serving on nonprofit boards, hosting events in our office, or volunteering.
As executives, we should also consider examining the current culture at our organization, and determining whether or not that is the culture we desire.
That means taking a close look at our organizations and not only identifying those practices that align with the desired goals, but also taking note of practices that may require some change.
From there, it is up to leaders to help ensure this new culture becomes permanent. We should serve as an example of the new culture, and become cultural ambassadors for our organizations. Whether that means volunteering in your free time, avoiding email on weekends, or remaining offline while on vacation, leaders should consider embodying the culture of the workplace.
I encourage you to embrace the culture challenge, and own it at the highest level. Our actions tend to drive culture, just as they do other issues that reinforce business strategy. For more information on workplace culture, including tools for measurement, take a look at Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends Report.
The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016: Winning over the next generation of leaders
This remarkable absence of allegiance represents a serious challenge to any business employing a large number of Millennials, especially those in markets—like the United States—where Millennials now represent the largest segment of the workforce. However, because most young professionals choose organizations that share their personal values, it’s not too late for employers to overcome this “loyalty challenge.”
Deloitte surveyed nearly 7,700 Millennials from 29 countries during September and October 2015 to learn more about Millennials’ values and ambitions, drivers of job satisfaction, and their increasing representation in senior management teams.