C-Suite: Building A Culture Like Google’s

C-Suite: Building A Culture Like Google’s

Everyone Wants to be Like Google

This year 33,000 Canadian Students voted on their most ideal employer in our “From Learning to Work Survey” and Google topped the list again this year.

As Universum’s Managing Director for Canada I am often asked…”how can we be more like Google”. This is challenging for companies with less formidable consumer brands and even smaller budgets. For those looking to build out their employment brand, get their culture “on the map” and be known as a great company the answer is simple…be a great company to work for. For the C-suite, developing your employment brand may feel like an HR function but it has real financial benefits and it starts with your corporate culture.

Definition of Corporate Culture

Let’s start by defining corporate culture. There are many definitions. The one that makes the most sense for our purposes today is “the specific collection of values and norms that are shared by people and groups in an organization and that control the way they interact with each other and with stakeholders (i.e. customers and candidates) outside the organization.”

Corporate Culture ROI

The above definition essentially means that corporate culture affects the way you and your employees behave towards each other and towards customers, suppliers, and candidates. Good corporate culture promotes good behaviour and results in highly productive, happy, engaged employees with low turnover.

From a recruitment perspective, a good corporate culture is proven to lead to improved appeal for candidates, lower starting salaries, reduced time to hire, reduced cost per hire and ultimately improved shareholder value.

It also brings about loyal customers, that value the services/products that your company provides and pre-qualified candidate pools that can be used to proactively fill your candidate pipeline – all of which maximize the fun and profits of your organization.

Many industrial research studies prove these ROI statements and these studies consistently show that without a doubt, the quality of corporate culture and the employment brand are directly linked to the performance of an organization.

How do you measure your corporate culture and current employment brand?

As Peter Drucker said, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure!” Managing your corporate culture and your employment brand are no different. To begin, conduct,

  1. A customer survey
  2. An employee survey
  3. Internal focus groups with your most engaged employees

Understanding the opinions and feedback from these three groups will provide you with measures of customer satisfaction and employee engagement – two critical components of a positive corporate culture and solid corporate performance.

Understanding what your best people believe to be true about your organization internally will help you form the basis of an authentic and compelling employment brand that your employees will rally behind.

Caution: Don’t open a can of worms you are unwilling to close! Do not commit to a survey and to collecting the input of your employees unless you are committed to taking action and doing something with the results in the event that you uncover something negative. Doing nothing with the feedback you get will erode the trust and morale of your employees and will tarnish your employment brand.

My recommendation is to plan a strategic planning session and to commit to taking action on the results of the feedback you get before you get it. Leveraging this in your communications and in your invitation to employees to participate in surveys and focus groups will help get greater levels of participation and more robust data. Entrusting the process to external experts will provide more honest responses and ensure that the information is reliable and actionable.

What is an engaged employee?

To me, this is someone that:

  1. Is intellectually and emotionally bound with the organization
  2. Feels passionately about its goals
  3. Is committed to live by its values
  4. Gives 100% and is willing to put in discretionary effort
  5. Is a maven or a brand ambassador that is willing to proactively recruit for your company

Our next instalment will identify the top priority areas that you need to addressed to build a great corporate culture and a compelling employment brand and in doing so, we will provide further evidence that corporate culture and your employment brand are the cornerstones to success in the C-Suite. Fortunately they are not as complicated as you may think!


About the author

JayHeadshot Jason Kipps

Jason is Head of Universum Canada

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