A few months ago, I attended a networking event titled, “The Value of Culture.” It featured a panel of entrepreneurs discussing the importance of building a positive company culture early on. At the start of the event, each person was given a name tag and was asked to answer a question that many companies, both small and large, struggle with today.
“Which is more important? Profit or Culture?”
The entrepreneurial capitalist in me immediately jumped to profit, but at the same time, I knew the answer wasn’t that straightforward. As someone who, at the time, was working at a company primely exemplifying poor culture and management, I knew the effect that these shortcomings could have on employee productivity, turnover, and ultimately the bottom line.
As members of Gen-Z begin to enter into the workforce, their desire to work at a socially conscious, people-first company can trump most priorities, many times even their short-term financial aspirations.
We youngins aren’t fooled by the ping pong tables and free beer on tap. Instead, we want kindness and empathy, an understanding that health (both mental and physical) are the first priority. Always. We are seeking a job that provides us with purpose as we work towards a mission that is bigger than ourselves. We don’t want to feel like an ID number or an easily replaceable cog.
The premise is simple. Treat your employees with care, respect and understanding, while also providing them with development and incentives and in-exchange they will be happier and more productive.
Make these changes and quickly you will see that not only will the employee’s productivity will increase, but your profit will too.
Heres a quick equation to reiterate:
Empathy + Purpose + Incentive = Employee Productivity + Happiness
Employee Productivity + Happiness = More Profit
Therefore: Empathy + Purpose + Incentive = More Profit
It’s not rocket science.
These culture-driven benefits can come in a variety of different forms such unlimited PTO & WFH, health and wellness stipends, company outings and more. One might point out that these are all extra investments, but I assure you that if provided properly and genuinely, the return will be massive.
Not only will the increased production likely drive more revenue for your company, but you will also have no problem landing (and retaining) top talent, ultimately saving you both money and time when it comes to hiring and retraining. Not to mention the invaluable word-of-mouth and earned media marketing boost that comes with being a culture-driven industry leader.
Without culture, your talent will flee, your employee productivity will dip and the word will get around rapidly making it harder to rehire new talent in the future. Just look at Away.
A little over a month ago I started a new job at Bombas, a comfort-obsessed, mission-driven DTC sock company that donates a sock to the homeless for each pair that they sell. It is renown as one of the best places to work in retail.
Prior to Bombas, I thought of culture as a gimmicky buzz-word, but I quickly learned how wrong this assumption was. Like many other people, I thought culture was something that needed to be sacrificed in order to maximize profit, but I now know that this is quite the opposite.
While companies like Amazon are customer-centric, Bombas is people-centric. They truly care. This lends to both their employees and their customers, in the form of things like an 100% Customer Happiness Guarantee and an employee benefits package that is unlike any other company’s I have seen. That being said, it is no surprise that Bombas has have seen exponential growth year over year since inception. Oh and it also doesn’t hurt that they make the most comfortable sock in the history of feet ;)
What other company’s are killing the culture game? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you like what you read and would like to read more subscribe to my newsletter at randymginsburg.com for all things tech, fashion, entrepreneurship and more.