In celebration of culture
In the wake of South Africa’s Heritage Day celebrations we’ve seen just how important it is to embrace and engage with one another’s heritages, cultures, and furthermore, the shared heritage that we are all creating together.
It is in these celebrations that we see how our past and our present influence our future. Our heritage is something that we can use to shape our culture, and our culture shapes us as a society moving forward – the same can be said about company culture and the way we do business as a society.
It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has made the task of creating, or maintaining any kind of company culture much more challenging, even for the most connected organisations. Nearly 18 months into the pandemic, many people are still working from home. Zoom fatigue, along with a whole host of other psychologically taxing factors that emerged from the global shutdown, created an environment which wasn’t conducive to maintaining a healthy company culture.
According to research by MIT Sloan, workers valued honest communication and transparency above all during the first six months of the pandemic. Transparent communication is relatively rare in corporate culture statements, however, it seems that the quality of communication is central to how employees evaluate corporate culture.
Over and above companies’ responses to the pandemic, questions like, ‘How does a company’s history shape its company culture?’, and ‘Why is an organisation’s culture important to their clients and customers?’, became increasingly important for companies to grapple with and answer.
A company’s history outlines overarching values and principles that become a guiding light for how the company runs in perpetuity – this effectively shapes a lasting culture and provides a reference point for company leadership to refer back to in order to drive the company’s mission forward.
Your company culture develops as a natural extension of your company history, and the health of that culture speaks to the quality of the relationship you have with your staff.
Companies that treat their employees well also have greater consumer trust. Simply put, if your company has a legacy of treating employees well, it stands to reason that those employees will treat your customers well.
A healthy company culture, when harnessed correctly, forms the basis of a powerful connection between you and your customers, and demonstrates your brand’s humanity and trustworthiness.
By giving consumers a look into your internal culture, you are essentially making a (believable) promise of faithful service and quality. Research shows a strong positive correlation in this regard. By investing in your staff and their culture, you’re investing in the long-term satisfaction of your customers.
It all boils down to trust.
When customers seek to place their trust within a brand, they ultimately choose those who clearly demonstrate a history of unwavering commitment, honesty, and transparency with their customers. This is where your company’s history, and the company culture that develops from it, shines brightest – as a beacon of trust. Your company’s history is its track record of commitment to its customers.
In tough times – like, for example, if a global pandemic broke out that forced the entire global economy to grind to a halt – staying true to your company’s founding values is how you move forward to create new success and continually honour the trust that your customers have placed in you.
For companies to stand the test of time, they need to send a clear signal that resonates deeply within both new and existing customers: “Our company has survived because we do good work and do right by our customers, community, and industry.”
At hoola, our guiding values are passion, integrity and humility.
Through this very difficult period for everyone, we’ve really had to live our values and practice passion, ignite integrity and harness humility. Staying true to these values has helped us come out the other side of serious lockdown – looking ahead to the post-COVID new normal – looking stronger than ever.
We can say this with confidence and conviction, because our hoolagans truly live these values. Our company culture is tangible, it’s presence is felt in every interaction we have (both internally and with the wider hoola family). This creates an environment where meaningful, long-lasting relationships and partnerships are forged, where trust is built, and where mutual growth and success can be achieved.
Your business depends on your company culture.