In startups, it is a common goal to approach revenue growth with a specific figure in mind -- generally somewhere around 40% or a 4x revenue growth strategy. At this level, a startup organization is considered to be successful and either it’s sold at a significant profit or investors become interested and it continues to evolve. A huge factor that can influence the growth of a startup firm is the employee culture.
Made up of the shared beliefs, values, people, processes, and historical successes, the employee culture is unique to each organization. It governs the behaviors and decisions made by employees, as set forth by founders. A strong employee culture doesn’t happen by accident; it’s a well-planned component of a successful business venture.
How does employee culture impact revenue growth?
If an organization does things right, the founders will establish the early form of an employee culture. This can include certain ideals that the business is striving for, the general work environment, the way communication happens, and more. Certain operational aspects come into play as the organization grows and more people participate in their given role.
The employee culture evolves as one that maintains high levels of employee engagement and productivity, not only out of necessity, but because people believe in what the company is doing. If they are contributing to making the world a better place they are more apt to put the extra effort in for their employer. Employee engagement is at a low place with only one-third of the workforce actively engaged with their companies.
This element of an employee culture is especially vital for recruitment purposes. The Deloitte 2017 Millennial Survey showed that 76% of young working adults regard business as a force for positive social impact. Another 88% say business around the globe is having a positive impact on the wider society in which they operate. People want to combine their careers with social responsibility. Attracting the next generation of the workforce will require an employee culture that focuses on responsible business practices.
At the same time, employee culture that promotes diversity increases the likelihood that the organization will be profitable. The McKinsey report Diversity Matters showed how organizations in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians. The more diversity found in the executive level of a company, the higher the profits. Embracing diversity and placing more women, racially and ethnically different people into management roles can support rapid revenue increases.
Any organization can get on track with a better employee culture
Whether the organization is in the beginning phases or has been growing steadily for some time, it’s possible to fast-track profits with an improved employee culture. Investing in a better employee experience should be the number one goal of this effort. As the business scales, the more positive the experience of employees, the easier it will be to attract and retain talent.
Constanza Loboguerrero, Senior HR Manager with one of the top companies that has been recognized for providing a great employee experience, Accenture, told CMS Wire, “The concept of employee experience goes deeper than the surface-level relationship between a company and its employees.” Loboguerrero advised, “This includes each one of the moments that matter in my [employee] interactions with my employer.” During the recruitment, onboarding, training, daily life, and termination phases of the employee experience, the company has an opportunity to make things better.
The two steps to creating a revenue-generating employee culture are simple:
1. Determine what matters the most to employees
2. Align these values with company objectives
To complete this analysis and process, management needs to be willing to open the doors of communication and allow employees to voice their ideas freely. This can be a good process, particularly if there has been any question as to whether employees are happy and engaged at work.
Once this information has been obtained, either through direct meetings with employees or surveys, the task then becomes sorting the list by priority. Choose the top 10 ideas and concerns. Narrowing down the list gives leaders somewhere to start.
Review the current employee culture and note any areas that are negative or creating tension for employees. Look for processes that are getting in the way of employees being able to successfully use their talents for the good of the organization. Find out what may be creating a negative employee experience for some. These need the most attention. Evaluate the current values and practices of the workplace. Do they correctly align with the vision and mission of the company? If not, they need to be eliminated or replaced. Keep in mind, this effort will not happen overnight. It will take careful planning and buy-in from all concerned to make it work.
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