What is Company Culture?
Whether you know it or not, your company has a culture. Company culture is the personality of an organization and stems from factors such as work environment, management style, expectations, office design, company values and ethics, the company’s mission, and more.
Let’s take a look at two common examples of company culture:
Some companies adopt a casual, team-based atmosphere. These businesses often have an informal, open-floor design with employee workspaces grouped closely together. In these businesses, the office dress code is usually pretty lax.
Other companies establish a more formal, structured culture. Employees usually have their own offices or enclosed cubicles. Working relationships are often determined by a more-traditional management hierarchy. The dress code in these organizations is probably either business formal or business casual.
Why Does Company Culture Matter?
It’s important to note that businesses can thrive in a variety of cultures and that what works for one company won’t necessarily work for another. Different cultures will attract different kinds of employees (and even clients). It’s up to the organization’s leaders to decide what type of company culture best fits their vision for the business.
Your company’s reputation is often closely tied to your culture. Potential job candidates will choose to apply for and accept positions (or not) based on what they infer about the company culture. Furthermore, your culture can affect employee retention. According to one study, employees who are unsatisfied with their work culture are 15% more likely to consider looking for employment opportunities elsewhere.
As mentioned before, your company already has a culture. As a member of the leadership team, you can have a profound impact on changing and shaping the existing culture to reflect your desires for the company—and one unexpected way to improve company culture is throwing a well-orchestrated holiday office party.
How Can a Holiday Office Party Improve Your Company Culture?
- It Represents the Preferred Culture in a Light Way: Office holiday parties provide a chance for leaders to reinforce their ideal company culture in a fun, rewarding way. Are you trying to create a more formal, traditional culture? Plan a high-class party. Maybe make it a black-tie affair. If your company culture is really laid back, choose a theme that reflects that casual nature. You might also consider throwing a fancier event if you tie it to a fun theme. Please note: your office party shouldn’t be used as an attempt to dramatically change the culture overnight. However, it can be a powerful tool to enhance and improve any changes you’re already implementing within the company.
- It Unites Office Subcultures: It’s easy for team or department subcultures to develop within an organization. Holiday office parties create an opportunity for employees to mingle with people from across the company and serve as a reminder that people aren’t just in sales or customer service or product development—they are all employees of the same company working towards the same strategic goals. While people tend to naturally flock to familiar coworkers, make sure to provide plenty of opportunities for your employees to interact with workers from other teams and departments. In order to provide the best mingling experience, make sure the holiday party is inclusive. You’ll want everyone to feel welcome to attend the party and interact with their cross-departmental teammates.
- It Provides Opportunities for Recognition: Many people who quit their jobs cite company cultures that offer insufficient recognition as the reason they left. While you certainly shouldn’t save all employee recognition for an end-of-year event, a holiday party does provide a perfect opportunity to recognize your employees for the hard work they’ve done over the course of the year. Make sure you recognize your employees in a way that matches your culture (and their needs). If your company tends to emphasize team-based efforts, make sure to recognize team achievements. If you prioritize individual achievements, you could try something like an awards ceremony.
- It Gives a Morale Boost: The end of the year often consists of meeting many simultaneous deadlines, tying up loose ends, and pushing harder to meet end-of-year goals. Even employees who work at companies with strong cultures will often feel a dip in morale as December comes to a close. Holiday parties are an opportunity to reinvigorate employees and remind them of the reasons why they chose to work for your company.
- It Allows Employees to Interact with Executives and Upper Management: Especially in larger companies, some employees may have never met upper management or members of the executive team. If you want your corporate culture to include a sense of trust in company leadership, it’s important for employees to have opportunities to interact and build rapport with their management team. Holiday parties provide a chance for employees to meet and get to know managers and executives away from the pressures of the office, and employees are more likely to trust and approve of leaders they know personally.
CMOE has a vast library of resources that will help your organization excel. Contact us today to find out how much you and your team can improve.