Free coffee Fridays, gym memberships for staff, and industry-leading sales incentives. While these perks might be part of great corporate culture, they are not the defining elements. A productive social structure is much more profound. Cultural advisor, Jay Doran, shares the three ways businesses can improve their corporate culture – and they go way beyond a casual dress code or company away-days.
For Jay Doran, culture is profit. He’s the visionary mind behind the advisory firm, Culture Matters, and he works with business leaders to help them find clarity in the core values underpinning a company’s social fabric. He believes that a well-defined, clearly embedded corporate culture leads to a more profitable business.
He says, “the margin of a profit in culture is related to how employees interact with each other and their customers. More profit is the result of more productive interactions.” But how do companies create a productive, profit-driving culture? According to Jay Doran, companies need to embrace the diversity of thought, be open to constant growth, and invest time.
Jay believes that cultural learning only comes by embracing conflict. He believes that learning takes stress and debate and that conflict is an effective way to “understand your counterpart better.” Companies that welcome – and learn from – differing opinions will ultimately grow and become more resilient to changing markets.
This open-minded approach leads to Jay Doran’s second tip. Organizations with great corporate culture are those open to constant growth – not just in profitability or scaling business, but in social terms too. Cultural development is ongoing; it recognizes the need for the constant evaluation of social priorities. Great corporate culture stems from an ability to look at which types of working behaviors are successful and unsuccessful – and to grow and adapt using that knowledge.
All of this, of course, takes time. Jay Doran says, “Cultural development beyond catchphrases and buzzwords takes serious methodical work, but the payoff is exponential both financially and emotionally.” And it is time that senior leaders need to invest, not CSR or HR executives. Jay says, “Culture is determined by how the senior leadership interacts.” He works with business founders and CEOs finding solutions to problems regarding profit, brand alignment, productivity, and strategy.
For him, a practical approach is essential. He says, “People know good culture when they see it and feel it more than when I talk to them about it.” For Jay, the work is part of his personal mission to help people think, act and do in more beneficial ways.
Jay is keen to stress that corporate culture goes much deeper than sales incentives or employee perks. Once companies recognize this, they can take the first steps to improve their culture. By embracing the diversity of thought, being open to constant growth, and investing the necessary time, organizations can embed a culture that increases staff retention and drives profitability.