Wherever groups of people spend the majority of their time working towards a common goal, habit sets in and shared values and customs will become clear – and in the case of your company culture, it will be starkly obvious to new employees.

But what can you do to shape it? And more importantly, wield it as the most compelling and potent tool you have in attracting not only the most qualified candidates, but the most well-suited.

The easiest way, is to allow your team the opportunity and freedom to bond, to build relationships and to grow into their roles within your team.

At totaljobs, while researching company culture, we’ve canvassed 4,000 candidates and over 100 employers to find out…

Is company culture important?

95% of employers seem to think so, telling us that a candidate’s cultural fit is important when going through the hiring process. It’s actually so important that over half of those we asked said they would not hire a qualified candidate if they felt that they would not fit into the company culture

The reasons for this are quite simple.

Over half of employers tell us that a well-defined company culture helps boost productivity. It helps to develop a team of like-minded people that sing from the same hymn sheet – a team that feels as though they belong in their workplace.

But there’s more, not only is productivity improved, 3 in 4 employers claim that company culture helps retain key members of staff. This suggests that companies are increasingly seeing the benefit of a well versed company culture as the missing piece of the puzzle between attracting talent, getting the most of them and keeping hold of them for longer.

Building relationships

With a conscious effort to hire compatible people, who work harmoniously together, it’s inevitable that strong bonds and friendships will be built. This is shown by our research, with two-thirds of employees telling us that they have a ‘strong relationship’ with someone in the office.

The experience of our candidates mirrors the boost in productivity claimed by their employers, with nearly 40% of our audience saying that they feel their own productivity is improved as a result of strong relationships in the workplace, leaving them feeling more valued in turn.

The impact of this on morale is also clear as 60% of people tell us that they look forward to going to work, predominantly because of the relationships they have with their colleagues.

Cultivate these relationships to your own benefit.

People without a strong relationship at work are twice as likely to be dissatisfied with their job than those who have one, with 8/10 people with at least one strong relationship at work describing themselves as extremely satisfied in their role.

Key ways of improving this is through team bonding, both during and outside of office hours. This can be done, not only through clear roles and objectives in the office, but through communal break areas, events and team-bonding exercise

Only 39% of employers invest in team building activities/events, but the benefit can be huge. Putting aside an initial financial outlay could in turn make the company money through increased productivity, and by saving on recruitment costs with an improved retention strategy.
We also discovered that:
1 in 4 companies do not organise social events.
1 in 3 companies do not have a kitchen / canteen with a sitting area.
This can create a culture of isolation, and limit the chance that employees have to strike up these relationships.

From the three-quarters of employers who routinely organise social events, the most common events are:

Seasonal parties (e.g. Christmas) – 92%
Meals out – 56%
Celebrating company milestones (e.g. contract wins, hitting targets )- 53%
Drinks – 47%
The benefit is clear, meaning it’s time for recruiters to consider company culture, and the relationships that your team enjoys.

What more could you do to strengthen these bonds, and keep a happy, productive team for longer?