What We Really Mean When We Say “Company Culture”

Posted by
Hollie Ellison
Senior Marketing Manager, Events
05/26/2016 - 10:10

In the midst of Internet Week, an annual celebration of technology’s impact on business and culture, we hosted a panel in our Hudson Yards office to discuss the role of culture in attracting and retaining top talent in tech.

The panel, moderated by Fast Company’s Neal Ungerleider, featured LivePerson’s global head of people and chief of staff Kristy Sundjaja, John Reid-Dodick of WeWork, Live in the Grey’s Brad Lande, and Soraya Darabi from Zady.com. The speakers dove into what company culture really means for today’s tech company and the best practices for making sure that culture is consistent throughout all facets of the business.

This topic hits especially close to home for LivePerson, where we make an effort to not only integrate our culture and values in our product and employees but also exude it to our customers, partners, and prospective employees. Below are some of the key takeaways from our discussion last week.

1. It’s not all about the “cultural confetti.” Sure, ping-pong tables and “Taco Tuesdays” are nice, but if you focus too much on the extraneous perks and not enough on the shared values, needs, and vision of employees and leadership, true company culture suffers. It’s easy to confuse “environment” with “culture,” but the former should reflect the latter — not the other way around. First and foremost, your culture needs to be authentic.

2. Culture shouldn’t stay within your four walls. It should differentiate who you are not just in the office, but your customers and partners should feel it, too. Culture is in the microtransactions between employees and their interactions within the industry. On the flip side, New York is a vibrant city where people are engaged with their communities. If your employees aren’t benefitting from the world outside the office, learning new skills, and networking, they’re doing themselves — and your business! — a great disservice.

3. Mission, values, and culture should weave into each other. It’s one thing to use big, fancy buzzwords to describe a company culture. It’s another to ask employees about their values and vision for the company and to use those shared traits to inspire and support the culture. Ask them what they’re doing and how they’re behaving that demonstrates an alignment with the company values.

4. Great culture doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and effort to fully develop and be sustainable in the long term. It also takes a good deal of self-reflection to understand what you value and how to integrate that into the workplace (and beyond). Be persistent and work on your culture every day. It’s systemic — a product of every touch point. This means it’s must have room to evolve with your company.

Are you wondering what today’s employees expect from their employer? See what our experts think in this clip.

Does your company make culture a priority? Download our e-book to see how industry experts build connected workplaces that value their most important assets — their employees.

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