Do you love your job?
While most people love parts of their jobs, or get excited about the opportunities their jobs provide, relatively few can truly say they love their jobs.
This is especially true in technology, which is surprising since most people outside of the tech world think the industry is a worker's utopia – and most tech companies invest significantly in creating and maintaining that image.
These efforts often come in the form of wellness programs, workplace and workspace culture, paid vacations, and other bonuses designed to reward and motivate employees.
But when it comes to developing company culture and employee satisfaction, often, it's less about what companies do and more about how they do it.
In fact, according to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, day-to-day actions matter more than corporate initiatives and reward programs. Put simply, toxic work environments are created by individuals – by bad bosses and difficult coworkers – more than anything else.
So how does a huge organization like Xerox make it to the top of Fortune Magazine's Most Admired Companies list? Xerox embraces effective talent management and is dedicated to innovation and social responsibility; this is what forms the core foundation of company values. Xerox invests in its team.
Understanding How Company Culture Influences Employee Behavior
In order to understand how company culture works, it's helpful to identify the factors that define successful organizations. This means understanding the people behind the brand, their motives for doing what they do, and how the resulting behaviors influence the company as a whole.
In the case of Xerox, Senior Vice President Jim Joyce found a powerful way to address a particularly compelling employee concern. Specifically, he intuitively understood that incorporating new technology into a company introduces tension among employees, who tend to believe their jobs may be in jeopardy whenever an automated system is introduced. The fear is that the technology will make their positions obsolete
Xerox has been a technology innovator for more than century and innovation is at the core of this company. Xerox PARC essentially invented most of today's tools for modern computing.
The solution for keeping the drive for innovation alive in this environment without alienating the current talent was twofold:
- Keep employees' fears at bay by arming them with multifaceted skillsets – empower the team
- Invest in initiatives that enable employee productivity, rather than replace it –invest in the team.
Xerox's newly enabled employees don't need to worry about a robot taking their job because they know that Xerox won't abandon them. If anything, they'll be the ones telling the robots what to do.
On the other hand, companies that drive employees to meet ambitious production goals no matter the cost, human or otherwise, run the risk of making deeply unethical decisions – improper motivation. Perhaps the most well-known example of the results this type of company culture can create is the diesel-emissions scandal commonly known as Dieselgate.
Economic factors don't explain the emissions scandal in its entirety. Corporate competitiveness and an industry-wide culture that rewards single-minded commitment to meeting engineering and production goals were also key factors. These components combined to create an environment which were the motivation for a series of decisions that would ultimately cost a single company $17 billion in damages and produce untold global consequences to innocent people's health and well-being.
Understanding the Role Employees and Job Candidates Play
Now, more than ever, it is up to employees and job candidates to align themselves companies whose values coincide with their own. Organizations that uphold a commitment to ethical behavior and social responsibility are increasingly supported by the employees who not only share those values, but actively work to generate value for the company by expressing those ideals.
It can be misleading to believe that some corporate cultures are good and others are bad. With rare exception, this oversimplification misses a critically important factor – the compatibility between each individual employee's unique set of personal values and the overarching values of the company.
Individuals who align their career goals by working with companies that share their values will have a better, more rewarding long-term experience than those who make compromises on this all-important factor. At the same time, companies will enjoy access to better talent, reduced turnover and a more powerful brand identity than they would otherwise be able to generate.
Want to find out what Zeno stands for? Zeno is dedicated to the development of our employees, growth of our customers, and support of our community. We apply our business and technical expertise to world-class, scalable technology solutions that enable our customers to manage information more efficiently. It’s all about developing a collaborative approach to deliver an unmatched customer experience!
Contact us to find out how we put this mission into practice.