Most businesses in Nigeria don’t pay much attention to company culture, they are focused on revenue streams and nothing else. It is understandable that we all need money to sustain and grow the business on a large scale. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but we keep forgetting another important cog in the wheels of running a business; people! People drive results. This is why Company culture has become indispensable. When you keep people happy (both staff and customers), your revenues will surge. When Uber came to Nigeria, they started giving “refunds” for genuine complaints made by customers, why? They were selling the idea that your satisfaction was more important to them than their revenue. That’s probably why you use still use Uber now, because you feel they represent better value for money.
If you are asked to name three banks in Nigeria, chances are GTB will be one of the three banks you will mention. This is a theory that has been proven. When the question was thrown out, everyone mentioned GTB. Is GTB the best bank in Nigeria? That is debatable, but why have they remained on the lips of everyone? The answer is not far-fetched, they have succeeded in building a company culture of excellence! Even if you feel they haven’t lived up to it, they have succeeded in selling a picture to you – a picture of excellence.
To drive the point home, talk about our Telcos. Another random survey about the worst Telco in Nigeria was taken, most people went for Glo. This is despite that fact that majority didn’t have a Glo sim card nor had one in the past. Why is Glo perceived in such condescending terms despite having one of the best infrastructures in Africa with a fiber optic cable line running through Africa? Yet again, the answer is not far-fetched. Nigerians don’t care about the quality of service you offer, they are more interested in what they perceive as your company’s culture.
Company culture is an effective control mechanism that guides employee behavior. Culture is a more powerful way of controlling and managing employee behaviors than organizational rules and regulations. For example, when a company is trying to improve the quality of its customer service, rules may not be helpful, particularly when the problems customers present are unique. Instead, creating a culture of customer service may achieve better results by encouraging employees to think like customers, knowing that the company priorities in this case are clear.
It is worth noting that, most people did not mention Union Bank. This is despite the recent rebranding effort by Union Bank, they had gone digital and refocused their market efforts towards youths, however, the results have not been immediate. Therefore in changing your company culture, you might want to consider these factors.
In developing a company culture, you have to be aware of the current tides. Times have changed, the workforce and business space is now dominated by millennials. You have to factor that into your culture, gone are the days when people were rewarded for their long years of service at a firm with a wrist watch, and they went home happy. Millennials don’t care about that. Priorities have changed in the workforce today. Millennials grew up in a time of financial prosperity and rapid technological advancements.
A career means much more than a stable place to work for 25 years. And employees are looking at company values, meaning, community, and culture. Millennials care more about culture and engagement! They want to do what they like and not what is being forced on them. Chances are most people feel the bank mentioned previously gives them the chance to do what they like! Your culture must be able to sell that pseudo idea of Freedom to the public!
Your staff must be able to come to work without feeling caged. According to a study by PWC (PricewaterhouseCoopers ), employees of all generations are prioritizing flexibility in their jobs, whether that be in the form of scheduling, location or even office setup. In fact, for many employees, flexibility in a job is more important than compensation and promotion. People care about their work-life balance. Little wonder Google is one of the most successful company in the world, their offices are setup like a mini-home. There’s a bed where workers can go catch a nap, there’s a game center, and some other unusual things. The idea is to keep workers happy while at work.
Luckily, we live in an age of technology innovations, and there are plenty of solutions that help employees collaborate, learn and be productive, regardless of their hours or location.
Asides flexibility, personal development is even more important to millennials than financial rewards when selecting an employee. This means that you should think about the potential for advancement within your company and also how you are presenting job opportunities to prospective employees. There are many interesting professional development initiatives you can explore to make sure employees are learning and developing on the job, regular training’s, sponsoring them on training trips abroad, and stuff like that.
Be good, do good
Prospective and current employees care about your reputation as a company. This reputation encompasses your employer brand. It also encompasses your company’s social responsibility efforts, such as corporate giving, volunteerism and sustainability. What your company does and says needs to align with what employees believe. This should explain why GTB is held in high esteem everywhere, their staff are treated wellg because they know that a happy staff translates into happy customers.
In conclusion, despite these factors listed here. You should get the opinion of your current staff and know how they feel about your company. Your company culture should be developed by a collective team, rather than it being a one man show.
Let us know what you think in the comment box below. Which other Nigerian businesses have awesome cultures?
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