Here we are at the end of our three-part blog series. In the first article, we explored ESG and why it matters. In the second part, we looked at how an ESG factor like sustainability fits in with Xait's core values.
Let's wrap it all up today by discussing how we achieve success by developing our people and our company culture. That's why we call ourselves a culture-first company.
What Is Company Culture?
An organization's culture is defined by the attitudes and behaviors of its employees and by shared values and expectations. Culture is evident in how the company’s people interact with each other, in the values they hold, and in the decisions they make. It’s the “what we say and how we do things” of your workplace.
There are a variety of elements that define a company's culture, including workplace, mission, leadership style, values, ethics, and goals. The way you dress, the level of noise in your office, and the layout of your desk reflect your culture. The same goes for more intangible qualities, like how comfortable lower-level employees feel talking to their supervisors.
Having a great company culture makes your business stand out from the competition. As HR/Office Manager at Xait, my philosophy is that a company doesn't need to have a lot of core values to have a strong culture. The key thing is that employees are dedicated to and share the core values.
What Is a Culture First Company?
You can find a common trait among today's most successful companies. A value-based culture is at the heart of any top-performing organization, regardless of size or industry, and whether it is a consumer or business-focused company.
A ‘Culture First’ organization is one that recognizes the importance of its employees and invests in them. This investment results in increased customer service, reduced turnover rates, and greater profits for the company.
When a company puts its culture first, it creates conditions in which its employees are understood and valued as human beings, and where they are empowered and supported to do outstanding work. In Culture First companies, culture is the primary driver of success, rather than profits alone.
A world of work that works better for people is essential for organizations to grow and thrive. Putting “Culture First” into practice means recognizing and acting upon this simple truth.
In this blog post, we will explore five ways that Xait puts culture first.
1. We Build Culture From the Top Down
To me, company culture is all about integrity, open communication, trust, and mutual respect. It's about creating a safe, enjoyable environment that encourages creativity. It's about allowing people to feel vulnerable without making them feel afraid. Above all, it's about creating a shared vision throughout the organization, from the receptionist to the CEO.
Free food, employee discounts and rewards, onsite gyms, and nap rooms are all considered indicators of a great company culture. Those are what I call company perks. They can be a great addition to a company's culture, but there needs to be a reason why people get up in the morning and come to work every single day.
At Xait, culture starts at the top and trickles down. Every great company has a set of values, a philosophy, or a mission statement that sets it apart from others. The best companies communicate these principles throughout the organization and in turn attract like-minded employees who will contribute from all levels of the organization. That brings us to the next point...
2. Our Culture Begins With the Recruitment Process
As early as recruitment, we begin building culture. We communicate our values in job advertisements and during the interview process. Prospective employees are treated with the same level of respect as current employees. As an example, we make sure to communicate work expectations effectively. This has a profound impact on both our internal and external perceptions of our corporate culture.
Consider a scenario in which a candidate goes through a thorough hiring process but is not hired. He or she is also indoctrinated with our company culture, even though they aren't employed by Xait.
Having sent someone out into the world who was well cared for by our organization, this individual is able to speak highly of us to any potential recruit. Think about a world where even those you don't hire could say, "They treated me really well, and I know they are a great company to work for even though they didn't hire me." Congratulations! You've now shared your organization's good name.
A strong recruitment team that treats candidates well and instills your corporate culture in them can help you begin the process of building your brand before anyone begins work.
3. We Prioritize Employee Wellbeing
As with most companies, Xait's products and services are created by its people. Employees are our greatest asset, so as an employer we have a duty to take care of them.
We have always been focused on employee health and wellbeing since they boost employee productivity, reduce burnout, improve workplace culture, and many other benefits.
When employees feel that their work environment reflects their values and beliefs, they perform better. They are more productive, more aware of their responsibilities, and take ownership of their work. They are proud of what they do, as well as what their colleagues do.
In what ways does Xait ensure the wellbeing of its employees? Our success depends on everyone's contributions, so we cheer for one another and boost each other up! Furthermore, we ...
- Encourage communication: We encourage internal communication among our employees so they feel included and can cope with stress, whether personal or professional. We also ensure that they get the right information on time.
- Give them credit for their work: It is our goal to reward and appreciate our employees for their hard work and dedication. Employees who are recognized for their work feel more confident and are more productive. As a result, working relationships and workplace culture are enhanced.
- Ensure that they feel heard: By empathizing with our employees and allowing them to voice their challenges and struggles, we greatly increase employee trust. It gives them a sense of worth and hopefully also makes them feel less burdened by life. Leaders who genuinely care tend to engage employees.
Some of our employees have worked in cultures characterized by backstabbing, unethical behavior, and high stress, where asking for help could be used against them. With Xait, they got the same (no, make that higher!) level of performance, but without the fear and negative stress.
Read: XaitPorter + XaitCPQ: A Sales Enablement Platform to Win More Revenue
4. We Focus on Being One Team
Xait has offices in Norway, the U.S., and the UK, so it is important to build a shared culture built on shared values. Here's where our concept OneXait comes into play. With OneXait, silos are broken down among offices and departments, and there is one shared corporate culture with one primary vision: To help our clients succeed in a world that is becoming increasingly Xaiting!
During Covid-19, Xait ran several activities to motivate, lead and set a clear direction for our employees in Norway, the U.S., and the UK. As the fabled 'new normal' sets in, we continue to focus on the things that tie us together, such as standardizing office layout and equipment.
The pandemic actually made it easier for us to tie our Norway headquarters and our U.S. and UK offices together. During all-company meetings before the Corona outbreak, the U.S./UK team typically participated via video conference, while the Norwegian team met together. And as we all can agree, creating and maintaining a unified team culture is difficult if some team members are physically present while the rest participate remotely via video conferencing.
When the pandemic forced everyone to use virtual platforms, this dynamic changed. All were on video, so everyone was on equal terms and faced the same limitations and challenges.
5. We’re an Equal Opportunity Employer
An equal opportunity employer pledges to not discriminate against employees based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information.
For Xait, equality in the workplace is essential. We live in a society that includes people with disabilities, people of different races, nationalities, genders, and ages. Their ability to perform a job has nothing to do with these characteristics. Our responsibility as employers is to ensure equal opportunity for all workers, including fair hiring practices, objective evaluations and rewards, and equal pay.
Our experience demonstrates that diverse groups perform better than homogenous teams because their perspectives are diverse, they represent societies and markets more accurately, and they can make use of their unique capabilities to accomplish more.
To tap into this potential, Xait removes bias in all selection and evaluation processes, refrains from asking unfair interview questions, and trains our employees to treat one another respectfully and objectively.
The workplace environment, employee satisfaction, and diversity may all contribute to successful corporate cultures. A successful organization invests in its employees and creates an enjoyable working environment for them. Feeling seen and heard increases employee motivation and performance.
We at Xait consider culture to be the lifeblood of our organization. We embed culture into everything we do, from recruiting, training, marketing, sales, customer follow-ups, to the daily chat around the coffee machine.
Furthermore, we put our employees at the center of our HR thinking and implementation. People grow professionally and as individuals when workplace cultures are people-centric and supportive. To be a culture-first company is to be a people-first company. We truly care about our people, we just don't say it.
Culture First is essential for Xait’s success. It not only allows us to offer better products and services, but it also makes us more attractive to potential employees.