Influence Your Company Culture (For the Better)

Benefits, perks and compensation may paint a rosy picture for recruitment, but it's these intangible elements that make for a happy and healthy company culture.

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This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources, and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article below was originally published at Inc.com.

Just like you can’t buy a child’s love, you can’t buy your company a great culture. While benefits, perks and compensation can help paint a rosy picture for recruiting purposes, it’s the intangible elements that really matter.

A recent Deloitte survey on core beliefs and culture found that while executives and employees agree that workplace culture is important to business success, they don’t necessarily have the same views on what elements are essential to creating that positive environment.

The survey reported that 84 percent of employees and 83 percent of executives believe having engaged and motivated employees is a top factor contributing to company success. However, while executives focused on tangibles as key influencers of workplace culture (compensation and financial performance), employees ranked them among the lowest. Instead, employees ranked candid communication, recognition and access to management highest.

(MORE: Executive Pay: Is “I’ll Have What He’s Having” Really the Best Approach?)

At OtterBox, we’ve found a way to infuse compensation elements into the culture. Transparency throughout the organization goes a long way to help employees feel engaged. If they know more about the decisions being made and why they are being made, it’s easier for them to understand how their role is relevant and brings worth.

We have a hybrid program that’s similar to profit sharing. This discretionary cash bonus is available on a monthly basis and is largely based on the financial performance of the company. The elements that contribute to higher or lower bonuses are highlighted each month. This represents a better way to engage employees. They understand the business and the personal impact they have within the organization.

Employees that understand profit and loss, cost of doing business and the immediate effect that they have on these and other key business metrics will act like owners rather than employees. This sense of ownership is good for business and for employee morale. It has an impact on culture that can be behavior changing.

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Culture acts as the glue that holds a company together. A culture in which employees understand that they have a direct impact on successes and failures is one in which can easily overcome adversity or excel during times of great opportunity. Communication and transparency are much more effective and lasting than compensation and finances are at fostering a company culture that is authentic and that employees trust.

OtterBox founder and CEO Curt Richardson created the first prototype of a waterproof case in his garage in the early ’90s. OtterBox evolved into a leader in protective cases for mobile technology. @OtterBox

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