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14 Mar 2018

Digital Economy Insights: The Bottom Line Impact of Company Values and Culture

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Do you know what your company stands for? Do you believe in these values and do you think your leaders do? If you’re one of those leaders, what are you doing to build, maintain and communicate your unique company culture?

These are some of the most important questions for anyone running or working at a company in today’s digital economy and were thrown into stark relief by the findings of the eighth edition of our Propel Digital Salary and Industry Insights Survey.

In our Digital Economy Insights series, we’ll be digging into the results of this survey to understand the implications for any company in today’s digital market.

Salary has long been thought to be the driving factor for both staff recruitment and retention. However, our report found company values and culture to be just as important as salary.

54% of our respondents thought that they are equally as important as salary. 79% in fact thought that a set of values was of equal or greater importance to holidays.

Culture and values are no longer a nice to have, they’re of critical bottom line business value.

Sarah Wood, co-founder and CEO, Unruly, recently launched her new book, Stepping Up, a leadership manifesto which urges everyone to transform business culture for the better.

Commenting on our research, she bemoaned the fact that some companies still dismissively view culture and value as simply a “fluffy nice to have”.

“In fact, company culture brings a strong competitive advantage, especially in times of macro uncertainty and market volatility Building a culture defined by collaboration, innovation and accountability is a must-have for companies that want to future proof their business,” she said.

“Companies underpinned by strong values and higher purpose are more successful over the long term - in fact, Jim Stengel showed that companies with purpose are 400% more profitable than standard companies.”

Attracting and retaining the right talent can be make or break for any digital company. Our survey found nearly half of respondents (42%) had actually turned down a job because of the company’s culture and values.

​The competition for talent

The hugely competitive digital jobs market in the UK – there are more than 1.64 million digital tech jobs in the UK, and the digital sector is creating jobs twice as fast as the non-digital sector according to Tech Nation – means company values are a hugely important competitive advantage.

Paul Frampton, ex-CEO of Havas Media, has been dedicating his talents to help address the skills gap across the industry. He is currently chair of Big Youth Group and has launched his own vlog, Frampton Unplugged, to help organisations effectively deliver their company purpose.

He believes there is a lot of work still to be done in this arena.

Too many organisations bladder on about the importance of culture and values but do not live those values authentically. 18-30-year olds who will make up 50% of the workforce in two years’ time care deeply about purpose and how they are making some kind of difference so the organisations that dismiss this will be the ones that struggle in the next few years,” he said.  

“As we work in the creative industries and human capital is what drives the success of all of our businesses, it is concerning that more leaders do not prioritise this. Given the majority of the workforce care deeply about this and choose their employer based on it, there is an urgent need for leaders to start listening more.” 

Leadership is one of the most discussed topics in business today and its clear company leaders play a critical role in driving the culture and values so important to success in today’s digital economy. In our next instalment of Digital Economy Insights, we’ll talk to some of the industry’s most effective leaders to get their advice on how to instil and deliver business culture and values that deliver bottom line business value. Download the full report here

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