Company Culture and its Effect on Employee Performance
It should come as no surprise that a company’s culture has a vast impact on employee performance and innovation. Organisational culture comprises of the different unique values and behaviours, which influence the social environment of the company (Dr Elliott Jaques, 1951). Taking this into account, a good social environment where employees feel secure and empowered by the company they work for will ultimately result in improved employee performance.
I believe a company, such as DVT, that gives so much to their employees, will inevitably lead to hard-working professionals who want to achieve. This is because DVT employees are encouraged to give back what they have received from a vibrant, social, nurturing, motivating and progressive company culture.
I joined DVT at the beginning of this year as a grad and I have enjoyed my experience with the company tremendously. I have been blessed in being able to join a company that is completely in tune with the morals, needs and values that have been taught to me. From day one, DVT made me feel welcome and a part of the team, where everyone is considered a valuable member and can be whoever they want to be, and express this in a way that they are comfortable with.
DVT embraces everyone’s unique qualities and encourages their employees to be themselves, which creates an authentic work environment. I have found that by DVT inspiring employees to be their true selves, people feel comfortable enough to reveal both their strengths and weaknesses. DVT supports individual self-expression, which has resulted in more open conversation, lateral thinking and innovation. In my opinion, DVT’s authentic environment has affected my desire to achieve, because I have been surrounded by supportive people that have made me feel comfortable enough to think out of the box and express my individuality when working.
My short experience at DVT has proven to me that DVT’s core values are deeply enriched within the company culture. DVT’s core values are:
- Make an impact
- Own it -do it
- Servant leadership
- Safe to fail — quick to grow and learn
- Work-life balance
- Do the right thing
I have experienced how DVT embraces these core values and how there is a direct link between the company culture, energised employees and productive outcomes. The core values which DVT represents have been successful in driving the company culture and inspiring employees.
From my experience, the numerous social events that DVT hosts (encouraging their employees to get to know one another better and have fun) embrace the core value of a work-life balance. I am convinced that going to social events hosted by DVT, such as Beer Friday, has made my work environment so much fun and it made going to work every day so exciting because my colleagues had now become my friends.
Servant leadership is one of the other core values that has stood out in my experience. Leaders serve others in the company by helping people grow and reach their potential. I have wanted to up-skill and educate myself on things beyond the scope of my role, and DVT was more than happy to help make that happen for me. There are not many companies that are willing to go above and beyond to help their employees up-skill, making it safe to fail when employees venture out of their comfort zones, which highlights yet another core value at DVT.
Overall, I believe DVT’s primary value of making an impact has been evident throughout my time at the company. Even though DVT as a whole has made a positive impact on its surrounding environment; in the technology industry and for its clients, it also has a huge impact on employees, mainly due to DVT’s culture of caring, which revolves around providing support for their staff. For instance, DVT has a business coach, who assists us in tackling issues in the workplace and teaches us about our strengths and weaknesses and how we can use them to extend ourselves.
When I started as a new graduate at DVT, I could not believe my luck! I had never anticipated my work environment to be so much fun. I met new people in an environment created by DVT, that encourages kindness and friendship. I found DVT upholds a culture of sharing skills and experience rather than back-stabbing competition. By osmosis, this philosophy is filtered down from leadership into the Graduation Programme and within weeks, we were all sharing skills and reaching out to others with more experience for help. I was amazed that when we needed help there was always someone more senior and with experience available to teach us (with no reward providing an incentive to him/or her). This was brought home to me when I sought to up-skill, and immediately this was facilitated, and a mentor allocated to me to make this possible.
My experience at DVT’s awesome office in Melrose Estate, Johannesburg, was short-lived. COVID-19 arrived and sadly we were no longer able to interact in the office. We were all asked to work from home, which deprived us of the excitement we had all felt at joining DVT. Working from home was dreary and we felt vulnerable not knowing what to do, after entering the work environment just weeks prior. Nevertheless, this was not lost to our CEO.
Shortly after we had begun working from home, our CEO, Jaco van der Merwe, had organised a staff communication session to reassure all of us. He made us feel like he had our backs; that together we would get through this, and if this was not enough, he had the sensitivity to cheer us up during lockdown with a company gift package, which was delivered to every one of us.
I can’t wait to get back to the office and be part of a productive team of people who are motivated to perform for a company they love working for. I hope to inspire the next intake of graduates or new employees, in the same way as everyone dealing with us have inspired me. Overall, it makes intuitive sense that a company culture which invests so much time and energy into the health and happiness of their employees will result in a workforce that goes above and beyond expectations when performing their duties.