Strong company culture allows employees to thrive

Company culture is crucial in a diverse country like South Africa, says a human behaviour expert.

Founder and director of LifeXchange Solutions, Dr Cobus Oosthuizen, says companies with a strong company culture allow for an environment where employees let go of their “baggage” and adopt their employer’s way of doing things.

“Think about it: we have so many different cultures in our country, not to mention the many little subcultures created in the various places we live and even just within our families and households,” says Cobus.

“We’re extremely culturally diverse, which is beautiful. But have you ever stopped to think about what happens when you bring people from such a wide variety of cultures together to work in one place?

“If you bring people from very diverse backgrounds together, they need a very strong new culture to perform, otherwise they start self-regulating back to their home culture. It’s fascinating and extremely powerful,” he says.

“If you have a strong, defined, visible and accessible company culture, your employees are free to let go of their baggage and adopt this new culture. It’s bright, it’s shiny and it’s a simple statement of ‘this is how we do things around here’.”

According to Cobus, creating a strong company culture works, as people thrive if there’s a separate and distinct culture at work. “Your company culture is more than a nice-to-have here in South Africa. It’s absolutely crucial. You might find you’re spending a lot of unnecessary time and resources trying to solve minor ‘people issues’ when you should be focusing on the bigger and better things. That’s why we’re focusing on helping companies invest seriously in their company culture.”