Company culture refers to a shared set of workplace values, standards, beliefs, symbols, attitudes, and behaviors of a company and its employees. All these reflect how employees and management make decisions, act, and generally feel about where they work and their actual work activity. It can also impact the company’s clients if we talk about the relationship between employee-client/customer.
When speaking about company culture, we can also use the following terms: organizational culture, corporate culture, or workplace culture.
Since we clarify what corporate culture is, we also need to be aware of what is not. People tend to link this concept with superficial perks offered to employees, like discount cards, karaoke nights, fruit days, or free welcome gifts. These things do not define a company’s culture, although they may be considered parts of it and may indicate a specific type of workplace environment.
If we want to differentiate types of company cultures, we should say there are four main varieties:
There is much more to be said and explained about these four types, and here you can find a complex discussion.
There are two ways of functioning in this area:
There is another way to differentiate organizational cultures:
We have the ones with the traditional hierarchy style, where employees have a clear understanding of their role and responsibility. Still, if they want to advance in higher positions, they need to go through a rigid and formal process.
There are the opposite companies, where teamwork is hugely valued, and employees can easily engage in new tasks and projects without formalities.
There are no rules to obey or standards of size. Even though traditionally a large multinational with over 500 employees may fall into the first category, it is not unheard of to get a bit loose with the hierarchy. It depends a lot on the people, both employees and management.
"Company culture has the same effect on people as money. It doesn't change people, but it grants them the license to be more of who they already are. For almost every trait, people can operate within a range, not just at a fixed point. Culture sets the point within their range."
Your company’s culture will widely influence your organization’s reputation, not only internally but also externally. A great culture is well-known for keeping employees engaged and repaying great work. Culture helps to attract and retain top talent. Recruiting will be a piece of cake once people out there know that your employees are proud of their employer and their workplace.
A survey backs up this information, highlighting that 66% of job seekers are focused on researching a company’s culture and values primarily.
Make no mistake. Company culture is a MUST, not a maybe. It is crucial to company growth, increased productivity, an excellent reputation, stability, retention, and so many more. Let’s go over the benefits:
It builds a healthier workplace - you can't guarantee each employee will be stress-free every day but taking all the steps to create a lively atmosphere is one of the successful company features. You can have happier employees if you choose to find the perfect work-life balance for them. In these times, those having families resent taking work-related stress home with them, so offering remote work as part of your culture may be a great asset. More and more people nowadays are focused on finding a job that provides a healthy work-life balance.
Company culture consists of so many trivial things, but also big ones:
“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” - Anne M. Mulcahy
Building a healthy, positive company culture is not an easy task, but any organization can achieve it. It takes time. It is a process that should not be expedited.
Here are some on-point tips on how to start working on your corporate culture:
Set up a set of company values
Core values are just words when not put into action. Upper management and HR staff will have to be trendsetters for the employees when it comes to following these values. The top candidates will always research your organization before applying, and they will see if your mission, vision, and values are respected.
Establish company goals
Don’t think about sales standards or KPI’s. A company goal is a reason someone founded that company, the primary purpose.
Goals are a big part of your company culture because it usually significantly impacts the outside. You need to form your company’s goal into a single, catchy phrase that sends the perfect message.
Implicate the whole team
The general attitude of a company’s workforce is key to the corporate culture. Maintaining a positive atmosphere may go a long way, but it is not enough. Here is what you also need to carry out:
Always show appreciation for everyone’s work. It is a small thing, but particularly important.
Discover what motivates your team and make sure you offer them the opportunities to grow, to take on new challenges. Motivated and engaged employees are happy employees.
Be there for your team. Even the “close-to-perfect” employee needs support occasionally, whether professionally or personally. A leader should always show its team he/she is there for them in times of need.
Adhere to company culture best practices
How exactly? By setting the tone, setting an example: leaders should give examples of rule-following every day for the employees to start acting accordingly. Then, every time a team member works in compliance with the best practices, he/she should be recognized. Finally, make sure to give feedback. Even if it is negative, employees need it to change their behavior.
These are just a few tips. It takes arduous work and dedication to create a winning corporate culture, but as we’ve seen, the benefits of having one are huge, so it is worth it!
Continue reading about: Effective team management strategies
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