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Corporate Culture – A strong relationship for a stronger future

Young smiling black businesswoman at the wall with stickers communicating with her colleagues. Mixed team of entrepreneurs

Finding the right job is a situation we’ve all been through, from flexibility to innovation, we all seek the right place and try to adjust the right time for any move we take in our career paths. Right cannot be defined for all of us in the same way, however, there are few factors that we can all agree on which will facilitate an employee’s work life.

It is very important to pay attention to the day to day aspects of communication between all employees, the interaction from and to each person in the office and the environment of the company as a whole. There’s a term that describes better the company and what goes behind its walls which is Corporate Culture. Each company makes sure before launching to set a vision, a mission and a set of values for internal purposes and external use, however corporate culture should come above of all of that.

Organizational culture, corporate culture or company culture?

You might have come across different naming but the core remains the same. Corporate culture is a translation to the self-sustaining patterns of behaviours, feelings, thoughts, and beliefs that determine how things are done in the company. We all agree on the fact that we care about how much money we make but how to think about money as a thing that is bigger than a pay-check. The company’s culture affects productivity and emotional bond between an employee and a company, resulting in a long-term relationship infused with success. Organizational success is not the only thing that drives employees forward towards achieving goals but to initiate and adopt the cause of contributing to a greater good. Whereas there is freedom to unleash the creative skills without restrictions and a nourishing environment that appreciates good ideas.

When an organization is at its best, culture is going to energize its employees and encourage to advance the strategic operational priorities. In other words, it becomes an emotional energizer that creates a state of emotional commitment between the company and its employees.

Is your idea share-able or is it not good enough?

There is no such thing as not good enough because simply when it comes to ideas, any idea counts to be great even if it starts with a basic line of thought. It’s the company’s role to foster creativity and adopt an open-door policy that allows all employees to get involved in the decision-making phases. An employee needs to witness a democratic leadership where there is a defined clear mission, respect, solid communication, and a company narrative.

According to professor James L. Heskett in his book The Culture Cycle, 20 to 30% of any organization’s performance is based on the culture adopted by its management and how it is being implemented on the dailies of their employees. He also defines the culture cycle as the foundation of shared values, behaviours and company’s practices.

Corporate culture might seem difficult to define, and even more difficult to execute, however, it is not a one-sided effort that the company partakes towards its employees. It’s the people that create the culture and help shape it and even reshape it if it does not fit anymore. Basically, any organizational cultural plan divides into two; one that is culture creation and two that is culture maintenance. Board members have a responsibility to regularly monitor and assess a company’s culture and how it is affecting the environment and the workflow, while executives are solely responsible for driving the culture and easing the way that the employees pave themselves.

The culture at its simplest form is a way for crafting the business narrative for the company through storytelling activities that aim to engage all employees, from a lower-level to the higher ones. The business narrative can take many forms:

  • Company celebrations that share milestones and pivotal success.
  • Rituals and routines (annual meetings).
  • The geographic location of the company and how to ease the attendance of employees.

 

Given these points, what does it take to truly engage employees at work?

  • Inspirational leadership.
  • A clear communicated business strategy.
  • Flexibility that promotes work/life balance.
  • Performance-based recognition and promotions.
  • Room for innovation and exploration.
  • Collaborative work environment.

Building a company’s culture is a thing that requires constant development and consistency while keeping an open mind towards behavioural change and diversity. When we willingly choose to spend most of our time at the workplace surrounded by our colleagues, it is very vital to not let the decision be driven by title and salary. Our daily experiences and interactions influence our creative thinking and eventually determine the quality of the outcome.

On the other hand, a company’s culture is important to employers too because employees who stand on the same ground as the company tend to be more productive and beneficial to the company. Although no company would adopt the same culture as any other company, few characteristics are common between all organizations:

  1. The team comes first culture
    Few companies put their team members first, making sure they fit together and share the same values and life goals before looking at expertise.
  2. The elite culture
    This way of thinking mainly focuses on innovation and how a free mind creates free ideas that push the company forward while taking credit for the greatness and crossing boundaries.
  3. The hierarchy culture
    In a hierarchical situation, an organization would not leave room for exploration and most probably would not base a decision on an intuition.
  4. The horizontal culture
    We all get a say in it. This is the main motto for any company that adopts a horizontal culture, where every employee gets to speak up their thoughts about the strategy that is being implemented.

 

One more thing that is very important to realize is that when a company is being launched, the culture is mostly defined according to the founders’ beliefs however it can’t remain fixed as people refine culture. Culture is dynamic, it shifts over time and it can be detected through quantitative data. An employer can run anonymous surveys, hold interviews, or have a box of suggestions but make sure to let your employees know that any suggestion is welcomed and up for discussion.

In summary, any employer would avoid having a high-rate of employee turnover and any employee would avoid losing their job hence there isn’t a finish line. Corporate culture is an on-going work as the industry evolves, requiring time devotion and constant nurturing. Treat your culture as the DNA for your company, let it inspire and motivate people and create a safe environment that allows employees to develop a relationship that is based on communication, passion, and purpose.

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