Organizational or corporate culture (as it came to be known these days) is a constellation of rules, beliefs, and behaviors that define the way employees and managers interact and work.
This includes anything from the dress code, morality-related issues, business hours, hiring decisions, office setup, benefits, treatment of clients, the way employees are supposed to interact with customers, and more.
Furthermore, this ledger of rules is different from one company to another and is highly influenced by economic trends, national culture, traditions, company size, economic stability, and so on. However, regardless of country and nation, corporate culture has a well established role in defining the way things work in a company.
More importantly, if there’s a clash between the employee’s way of thinking and the culture of the company, this can lead to low productivity and can end up with a termination of the contract, even though the employee is talented and skilled.
Considering this aspect, it’s easy to understand why managers and business owners put so much effort into creating a culture that’s open and accepting but also trains employees and managers in the spirit of communication and collaboration.
Still, this is not an easy task to achieve, which is why so many things are left unsaid or unaddressed. We had a deeper look into the way corporate culture works and studied some of the most successful companies, to learn about the most underestimated things that are most likely to ruin your workflow and productivity.
Some companies feel the need to use corporate culture to explain the rules of engagement and create a rigid environment where employees can be either in, or out.
However, if you want to focus on growth and create a productive business-oriented perspective, you can’t shut the door just because that’s how you do things in your company. New talent comes with new challenges, but they also come with a fresh vision that may be useful to your policies.
So, instead of focusing on creating a culture based on micromanaging, implement an “open doors” policy where employees can share their thoughts and opinions on how things work. This established trust and strengthens the bond between employer and employee.
Of course, the situation is different from one company to another, and the size is a crucial factor, but open communication is always the best policy to implement!
More often than not, corporate culture is unwritten and implied, which makes it difficult to enforce it if and when someone breaks it. As such, many modern companies take this aspect more seriously, to the point where they use paperwork to define everything that’s expected from a new employee (including aspects regarding corporate culture).
But successful corporate culture takes a lot to build and understand, so it’s not something many companies want to disclose freely. As such, it helps to protect the sensitive elements using a Non-Disclosure Agreement, if they are highly specific and unique to your company.
Nowadays it’s quite easy to make one as you have the option to download an online NDA agreement, customized and written according to your needs. Still, keep in mind that these documents can’t protect activities that are considered normal/general/mainstream or knowledge that is not company-specific.
The Power of Change
The culture of a company starts with the very first people who put the basis. It’s their convictions and beliefs that shape the work process, and it’s their right to implement a system that works for their needs.
However, as the company grows, so should the corporate culture by including new elements and beliefs. As you move forward, you want employees to feel it’s their company as well. The best way to do this is to listen to their needs and change the culture accordingly.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should change the core values of your company. But these values can be enhanced with tweaks and additions that accommodate a larger variety of people.
Once defined, corporate culture is reliable when it comes to sketching the type of employee that works for your company or team. This means that you have a broad view of the type of communication skills you want, the way they think and act, and so on.
But, there’s also the risk of underestimating the power of diversity. When you have a mold, you tend to try to get people that fit, which in time, leads to a rather bland team or company.
If you want a powerful team, you need to find people who can help you grow the culture by adding skills and features to the ideal employee model. And this is where diversity comes in place. True, you still need people who can work in harmony and share the core values that shaped your company. But this doesn’t mean everyone should think and behave exactly the same! However, managing diverse employees hiring and onboarding may be tricky unless you have ATS system.
Is Your Corporate Culture Effective?
It all comes down to this. Are the values you hold dear speaking to and inspiring the people who work for your company?
Companies have all sorts of incentives to attract talent (such as high compensation, gadgets, cool awards, and so on), but there’s only one way to determine if they’ll stick with you. So, ask yourself: are people proud of the culture you’ve built? Do they feel your company is the best workplace for them?
Corporate culture, when done right, uplifts the spirits of employees and creates life-lasting bonds. It’s also extremely effective at creating and maintaining open collaboration, which, in turn, translates in the way clients and partners perceive you.
In conclusion, the one thing you should never underestimate is the happiness of your employees when they come to work. True, no one can be happy all the time, but through solid culture, you can create a work environment that doesn’t suck.