“Organizational culture is the sum of values and rituals which serve as ‘glue’ to integrate the members of the organization.” — Richard Perrin
“It oversimplifies the situation in large organizations to assume that there is only one culture… and it’s risky for new leaders to ignore the sub-cultures.” — Rolf Winkler
The core building block of every company is essentially a human being. Since almost every human being in your workforce contributes towards the running culture in the organization, it becomes essential to brandish your business’s image and values in a positive light to new and old workers alike. In most workplaces exist various peer-groups or sub-cultures that work towards specific goals, but independently for e.g. the boomers in one group, the newbies in one, the women in one, the bosses in one etc.
The point is, if all groups come together to work in unison, the ‘happiness factor’ for employees to keep themselves satisfied and appreciative towards their workplace increases. This is where organizational ethics can work wonders if coupled with core cultural values and best-practices in employee engagement to build a singular company culture.
What is Company Culture?
Company culture is what you can define as building a holistic workplace where millennials and other generations at work learn how to accept a workplace’s mission and vision and also feel comfortable to work within the confines of a suitable workplace environment.
From business principles to workplace strategy, design process and space planning, everything that constitutes a business is part of its culture. Cultivating culture matters in building employee engagement and a brilliant workplace strategy can boost human resources, facilitate corporate facility strategies and also bolster branding and communications for your business.
You must have noticed many businesses like Amazon, Google, etc. who are highly regarded for their workplace environments as amicable and fun to work at. Then, there are businesses like Xerox and Sears which according to The Huffington Post are some of the worst workplaces to work for. Why is this?
Many employees feel that poor work-life balance, bossy leadership, and low pay are the primary reasons for declining employee satisfaction. This is where a lack of company culture shows. Any workplace that has an aloof upper management, unhappy workers and little room for professional growth, is bound to be boring and cumbersome to work for. How can you achieve profit if your workforce works in factions and is unhappy?
In contrast, if you adopt a company culture that works, your business can take the help of value-driven processes and emerging trends to boost sustainability and define the purpose of your business’s employee engagement values. Currently, apart from an attractive basic pay structure, company culture is the biggest factor which attracts probable candidates to your workplace and makes new hires and older employees feel like an integral part of the workplace.
Creating a Company Culture
Creating company culture begins when a business starts to expand and hire more people. With the help of employee feedback surveys, supplier questionnaires, customer feedback and R&R programs, you will get to ascertain how your company culture currently is, and if you need to improve upon it or not.
If you are thinking of setting up one, pay attention to what the media or your workforce has to say about the workplace, either in print or online. Additionally, a future outlook always helps to imbibe the values of different running cultures in different industries that inculcate the mission, the vision and the core values of the company’s ethics code. Here are some points to include while creating a company culture:
- Effective leadership within a high-integrity workplace.
- Hiring empowered and committed employees for building long-term and strong trust relationships.
- Performance-based reward and compensation programs for each worker in the workforce.
- Up-to-date and easily acceptable systems and processes for daily working.
- Customer-focused mission clarity.
- Incorporation of skill development programs and learning methods.
- 360-degree communications which lay stress upon high degrees of adaptability.
- Retaining outstanding employees who embrace high accountability standards.
- Conducting talent innovation programs and setting up funds for workplace security as well.
- Adhering to income tax and compensation laws and complying with various statutes built for employee protection such as medical leave and overtime pay.
By leveraging an action plan to incorporate all the good things in a culture and correcting the unaligned areas, your company culture will help you build trust and engagement faster and better.
Maintaining a Company Culture
Creating a company culture is easy, but maintaining it is something which most businesses forget to do. Excellence is something that does not come without implementation of strategies. Senior leaders of the workplace, with the support of the CEO and board of directors, must find innovative ways to announce their company culture to every current employee and future job-seekers to help them understand why your specific culture works wonders and also why should people look forward to joining you. Here are some dos and don’ts to follow:
- Align all employee groups and sub-cultures (ethnic groups, seniors and juniors, etc.) towards more reciprocity towards each other.
- All leaders should endeavor to communicate the vision of the company at all possible moments to the workforce for getting to bottom-lines faster or in times of urgency.
- Each person must get due credit and feedback to understand their role in the workplace and see if they can change when change is a must.
- Constant tailoring of your culture with purpose-driven processes will help you and your organization reach success faster.
- Foster better employee engagement by accepting existing cultures in the business and eliminate their work or personal issues into the reckoning for higher performance and results.
- Putting culture on the backburner and ignoring internal or external business conditions will only affect your business badly.
- Deceiving employees with false promises is the biggest crime your business can commit. Give them what they were promised when being hired.
- Do not be unnecessarily harsh on your employees like announcing wage-freezes or terminating leaves. This will not only kill their morale, but also hamper customer services as well.
- Kill manipulative corporate culture that is beneficial only to the company and not its workforce. Your mission and vision is not just for show, it means something to the workforce and denying or disregarding the power of a workers’ union or strike will be the biggest miscalculation you will ever make!
As you can see, corporate culture is a big thing, not just two words. A vision for excellence can be achieved only if the workplace is happy and feels welcome. Additionally, constant tailoring of your culture with purpose-driven processes will help you and your organization reach success faster.
In the end, human emotion should be respected and aligning it with a company’s goal is possible only when a company is transparent in its daily work. Sub-culture exists and will exist always in every workplace; it is time for you to amalgamate their positive points into one company culture that makes your business shine and attracts the best talent out there towards you.
There is always scope for improvement, and company culture is where most problems can be solved. If the company aligns its cultural changes with its strategies for excellence, your culture becomes visible in the market and attracts more business and attention. Isn’t that something each businessperson strives for?