Corporate culture is the face of your company. This is the totality of the activities of employees, processes and the working environment for the achievement of the company’s general goals. It also includes the ways in which your organization interacts with employees, clients, and the community, as well as their perception of your company.
The main representatives of corporate culture are company employees. The advantages of a competent corporate culture include active employee involvement, job satisfaction, and a deep sense of belonging and cohesion.
Organizations with a good corporate culture attract employees who work with pleasure and feel a sense of unity with the company. Thus, they become “ambassadors” of their company, increasing its reputation and attracting highly qualified personnel.
From this article you will learn why corporate culture is so important and how to improve it taking into account modern working conditions.
Why is corporate culture so important?
The importance of corporate culture cannot be exaggerated. An effective corporate culture will make it possible to create, implement and scale successful projects and processes, increase profitability and maintain the continuity of the company’s work. It will also increase the degree of employee involvement, guarantee a pleasant experience for clients and stakeholders, and also increase the overall level of satisfaction.
This is how your organization’s reputation will be strengthened – a clear advantage in today’s highly competitive business environment. Thanks to a promising corporate culture, you will be able to attract business partners, employees or, for example, suppliers.
A reliable corporate culture is most important for the younger generation, just entering the workplace. Although young people value a job with a stable salary, they also attach more importance to culture and the emotional component to maintain high motivation to work for foreigners.
Are there different types of corporate culture?
There are 4 general types of corporate culture. Entrepreneurship professors Robert Quinn and Kim Cameron conducted fundamental research on this topic and identified the main types of corporate culture:
- Culture of teamwork: also called clan or family culture, in this type the emphasis is on teamwork and unity. Employees feel belonging to a family, the main priorities are such values as personal relationships, morality, active participation and the search for consensus. The corporate culture of joint work stimulates interaction between employees, managers, project managers and suppliers.
- Culture of creativity: also called adhocratic culture, in this type of corporate culture the entrepreneurial spirit is stimulated. Employees have the freedom to search for new ideas, and they are rewarded for taking risks. Such a culture is popular among startups, for the success of which innovation, learning new things and growth are important.
- Competitive culture: also called market culture, in this type the most important thing is the achievement of results. Employees in companies with a competitive culture are focused on success and achievement of recognition and constantly exceed the achieved project goals. Managers can set strict and rigid requirements in order to achieve the success indicators set in the company.
- Regulatory culture: organizations with a corporate regulatory culture usually have a hierarchical structure. Rules and processes are recognized as defining for such a working atmosphere. Employees are rewarded for following established procedures, and innovations and risks are discouraged.
Why corporate culture is important in 2022
The pandemic in 2020 has led to large-scale changes in the global workspace. Requirements to close companies accelerated the transition to remote work and changed almost every aspect of working life.
Many corporate cultures had a hard time “coping” with the new reality. For the first time, employees began to work from different places and fulfill organizational goals, while at the same time taking care of children, fulfilling family and social responsibilities, not forgetting about their own health.
Are you a company leader or a manager implementing changes in the workplace? We present to you the best ways to improve corporate culture.
Determine your values
First, take the time to define the company’s values. Write them down, refer to them often, and make them public for employees to look up to. Hire only those people who share the values of your organization. Employees follow the example of the company’s founders and veterans. It is necessary to create a working atmosphere in which people clearly know their role in the implementation of the plan. This will allow teams and employees to take the initiative into their own hands.
Hire people who fit your culture
When hiring, culture should be prioritized above skills: select employees based on reliable recommendations and provide for a trial period. Find out that the new employee has experience in your industry and that he fits your type of corporate culture. If you find people who fit your corporate culture, they are more likely to be motivated to work and succeed with minimal control on your part. Provide for beginners a trial period with several projects to assess their compliance.
Offer growth opportunities for every employee
Motivate employees to overcome difficulties and take responsibility for the implementation of projects. By giving teams the freedom and opportunity to take initiative, you will stimulate them to generate new ideas and improve processes for first-class customer service. Employees capable of adaptation and flexibility will serve as another example. A corporate culture that encourages learning will support your status as an innovative company.
Reward emotional intelligence
Such skills as kindness, communication, active listening and responsiveness are personal qualities, but they are crucial for corporate culture. Give preference to the character traits of the candidate, not to his experience. If you choose between less experienced, but suitable for your culture and more experienced, but not suitable for your culture, better choose the first one. If he possesses the necessary qualities and finds a common language with his colleagues, he will pave his way to success.
Encourage continuous learning
In today’s dynamic world, employees and organizations must continuously learn, experiment, practice and quickly provide services to meet customer requirements. Corporate culture can be improved by encouraging these habits among employees and spreading them throughout the organization. Professionals choose continuously growing and new companies.
The new requirements of the culture of remote work provide for the use of technologies for the interaction of employees, the organization of joint work and the improvement of productivity. Using such an environment for joint work will allow the team to perform quality work, maintain consistency and transparency of data, and also adapt to changing requirements.
Stimulate effective interaction
It is important to create a favorable environment for careful communication and joint work. Remember that asynchronous interaction is best suited for positive cooperation and performance of tasks in the conditions of remote work. In cases when you organize meetings with your international employees or clients, use the help of an interpreter and professional translation equipment to set clear communication and make the meetings productive.
The best examples of corporate culture
Study and improve the best corporate culture based on successful examples. The culture of innovation at Google, the culture of happiness at Zappos, and the competitive culture at Amazon are just a few popular examples.
It is interesting that all these 3 models represent a different type of corporate culture. Google creates an adhocratic culture, Zappos creates a clan or collaborative culture, and Amazon creates a competitive culture. This means that there is no single “best” culture. Start by defining the core values in your company to create and improve a successful corporate culture.
Can ineffective corporate culture affect profitability?
An ineffective corporate culture can significantly affect the level of profitability of your company. A destructive or toxic work environment will greatly reduce your company’s chances of success.
According to James Haskett’s book “The Culture Cycle”, an effective corporate culture is responsible for at least 30% of the difference in the company’s overall performance compared to competitors who pay less attention to corporate culture. With well-established interaction, active participation and high productivity, the contribution of teams and employees to the level of profitability and success of projects increases.