Corporate culture. It’s a term thrown around in strategy meetings and job interviews so often that it’s almost become a cliche. Business leaders are quick to lead the cheer, “We have culture, yes we do! We have culture, how ‘bout you?!” But what is corporate culture, exactly? It’s true every company does have a culture, and if you have a positive culture it will lead to success and growth. If your culture is toxic, it is your worst nightmare and you’ll lose prospective candidates or your best employees to the companies who have nailed their Corporate Culture.
Understanding Your Corporate Culture
So what is corporate culture? Simply put, corporate culture is an accumulation of your values, belief, attitude and behaviors that set the tone for how your employees feel about your organization. We certainly aren’t going out on a limb when we say that having a positive corporate culture is one of the most important ways to give your company a competitive edge and improve the value of your company. But for many of us, it’s difficult to pinpoint what is a positive corporate culture. Ask yourself:
Does your corporate culture resonate with candidates?
Does your culture empower current employees and foster growth and opportunity?
Is your corporate culture exactly where you want it to be?
If my business doesn’t allow employees to bring their pets to work does that mean we have a weak corporate culture?
Do my employees know what our corporate culture is?
How to Know if Your Company Culture is "Naughty" or "Nice"
Is Your Corporate Culture on Santa’s Naughty or Nice List?
As we wrap up 2017, now is good time to reflect on the success or shortcomings of your corporate culture. In the spirit of the season, we’ve developed a Naughty or Nice list to help you decide where your corporate culture stands.
We have a great corporate culture, we have a ping pong table!
You think installing a ping pong table or making everyone get up and dance at random moments shows you have a fun-loving, hip culture? Think again. Appearance of having fun does not mean employees are having fun. Quite frankly incorporating ‘fun’ into the workplace has been a difficult cultural shift for the various generations currently in the workforce. There are those from the generations of “work is work and we’re not here to be entertained,” to the generations who understand that employees, who for the most part will spend 30 percent of their lives working, want more from their employer. It doesn’t mean they value fun more than work – they just work differently. And it doesn’t always mean a ping pong table.
Do as I say not as I do
Employers who submit edicts as if they’re Moses coming down from Mt. Sinai and then don’t adhere to those rules themselves lose credibility and respect quickly. Why would any employee want to follow the corporate standards or procedures when their leaders can’t be bothered to do the same?
Great company news is met with a resounding thud
Your announcement to employees that you’ve landed a new client is met with everyone suddenly very interested in their shoes. They’re avoiding eye contact because all they can think about is how this is great news is going to create more work. The lack of energy, enthusiasm and engagement is palpable and it’s bad sign. When good news is met with a ‘meh’ it’s time to evaluate your culture.
We either picked it or we grew it, but we have a bad apple
You’re noticing cliques and a cutthroat mentality among your employees. It only takes one disgruntled employee to start a toxic culture where everyone is spending more time gossiping and trying to undermine their fellow employees or managers, rather than doing their job. Toxic employees can be a bad hire from the get go, or a product of an already toxic environment– and it’s one of the biggest problems you may face.
Do the right thing, even if no one is looking
At every level in your company there is integrity. Everyone is held to the same standards and you can practically see the accountability and honesty oozing through the office. It starts at the top – if you are open, honest and lead by example, it’s safe to say your employees will too.
We have fun, we definitely have fun!
Fun in the workplace has gotten a bad rap with images of the millennial workforce tooling around a hip office space on scooters, playing games or enjoying office happy hour. But there’s a lot to be said for a culture that can embrace the ‘work hard play hard’ mentality. It is possible to work hard while having fun. Just don’t force the fun.
Put me in coach, I’m ready to play!
Most of us want to succeed at what we do and feel good about our work. Just think what a whole team of employees who are empowered to do their job can do for your bottom line. It’s simple really, give your employees autonomy, accountability and the tools they need to do their job well and you will have a corporate culture that encourages success.
Please stand by for an important announcement
Whether the news is good or bad, employees want to know. Without clear communication between you and your employees, you run the risk of others generating false information and spreading rumors. Employees want to know what’s going on, and within reason, you should be able to have open and honest communications with your employees. In organizations where employees are well informed there is a higher likelihood for better teamwork and increased productivity.
So, what's it going to be?
The bottom line is, weak or strong, your company has a culture and if you recognize your company in the naughty list instead of the nice list, it’s time to take action. Your biggest motivating factor is your company’s overall growth. Keep in mind, when it comes to employee acquisition and retention, your competitors are pulling from the same talent pool and they’re enticing your best employees. All things being equal, do you have a strong and positive corporate culture that will put you on the permanent Nice list? Or will you be getting a lump of coal in your stocking this year?
Get to the heart of your company’s corporate culture with help from our Hirewell experts. Let’s get started.