Whether it has been consciously identified or not, every company has a corporate culture. Maybe it’s characterized by change, and is therefore dynamic.
Maybe your corporate culture is aggressive and focused on growth.
Possibly, it is focused on being cutting edge, or branded by providing the best customer service.
Or less positively, your corporate culture could be characterized by upheaval, unpredictability and chaos.
Whether it is a mindful choice or something that has developed in response to management or industry changes, shaping your corporate culture has more of an impact on everyday operations and the bottom line than you might realize.
What creates a corporate culture?
A company’s culture is generally dictated by leadership. When things are good, a corporate culture is created by vision, choice and planning. Management decides where they want the company to go, and how they want it to get there. In less ideal situations, a corporate culture is created in reaction to something: fear of change, a quick response to industry shifts, a need for strict control.
If it works, maintain it.
When an organization has a clear vision about their culture, and the culture works, it’s much easier to use that to ensure positive growth and endure the tough times. Why? Because the employees know what is expected. They feel secure, and they feel included as contributors to their company’s successes. To maintain a successful corporate culture, it is important to:
- Create a mission statement: Identify the touchstone, the most important value or element of your company, and create a mission statement around it.
- Communicate your mission to all employees.
- Make sure it is more than words: Don’t just say it, have policies and procedures that back it up. Reward people whose actions support your company’s vision.
- Hire people who can fit in: Every employee brings a little something new and different to the table, but make sure the people you hire can agree to and fit in with your culture.
- Be prepared to change/grow: Times and situations change, struggling to maintain a culture that no longer works can create its own chaos. Be mindful of changes, communicate with customers and employees and be flexible.
If it doesn’t work, change it.
A corporate culture marked by paranoia, low morale, high turnover and tight management restrictions just doesn’t work. Such a situation results in unproductive employees, absenteeism and high recruiting and retraining costs. If you notice signs of a sickly corporate culture, there are some steps you can take to change it:
- Identify the problem(s): Talk to your employees in a safe environment and listen to them. Solicit anonymous feedback. Perform extensive exit interviews. Check out the highest turnover areas. Ask people what they would do to change it, and be prepared to implement viable solutions.
- Define where you want your company to be: Besides being profitable, what do you want for your organization? What do you want your customers to think of when they see your name?
- Create a mission statement, and communicate it to your employees.
- Implement changes that will support your mission, and be prepared for some bumps in the road. Change isn’t easy, and some people will resist, but the dangers of maintaining the status quo might be far greater than the risks of trying new things.
- Discover current employees who can get you there, or coach them to be what you need.
- Hire people who will contribute to the change you want: Once you know where you are going, recruit people who share your vision.
Need help training or hiring employees to fit with your corporate culture?
Call today to review your cultural preferences and discuss employee hiring and training options! 800.525.7117