Getting everyone in an organisation to be aligned and harmonious can be a real challenge. That's where establishing your corporate culture can help. In this article, we'll explain the importance of a good corporate culture and guide you on some of the best practices for building and improving your existing culture.
What is corporate culture?
The term corporate culture refers to a company's vision, ethos, beliefs or behaviours that guide how management and employees work together. A mission statement often outlines the foundational elements of an organisation's culture with clear objectives, consisting of its core values and company goals—these influence how a company's climate is shaped. The aim is to have a direct impact on workplace culture where employees represent the company brand and create a positive work environment.
Importance of Corporate Culture
Positive corporate culture can help a company achieve its goals and help with employee retention and acquisition. A great culture will attract new employees and help keep your existing employees there for longer. On the flip side, a toxic work environment where employees feel stressed, under constant pressure and are in constant competition with one another is a sign of a poor overall culture. This can negatively impact the levels of morale, employee engagement, mental well-being of the employees, relationship with the company's management and overall reputation.
To create the desired culture, employers and employees must lead by example, live by the shared values, and demonstrate the desired behaviours. Communicating a shared togetherness will help employees feel supported and make everyone feel part of the team. Everyone's contribution is valuable to building the company's culture. There are everyday events where employees interact, such as brainstorming sessions. Respectful interaction among team members can help employees communicate new ideas and foster a more collaborative and open work environment that can help problem solving whilst adhering to the company's values.
3 Best Practices for a Vital Corporate Culture
For the corporate culture to represent all employees, representatives from various company departments should develop fundamental values and beliefs. Collect feedback across the company to get a well-balanced view that represents your employees well. The diverse concerns, wishes and previous experiences from different backgrounds and departments form a valuable basis for the employees to identify with the corporate culture created.
After introducing a new corporate culture, the established common principles must be kept in the employees' minds. You can make a visual statement throughout the workplace using posters, infographics and guides. You could also embed the corporate culture into employee appraisals, team meetings, and corporate events, which can be particularly effective. Simultaneously, both the company's success and challenges should link to the corporate culture.
A Roadmap for People & Culture Development
To continue leading the company in the desired direction, acting and deciding according to common corporate values is essential — particularly for crucial personnel development decisions such as promotions. A person who understands the corporate culture and actively participates in its implementation is invaluable.
A corporate philosophy can develop from the corporate culture. The corporate philosophy is a central high-level principle for management and the company's long-term direction. As a superordinate entity, it defines how corporate philosophy is and should be lived. This process is essential so that it can help guide others. The equal treatment of all employees in the company is a vital component, as is the inclusion of customers and their needs. A coherent set of values and attitudes creates a coherent corporate philosophy that strengthens the company.
Corporate culture examples
To build and maintain a corporate culture, everyone should emphasise relevant factors. The interaction among employees, but also the influence of management, can have an impact and are essential factors. Some institutions are considered corporate culture examples by creatively creating balances at work, which can promote the culture in the company and thus positively impact productivity and revenue. These are the essential values of the company.
IKEA's corporate culture embodies respect and tolerance towards employees as an institution built upon hierarchy-less structures, additional rewards and a daily routine without conflicts.
Google also stands out as a positive organisation with a corporate culture. The company is known for its relaxed dress code and large offices with countless opportunities to work in a balanced way and with success.
These companies stand out as prime examples by creating a work-life balance and visibly functioning communication. Because not only do these have an excellent corporate culture, but these companies also prove themselves with global success.
Corporate Culture Model
Various models can be used as a guide, including the iceberg model or the principles according to Hofstede. These are practically already integrated into the prevailing corporate culture; however, they should be looked at more closely now and then and taken as a model.
As the name suggests, the iceberg model divides into a visible part and one that is not directly visible. The non-visible features, however, comprise of the larger piece and consist of elements such as unconscious rules, interpersonal relationships or empirical values.
Hofstede has also developed models of corporate culture and sees them as a common program that is continuously evolving. He places particular emphasis on ways of looking at things that coincide. Different levels, which can be viewed as layered or 'onion-like', complete the model. At the innermost place and with the highest priority are values reflected in society, such as respect, tolerance and moral principles. In addition, he defines rituals and solidarity activities as relevant components. Leaders also play a role in this corporate culture model: the people of importance in a collective.
Developing corporate culture
Like the USP, companies must develop values within the culture of the company, which in turn differentiates itself from other companies. Only then can employees identify with the company and perform at their best. After the values are defined primarily by management, understood and lived by all employees at all levels, then a corporate culture can develop. A well-developed corporate culture can lead to improved performance, an increase in employee loyalty, and an improved working atmosphere.
There are a variety of ways to communicate corporate values to employees effectively. All employees can make the corporate culture understandable and liveable through clear goal setting, constructive feedback, and meaningful rewards. This creates a business environment that can deliver results where employees are motivated to achieve business success together.
Above all, regular positive feedback contributes to well being in work and a positive corporate culture. This is where the use of social recognition tools comes in. The platform encore is the solution for companies to communicate corporate values and gather the full employee potential with the help of transparently communicated appreciation.
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