Corporate culture is often assumed to be a part of creating a good atmosphere in a working place and is also misunderstood with the mission statements and the goals set by the employer. Of course, they do help in defining the desired culture of the organization. But there’s much more to it. To have a proper understanding of corporate culture, let’s first learn a little about culture.
All of us have our own and different opinion when we hear the word culture. It’s present in each individual’s blood. And we express it in our behaviour, the way we speak, look, react, etc. Depending on these behaviours, people try to categorize us on different aspects of who we are and where we stand. Thus, it plays a significant role in moulding us as an individual in society.
Similarly, a collection of attributes that an organization is comprised of can be understood as Organizational culture. In a broad sense, the set of values, beliefs, practices, behaviour, expectations that guide in forging an organization as a whole along with the involvement and engagement of the workforce is Corporate Culture.
Companies that define, create, engage, and practice healthy culture are witnessing 15% more revenue growth and also a significant stock growth in about three years. It thus helps in creating a brand for the organization. But building such a culture is a challenging task that human resource management has to undertake since this involves individuals who are unique and differ in their opinions in almost everything. Because, culture in an organization is observed right from how you communicate with a candidate or blue-collar staff upto signing an agreement with a multinational company. Now, let’s try to understand why Corporate Culture is so crucial for your business.
Importance of Corporate Culture
The corporate culture comprises an organization’s both social as well as psychological environment. And it brings out the uniqueness that makes you stand out in comparison to the rest. Above all, it helps you in retaining and engaging happy employees who are the crucial resource to your organization, which, in the end, creates goodwill. And as many overlook this, only 15% of companies successfully transform their culture for growth.
“The biggest issue was to restore a dying organization, which was losing money, growth and profitability. The first steps were not: Cutting expenses, developing new products and services, inventing clever new marketing concepts, and clever advertising! Rather, the first few steps were: Rebuilding a culture where all employees were considered as a family, working towards “shared” success! The fundamental reason for this success turned out to be winning major races again,” was once quoted by Mr.Peter Schutz, emphasizing the importance of corporate culture.
Some key factors as to why corporate culture so influential are discussed here:
- Creating a unique identity:
Be it an individual, a team, or an organization, owning an identity is crucial. That crucial part is defined by the culture that you want to create and implement in an organization. As mentioned earlier, the culture you create explains what as an organization are you, who you are, what you do, and how you do it? Thus making it clear as to whatever your stakeholders determine or perceive about the company all depends on the impression that you give them through the culture you practice in the organization.
- Improvising employee engagement:
The statistics show an increase of about 72% of employee engagement when you have developed your organization’s most satisfying culture. Ensuring the engagement of the employees in an organization is definitely easier said than done because anything related to bringing the individuals who have differences in almost every aspect to one common ground is quite impossible. Thanks to the Corporate Culture concept, not just to a certain extent, but employee engagement is made achievable even to the most unexpected level. It’s proven that when employees are more engaged, it contributes to more productivity. In this case, what are we waiting for?
- Corporate social responsibility:
Today’s world is experiencing tough competition in the field of business and not just to gain good monetary profits but also good name and reputation in the society. Thus, corporate culture indulges you in looking into the social issues and takes up any aspect and works towards providing a solution either partially or fully. For example, free education for slum children, maintaining gardens, pollution control, etc. These activities of an organization help them develop a strong relationship with the society, which contributes to creating a better image of the organization.
- A decline in the turnover of the employees:
Another added advantage of establishing an excellent corporate culture is an increase in the retention rate of about 50%. According to polls, 65% of employees prefer culture over cash. Imagine losing your talented people on whom you have also spent in training, just because they aren’t happy with the atmosphere around them. And, you need to be aware that your competitors are waiting to grab your workforce, who are your important asset. Why give them a chance? It’s already time that you are ahead in practising an appropriate corporate culture so that you don’t lose on the better ones you already have and start attracting the best.
- Adapting the core values and ethics:
Organizational culture is all about providing a platform in the workplace to practice values and ethics. These can turn out to be an essential part of our lives, thus making life meaningful. Any business that concentrates more on values rather than just monetary benefits is likely to experience the gain of trust and goodwill from the employees, stakeholders, and society.
Building an Organisational Culture
We have gone through and tried to understand why and what is the importance of establishing a good corporate culture. And we are also aware of the issues that an organization faces day-to-day, as we find it very difficult to engage and manage the workforce to get them to understand and work as per the expectation of the organization. But then, the decision to build a culture in an organization may give rise to questions like – how to build an organization culture? What are the aspects that we need to take into consideration? How to implement it? and so on. Well, here are a few steps that will help you-
- Define the purpose and your foundation
Everyone has a past. No matter if it’s a start-up or a professional organization. A history that has either led you to establish your own business or has led you to build and implement a corporate culture. Define what you have learnt from them, and that forms your foundation. And check if they can explain-
- The reason for your organization’s existence
- The values you want to inculcate
- The vision (where do you see yourself in a few years from now)
If they do, congrats. You are already on the right track.
- Define a common standard of values and ethics
It’s vital that you consider what could be some of the primary and common values and ethics that you want to implement in your organization, depending on your workforce’s average nature and behaviour. Corporate culture is mostly related to the values that you and your employees engage in. Hence, it needs to be well-defined and practicable. Your corporate culture has now got a particular frame.
- Discuss and get the right feedback
Now that you have given a frame to your corporate culture, discuss the same with your managers and team leads. Though you might have come up with all the best that you could, you would never know how brilliant the discussions and its conclusions can be. It will help you look at the same aspect from different perspectives and give you a broader meaning to your framework. So don’t miss the chance to engage yourself in one of the valuable discussions that may provide you with better insights.
- Analyze the alignment with your workforce
Many entrepreneurs overlook this stage. But it’s as equal as the rest. In this stage, you will be analyzing if the corporate culture that you have built aligns with the behaviour of your workforce or not. By this analysis, you will have a better understanding of how well your culture is built and also if there’s any change required. Do not forget to take feedback from them. Make them feel free to tell frankly on how they think about it and if they have any suggestions because this will mean a lot for your organization since they are the ones who will be abiding by it every day. Once you are convinced with their feedback, you’re all set to implement.
- Implement and take regular follow-up
Accomplishing all the above-discussed steps are just halfway through. Once you implement, see to it that whatever is framed is put into practice daily. And you need to take regular follow-up to ensure and enhance the corporate culture. Although the last stage, it’s no less than the others. Because if they are not practiced and followed, the whole process becomes vain. Initially, it may be challenging to abide by all the guidelines, but then you will see that later, things will be worked out on its own when regularly followed.
Attributes to Corporate Culture
Having understood what a Corporate Culture is and how to build one and implement it, let’s see some of the key attributes for the same. Do you want to know what the need is?
“Engendering a culture of trust works marvels. It’s because, even if you have a cut-throat argument, as long as you keep them in your mind that those who you’re arguing with also have the best in their mind for the organization and wider team, you’ll always be able to make it to the end and remain friendly,” said Mr.Patrick Campbell. Yes, corporate culture is not only about what you have and what you don’t. But more to emphasize the way we react and behave in the situation that we face with the day-to-day business activities, be it something that makes us happy or something that annoys you. Here are a few components of corporate culture:
- Values: What may seem right to some may not be right to others, depending on the individual’s nature and upbringing. Some common workplace values may include:
2 Team orientation
3 People orientation
- People: Whatever culture you create, in the end, the ultimate focus are the people in the organization. Hence, it is necessary to relate well with the people and build an engaging employer-employee as well as peer relationships.
- Environment: The workplace and its surroundings also play a significant role in determining the corporate culture. Therefore, make sure that you provide them the required space and the freedom to organize and decorate their cabin or their portion as they wish, appealing and decent as well.
- Transparency: As much as possible, try to keep certain information transparent in the organization, especially when it comes to matters related to your workforce. Transparency encourages the employees and helps them trust the management as well as the organization.
- Communication: Developing a proper communication channel and hierarchy is vital. When the communication within the organization is well set-up, it automatically contributes to the coordination and overall to the culture that an employer wants to inculcate in the workplace.
It’s said that “Change is the only thing that never changes.” And we cannot expect to limit being perfect. Similarly, Corporate culture is not something limited to one concrete aspect. It needs change and has to be updated often because it’s fluid and ever-changing with the development of society, technology, and the business. From a broader perspective, an organization needs to make sure that he is ready and willing to build and implement a corporate culture that suits them well to develop the business to a bigger scale.