What is Corporate Culture, and Why Is it Important?
Recent research shows that global CEOs believe that corporate culture will become more important than pay to jobseekers in the future.
If the brightest minds in the business believe something to be even more important than salary, perhaps we should take the time to understand corporate culture.
Sometimes referred to as company culture, workplace culture, or organizational culture, we’ll explore the intricacies of corporate culture in this article, covering why it’s important and the lessons you can take into your workplace.
What is Corporate Culture?
Corporate culture refers to something that outlines how one should act in the organization. It is a set of shared values, beliefs, and ideas usually formed by the leadership team. These values are then communicated and reinforced throughout the company through various methods.
Ultimately, the goal is to shape employee perceptions and behaviors in line with the broader company culture.
In day-to-day layman’s terms, it could describe the ‘vibe’ of the office. But, in truth, organizational culture encompasses so much more.
That’s because, while the founders of a business or the HR team may produce a founding document outlining some aspects of organizational culture, the truth is it’s an organic, ever-evolving concept lived out and reinforced by the employees.
The employees are the ones who embody the company culture in their day-t0-day. As such, employees need to understand the company’s values as those cultural values can help define the broader purpose of their work and why they turn up each day.
A company’s culture should give them the answer to the ‘why’ of their work.
Why Is Company Culture Important?
A clearly defined company culture with employee buy-in is vital to a company’s success.
There are many interconnected reasons to explain why great corporate culture can lead to business success.
1. Employee Engagement
If an employee can articulate the clear objectives of the company – what it does and how and why – then those employees are much more likely to be engaged. This dynamic makes the employee experience all the more meaningful.
Engaged employees are motivated to come to work and collaborate with their peers, resulting in higher productivity. If we follow this logic, higher productivity leads to high-performing organizations with revenue growth which, after all, is a business’s bottom line.
Highly engaged employees are more likely to stay in their jobs, leading to high employee retention levels at the company.
2. Collaborative culture
When employees and leaders are all singing from the same tune sheet and heading in the same direction, this paves the way for easier collaboration.
Employees feel valued and in the know when company leaders are transparent, open, and honest in their communication, explaining the tasks’ purpose and how they fit into the broader strategy. This relationship with strong leadership develops a mutual trust that smooths the daily operations of a company.
This dynamic helps forge a collaborative work environment since everybody knows why decisions are being made and the underlying purpose of projects. Therefore, employees are happy to help each other, part of a greater community, with a clear idea of the bigger picture and broader aims of their tasks. Each team member is more comfortable expressing and sharing new ideas since they are confident of a receptive audience.
An organization’s culture can be a significant draw for new employees.
A healthy corporate culture can be inviting for new recruits, yet the inverse is also true as a toxic workplace culture is offputting.
In the modern competitive job market, human resources professionals know that workers want a work environment where they know their efforts are meaningful.
Modern workers want:
- to be proud of the company values
- to work for companies with similar values to their own
- to have a great work/life balance
- to work for companies with opportunities for growth
- to feel like they have a voice
- to avoid hierarchy culture
Therefore, advertising your public image through your mission statement, company’s goals, and broader culture can be a great way to attract talented people.
Of course, there isn’t one template of core values that works for all industries and employees. Successful corporate cultures don’t all look the same. What’s important is to clearly define corporate culture to give your business a distinct personality.
It’s up to current employees and jobseekers to accept or reject your company’s proposition.
As we’ve already mentioned, people tend to stick around in roles at a company when they understand the clearly communicated corporate culture and feel engaged in their work as a result.
How to Build a Positive Organizational Culture
There’s no quick and simple formula to implementing a positive organizational culture or fixing a negative workplace culture. Moreover, a positive organizational culture may vary in appearance from industry to industry.
However, there are some general practices and commonalities that those workplaces with a great corporate culture share.
1. Define core values
One of the most significant factors leading to employee attraction, satisfaction, and retention is employee alignment with the core company values.
We’ve mentioned above how the modern worker wants to be proud of their company’s values and to work in an organization that mirrors their world views.
As such, businesses need to spend considerable time outlining their mission statement, brand personality, vision, and values and ensure that these run through everything the company does.
Define these values, communicate them to employees, and live them each day to create a culture where everybody involved embraces the company mission.
2. Be proactive
While the initial steps of defining workplace culture may come from the top, corporate cultures aren’t confined to the ‘About Us’ sections of websites.
Leadership teams must be proactive and model the desired corporate culture in everything they do, encouraging team members to do likewise.
It’s no good placing honesty and integrity at the heart of the company if leaders don’t go out of their way to display that transparency through their actions. If collaboration is integral to the success of the company, then leaders should be proactive in fostering a collaborative environment.
A good corporate culture is one where everybody plays their part in living and reinforcing its elements in their daily work activities.
That’s how great organizational culture remains in place even through a leadership change, as employees act out desired behaviors without needing to be told to do so.
3. HR Activity
HR should act as the managers of organizational culture as they are the guardians of the large family of workers.
Human Resources should have a clear idea of what makes the company unique and a clear picture of who they want to hire to fit into the organization.
If a risk-taking mentality characterizes the organization, then looking for risk-takers in the recruitment process should be a priority.
They then play a crucial role in communicating company culture through the onboarding process, setting clear expectations for how new employees should behave at work.
4. Encourage Teamwork
Collaboration is at the heart of all successful businesses and embedding organizational culture across departments relies on employees’ abilities to work together.
However, great teamwork doesn’t simply happen overnight.
Here is another area in which team leaders must be proactive and help generate team spirit between peers.
This team spirit is increasingly essential in remote workplaces where some colleagues may never even meet face to face. The lack of potential interactions may represent a considerable barrier to collaboration and that all-important shared culture.
Thankfully, even for remote teams, there are many ways to encourage teamwork through team-building activities.
Going beyond the boredom-inducing, cringy ice-breakers, these team-building activities can be fun and engaging while also developing key teamwork, problem-solving, and analytical skills.
For example, virtual escape rooms and treasure hunts for remote teams can be a thrilling yet productive way to develop teamwork as teams compete to complete tasks that require collaborative skills.
For in-person teams, there is a whole range of possibilities for teams to meet up and devote some work time to activities that embed workplace culture through teamwork. Popular activities include Amazing Race activities and murder mysteries.
These activities may feel like frivolous fun to workers, but they subtly promote a shared corporate culture.
How to Embed Corporate Culture With Making Teams
Underpinning all aspects of a great organizational culture is the ability for teams to forge relationships and all work together toward shared goals and objectives, embodying shared values in the process.
At Making Teams, we pride ourselves on enabling our clients to enhance their teamwork and group dynamics by improving those interpersonal connections between team members – the fundamental building blocks of any successful company.
With over 15 years of experience designing bespoke virtual events and in-person events in Thailand, we have a broad range of intelligently-designed activities that are entertaining yet educational.
We’re especially proud of our virtual team-building events.
Since many teams have shifted to a remote or hybrid working model since the pandemic, in-person team-building events are increasingly difficult to organize. However, the need to develop teamwork remains as pertinent as ever.
That’s why we offer a range of highly customizable virtual events that we can tailor to your specific knowledge or training needs. We act as an extension of your company, doing all the hard work and planning for you while adding in elements that reflect the distinct identity of your company.
From online Werewolf to virtual Amazing Race activities, there is a range of exciting adventures to choose from. Each activity combines the need to provide fun activities to provide light relief from work with the desire to train employees and develop skills.
The result is memorable yet meaningful team-building activities.