Creating Corporate Culture
Defining Corporate Culture and Its Importance
Corporate culture is the soul of your organization, it comprises principles you abide by, values you hold dear, and objectives you strive to achieve. Corporate culture defines the way people in a company communicate with each other and with a client, an investor, or a partner. All the flourishing businesses, should it be a small local start-up or a corporation as huge as Google, Microsoft, or Apple, place a great emphasis on their corporate culture. Every company remembers the fundamental business rule ― “Customer goes first”. Yet, only the most successful ones know about the other one ― “Employee goes first as well”.
Why is it important? The answer is super simple: any business is defined by people working there. It is unreasonable and naive to expect a corporate success having no corporate culture, no matter how much time, resources, or efforts you devote. People will never put their best effort if they are annoyed with going to their office and seeing their coworkers. Motivation and inspiration, mutual understanding and shared values, respect and civility are the fundamentals of an outstanding corporate culture, which make employees, clients, and partners engaged and loyal.
While the question “WHY to create a corporate culture?” seems to be pretty simple and raises no doubts, the questions “HOW to do it?” is way more difficult to answer. To achieve this aim, the company’s management has to effectively balance personal needs and interests of each stakeholder, values and goals of the business, expectations and attitudes of the broad public. So to say, a manager has to be an outstanding psychologist, sociologist, entrepreneur, lawyer, diplomat, and motivational coach, all at the same time.
“Ugh... So complicated. Can you make it simpler?”, you say.
Here, you find a few vital recommendations as for how to create a strong corporate culture in your organization.
Tips on How to Create Corporate Culture
First and foremost, there has to be a well-thought-out and clearly formulated organizational strategy and corporate culture with comprehensively determined values, mission, vision, structure, and communication principles. This has to be done from the very beginning when a business is being launched. If a company, for some reason, did not manage to fulfill this task in time, they have to take it on as soon as they realize the mistake.
Besides, people have to be aligned with the strategy at all times. Essentially, there are a few important measures to be taken at each stage of the collaboration cycle:
Attraction, Recruitment, & Onboarding
- Create an attractive and competitive workplace: The image and reputation of your organization are vital for attracting new talents.
- Hire people who share your vision: When interviewing a job candidate, make sure that they cherish similar values and believe in similar ideas. Otherwise, they will bring disruption into your company and ruin your culture from within. Remember that tastes differ and opinions differ, but do not plan to change anyone ― simply look for a person who holds the same views.
- Be inclusive: Judge by professionalism and competencies, not by demographic characteristics.
- Make the most out of social media: Create an account for your company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or whatever network you like. It is a great way to communicate with the broad public, spread news, share images, show everyone that you love your job.
- Show that you care about your team members: It is necessary to actively listen to people, to care about their well-being and personal feelings, to share your thoughts and attitudes with them. Coworkers are always in the same boat, and they cannot do without a mutual trust.
- Show that you care about your community: A sustainable company earns trust and respect. When newcomers see that you take care of the environment or vulnerable social groups, they will not doubt that you will take care of them as well.
Development & Retention
- Embed respect and tolerance in the office environment: Greeting all the team members in the morning personally, you will show that each and every person is valued and respected. Do not privilege people but promote unconditional equality and fairness. At the same time, there must be absolutely no bullying, workplace discrimination or harassment, rumors or humiliations. Such a behavior is utterly unacceptable to be displayed, encouraged, or ignored.
- Live your corporate culture: If you believe in something, believe in it at all times. Imagine that you promote sustainability and eco-friendliness, encourage your employees to purchase electric cars, but keep driving a petrol one yourself. Your image will eventually burst and your corporate culture as well.
- Be an embodiment of your corporate culture: Either you, a leader of the company, believe in the values you promote and act as a culture role model for your team members, or the culture will fall down at the first minor storm.
- Rehearse your culture regularly: The rules and values have to resonate in the atmosphere. If your team members do not remember or do not know the company’s constitution, you cannot expect them to obey it.
- Minimize hierarchy: People do not want to be employees, they want to be team members. Nobody is willing to be under a close watch of ten different bosses. Eventually, if you have too many managers to supervise workers, who is going to do the fundamental job?
- Communicate: Your team members have to be in touch with all the changes unfolding in the organization, and departments need to interact with each other.
- Review, not criticize: It is important to conduct performance evaluations of your team members, especially if one has problems with performance or productivity. However, this has to be done with no judgment or aggression but with an utmost level of understanding and support.
- Do not be above your team members, be one of them: Effective leaders take part in brainstorming and problem solving, they are always ready to back the team up.
- Stick to the schedule: It is impossible to discipline coworkers without being self-disciplined. A leader should spend working hours in the office, come on time, and leave on time. Otherwise, you can neither control nor motivate your team members to be punctual.
- Do not change directions: The corporate culture has to be regularly revised and updated, but it cannot be changed dramatically. Then, you need to overturn the entire company and start from point zero.
- Let your team participate: Create a corporate culture committee, who would spread it among the colleagues and update it according to everchanging needs and interests of stakeholders.
- Seek feedback: Survey your team members about how they like working in a company, if they would recommend it to their friends, what they think of an atmosphere, and what they would like to change. To find out whether people are happy about working for you ― ask them.
- Encourage competition: Healthy competition helps people grow professionally, so you should acknowledge the most outstanding in a certain sphere talents and encourage them with badges, perks, and bonuses.
- Forget about the “carrot and stick” rule: Treat your colleagues as equal and remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
- Stay respectful and polite: Even when an employee decides to terminate collaboration, it is necessary to close the relationships properly and to separate in best terms possible. It is absolutely unacceptable to defame a former employee or spread their personal information. It will ruin trust and plant suspicion and anger instead.
And now, straight from Keenethics, the ultimate rule of a successful corporate culture ― “Have fun”! We spend most of our day at work with our colleagues, so why not to enjoy it? We let our business partnerships turn into friendships, entertain ourselves, and keep the fire in our eyes burning. We share our enthusiasm and optimism, cheer up those in dismay, and support those in need. We highly value and respect our team members, clients, and partners. Check out our Instagram and Facebook to see! Corporate culture is the culture of a team, so we build a team!