A group of employees holding each other’s hands.

The Ultimate Guide To A Great Corporate Culture

Many business owners will agree that a healthy and great work culture is one of the major building blocks of a successful company. Every business has a corporate or work culture, but not every business can boast a successful, adequate, and efficient work culture.

The dynamics of a work culture may be tricky to understand and even trickier to create. However, with our guide, you can navigate the culture-creation process and intentionally or accidentally create a culture that aligns with your business goal. Are you trying to discover your business’s unique culture? Here is everything you need to know about a successful work culture.

What Is Corporate Culture?

When choosing to join an organization, many people work in organizations that align with their goals and values. What they look for is an organization with a work culture that affirms their own personal and professional goals.

Work culture is a collection of the attitudes and behaviors of employees within an organization. It is influenced by the atmosphere of the organization but also influences the employees that work in that organization.

Numerous factors, such as the workplace’s physical environment, employee attitude and beliefs, company mission, company values, and company policies, determine the work culture of an organization. Work culture is a mixture or blend of a little bit of every element that makes up the organization. These elements come together to create a collage that shapes the company.

Work culture determines how well an employee fits into an organization. It determines how well an employee can form professional relationships with colleagues, the level of job satisfaction, and the growth opportunities they will encounter while working the job. Work culture even goes as far as determining how well an employee can balance their work and personal life.

It is not difficult to see that the work culture of an organization plays an important role in the growth of that organization and the employees that make up the organization. As a result, organizations prioritize creating a work culture that creates successful and healthy employees and, in the long run, a successful workplace.

Why Does A Great Corporate Culture Matter?

Corporate culture is the character and personality of a company. It makes a business unique, as it is the total addition of the company’s values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, policies, attitudes, and environment. 

According to a survey, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe that a distinct corporate culture is essential for business success. From this survey, it is easy to see that not only do employees want to enjoy a positive and great work culture, but the success of any organization is tied to the quality of its work culture.

But why exactly does a great work culture matter?

1. Attracts Talents:

A survey showed that company culture is an important factor for 46% of job seekers.

In today’s business world, money is insufficient to attract top talents. Talented workers today want to enjoy positive experiences and will often join organizations that best align with their values and goals. One metric they use to judge which organization they should join is their work culture.

Candidates understand that an organization’s corporate culture is its climate. They also understand that this climate affects their growth as an individual and a part of the company. As a result, they opt for positive and clearly-defined cultures that embody their core values.

2. Retain Employees

A healthy and positive work culture is a major factor in employee retention. The more impressed an employee is with the work culture in their organization, the less likely it is for them to leave the organization. 

A positive work culture fosters employee connection, efficiency, and growth. It creates an environment where employees feel safe and accepted, so much so that they do not visualize themselves leaving the organization. Conversely, a negative or toxic work culture creates unhappy, unfulfilled, and unproductive employees. This results in high employee turnover and low retention. When this happens, organizations will lose their top talents and may find it difficult to continue attracting talented employees.

3. Improved Engagement and Performance

An organization with a positive corporate culture encourages employee engagement and productive performance. In this kind of organization, employees enjoy a sense of belonging and stability that encourages them to reach their full potential daily. A positive work culture creates a culture of engagement and efficiency that keeps workers encouraged, excited, and motivated.

In an age where employee burnout is quickly becoming a problem, creating a positive work environment is not only the best way to protect employees’ physical and mental health but also to ensure employees continue to produce high-quality work. Doing this helps to improve the operational efficiency of the employees and the organization.

4. Positively Impact Employees’ Happiness

Employees are happier in a positive environment that encourages a positive work culture. They are more enthusiastic about their roles in the organization, are more satisfied, and by default, happier than they will be in a negative work environment. This not only makes it easier for employees to enjoy a healthy work-life balance but also fosters a positive environment for their professional growth.

5. Helps Your Business Stand Out

Culture is a company’s best advantage. Corporate culture drives business reputation. It unveils how a company does business and how customers and even stakeholders perceive the company. 

Although many people think corporate culture only determines the internal state of a company. The external and internal lines quickly blur over time. When this happens, the quality of a business’s corporate culture determines the quality of its reputation. The better culture a business has, the better reputation it has in the outside world. 

A group of people holding each other.
A great company culture leads to a great company.

Components Of A Great Corporate Culture

The importance of workplace culture has been established in the business world over time. But what exactly makes up corporate culture?

As previously mentioned, every work culture is unique to its organization. Work culture comprises a combination of several elements within an organization. Due to this and the distinctiveness of every work culture, it isn’t easy to create a list of the components of the corporate culture.

However, all work cultures, regardless of the business type or industry, have common components. These components are:

1. Vision

All elements in the business world have a purpose, and the corporate culture is not left out. A great corporate culture begins with a shared vision or mission statement. This vision guides the operations within the organization and is the foundation of every decision made within the company.

The vision of corporate culture outlines the business and necessary business strategies. It acts as a compass that orients not only the employees but also consumers, suppliers, and stakeholders. A clear vision will be what the organization wants to achieve. For example, Tesla’s vision is “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” and PayPal’s vision is “To build the web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution”.

2. Values

Where the vision is the foundation of a company’s culture, value is the core. It strings together a company’s purpose and offers guidelines on the attitudes or mindsets necessary to bring its vision to life. Essentially, values are the principles necessary to achieve the purpose (value) of a business.

A company’s values are an umbrella that covers everything from professional standards to the mindsets necessary to achieve the vision. It does not matter what these values are as long as it is what the business and employees believe in and what is original to the business.

3. Practices 

Every business culture has practices that mirror its values. Without practice, values are nothing. A company’s practices bring its value and vision to life.

When it comes to practices, businesses must ‘practice what they preach’. If their value is dedicated to a more sustainable environment, for instance, all practices within the company must be driven towards sustainability.

All operations, thinking, policies, and other activities within a company must be a reflection of its values.

4. People

There is no work culture without people. More importantly, there is no work culture without people who share the same core values and embrace the same vision as the business. For a successful work culture, the concept of the culture should be ingrained right from the recruitment process.

This means businesses should only hire talents committed to the same value as their organization. This will bring like-minded individuals that share the same purpose, thereby creating a community of individuals that foster a strong company culture.

The ‘people’ component of corporate culture does not end in the recruitment process. It is important to ensure the sustenance of the community by hosting regular social activities, office traditions, and other practices that promote camaraderie. This helps breed communism that helps the connection that all employees share wax younger.

5. Narrative

An organization’s narrative is its unique history. By crafting this unique history into an equally unique story, organizations can create a core part of their culture. The elements of a company’s narrative may be formal or informal but must always tell the story of a firm’s ongoing culture.

6. Place

A company’s environment shapes its culture. It impacts the motivation level, morale, and productivity of employees. From location to geography, layout, and aesthetics, a company’s environment affects everything that concerns the quality of productivity, innovation, participation, employee behaviors, and work outputs within the organization.

Employees holding their hands together.
A great company culture welcomes diversity.

How To Know A Great Corporate Culture

How do you know when an organization has a successful and high-quality workplace culture? Some signs you can look out for are:

  • Long-term Employees: Negative work cultures are one of the many reasons job turnover rates are high. Employees are less likely to stick with an organization without a good work culture or one whose culture does not align with their values. A low employee turnover rate is one major sign that an organization has a healthy work culture and works with employees who embrace the same vision.
  • Workplace Relationship: An organization with a great corporate culture is a breeding ground for healthy workplace relationships. In these organizations, there is true friendship, and employees are not just colleagues.
  • Involvement: The level of employee involvement in an organization is usually a strong indicator of the quality of its corporate culture. Healthy work culture is made up of positive and enthusiastic employees that willingly get involved in activities together during and outside work hours.
  • Transparency: There is no room for secrecy or lack of proper communication within a good corporate culture. Every employee is usually vocal about their opinions, ideas, and beliefs without being insulting to others.
  • Clear Missions & Values: The foundations of work culture are clear vision and value statements. In these organizations, every employee fully understands the vision and values and knows them by heart. They are so familiar with the company’s vision that there is always a hint of it in all their practices.
  • Diversity: A company with a great corporate culture is usually a heterogeneous one. All employees are embraced regardless of gender, age, race, religion, culture, experiences, or personal beliefs.
  • Visible & Accessible Leaders: Leaders in an organization with a great culture do not hide behind a smokescreen of door plaques and inaccessible offices. Instead, these leaders are highly involved, accessible, honest, and transparent. Managers trust employees and vice versa. Executives often find themselves working with other employees. Leaders also often always practice inclusive leadership.
  • Celebrates Wins: Where there is great work culture, There is abundant celebration regardless of how small the wins are. These organizations recognize the achievements of all members and celebrate these achievements to help them feel valued.
  • Comfortable Workspaces: The workspaces are usually designed for maximum efficiency and comfort. Healthy cultures recognize the need for employee safety and comfort and invest in creating a comfortable environment for members. This comfort includes perks ranging from free food to a relaxation area for employees.
  • No Office Politics: There is an absence of practices that do not make every employee feel seen or heard. This means there is no unhealthy competition or show of office politics.

Steps To Build A Great Corporate Culture

Although creating the perfect work culture is different for every business, there is a common strategy businesses can use. The steps in this strategy include the following:

1. Decide what you want your ideal corporate culture to be or look like.

2. Compare the image of your ideal culture to the culture being practiced in your organization.

3. Ask members of the organization for authentic opinions.

4. Encourage a healthy work-life balance to minimize work-related stress.

5. Ensure every employee knows your expectations for the ideal work culture.

6. Hire candidates that meet your cultural requirements.

7. Implement the use of digital tools and workplaces.

8. Recognize and celebrate all employee’s achievements.

9. Remind employees that they are appreciated and that their work matters.

10. Always create opportunities for employees to foster healthy relationships and friendships.

Building A Great Corporate Culture

The quality of a company’s work culture dictates its success. The more positive a company’s corporate culture is, the more creative, efficient, and productive employees are.

Creating a great work culture requires an insight into the foundation of the organization and a restructuring of its operations. Are you planning to encourage and embrace a more positive work culture? Our guide is the right place to begin!

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