Whether it is expressly identified or not, every company has its own culture. Even within different locations of the same company, the culture can be vastly different. If it is not strategically planned, the corporate culture will develop organically – driven by both the employees and the policies of the corporation.
The components of a corporate culture can include, but are not limited to:
- Company’s logo
- Employee dress code
- Business hours
- Employee benefits
- Office setup
- Company rituals
- Organizational structure
Effectively harnessing the corporate culture can be a driving force in the success of a company. To establish a culture within a company that reflects the vision and direction of the company’s mission requires a strong leadership team and a commitment to the values of the company.
A company that wants their corporate culture to encompass “a great place to work” may offer benefits such as a fully stocked snack bar in the employee lounge, host on-site luncheons and cookouts or bring in team building activities to help the employees enjoy their workday. They may have a relaxed dress code and offer flexible scheduling to accommodate their employees.
Without strong leadership, however, the “great place to work” culture can quickly turn into “party time during office hours” where people feel they are there more to socialize than be productive. A leader who can maintain the boundaries and show a clear definition of company priorities is one who understands the impact of corporate culture.
To truly benefit from the identification of corporate culture, the values of the company must be identified and then qualified into ideals that drive the company. Once those ideals have been selected, they can be used as hiring guidelines that will help select people who will fit within the culture. If your company thrives on self-starting individuals who need little to no oversight, hiring someone who is not comfortable with little direction would be detrimental to both the employee and the company.
Establishing a corporate culture takes time and effort if it is to be effective. A wise leader knows the culture, and makes appropriate changes to maintain the culture best needed in the company.