Corporate culture is a set of behaviors acquired by the organization in the process of adaptation to the external environment and internal integration, which have shown their effectiveness and are shared by most of the organization’s members. This is what makes one company different from others.
What is corporate culture, and why is it needed?
Corporate culture is not only a badge or a tie on an employee’s chest. This is something more. This is a certain set of written and unwritten rules that most employees obey. Under these rules lies a set of beliefs that the employee must at least accept (and not resist) and at the most share. For example: “The customer is always right.” If an employee does not share this belief, he begins to argue with customers where it would be easier (and more profitable for the company) to agree.
Positive and negative corporate cultures
Corporate culture can be both positive and negative. A positive corporate culture helps your organization perform better. For example, if employees work as a team, i.e., in concert, they can usually do more than if they work as a group (because it’s every man for himself, no matter how this affects the common cause).
A negative corporate culture is when, for some obvious or implicit reason, a team or individual employees sabotage work to one degree or another. Sometimes this happens not from malicious intent but from a lack of understanding of what consequences this or that action can lead to. This is usually just the outward manifestation of a deeper conflict of goals and values between the company’s management and ordinary employees. For example, suppose employees have negative beliefs that management is unfairly getting “huge money” and regular employees are not getting their well-deserved salary. In that case, people seek “fairness,” sometimes in strange ways that can harm both themselves and the company.
How to create a corporate culture
So, you have decided to re-create a corporate culture or remake an old one that, for some reason, does not suit you. Eight steps to help you through this process:
- Write down everything you don’t like.
- Think about which identified problems can be fixed and how to do it. How much money will this require? What else is needed (for example, additional staff training, etc.)?
- Which of the identified problems cannot be fixed and why? For example, at the moment, it is desirable but not economically feasible.
- Which employees will support change, and who will sabotage it? Find an approach for everyone (in a small company, this is necessary).
- Formulate and describe on one sheet of A4 paper the changes you will make shortly.
- Do not try in a short time to change what has evolved over the years.
- All your actions should be considered and lead in one direction.
- Fix the new corporate culture at the level: “I see, I hear, I feel.”
The very first version of the updated corporate culture doesn’t need to be correct. Each small company is individual, and the fewer employees it has, the greater the degree of individuality. Try to find those words, ideas, and values that can unite the real people that make up your team.