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Corporate Culture is Important

Corporate Culture Is Important

Corporate culture has seen a resurgence over the past decade.  Whereas corporate culture was once a term left to the side, with little to no attention paid to it, it has now become an important concept and mainstay in the corporate world.  Corporate culture is important, perhaps more important than other business concepts and metrics, because it can be directly correlated with the success of a company.

Now, that’s a heavy statement to make.  But according to Forbes, a lack of company and corporate culture can contribute to nearly $350 billion in lost revenue and productivity.  Corporate culture is not just a mantra or a saying.  It is, and should be, a core value of any company, either big or small.  The company should embody their internal culture and exude that mantra to the external world.

But why?  Why does corporate culture matter so much?  The reason is that it provides employees a direction, it gives them a sense of guidance, and it acts as a set of principles upon which every member of a company or organization lives by.  The corporate culture is meant to be exhibited and lived-by internally and externally.  It is meant to provide a foundation by which the company takes its actions and by-which employees conduct themselves.

Corporate culture is the lifeblood of an organization.  It should coarse through a company’s veins and should be top-of-mind in every decision, big or small.  Corporate culture is important because it is the company and it influences the direction the company takes.

A company with a weak corporate culture, or one that is completely missing any corporate culture, will suffer in both the short and long terms.  The lack of culture, guidance, and direction will leave employees and customers confused.  In the event of tragedies, errors, or mistakes, individuals within the organization will feel helpless, lost, and frustrated at the lack of leadership and internal strength to persevere.

Benefits Of Corporate Culture

Employee Morale

Employees who understand the significance of the company and its mission statement will have higher levels of morale and productivity.  When the culture is set upon a strong foundation and mission statement, it provides employees with a sense of guidance and direction.  This direction will assist them in their daily tasks and routines.  By having a properly defined set of directions, employees within the organization will be able to turn to them for guidance and purpose.

Employee Retention

Higher levels of employee morale equates to higher levels of employee retention.  Individuals who are happy, satisfied, and fulfilled at their place of employment, will tend to remain at that station for longer than their counterparts who do not feel fulfilled.  A strong company culture can provide an employee with a sense of belonging and a feeling of fulfillment.  The employee will adopt that culture and begin to have an unyielding belief in the company statement.

Brand Image

A strong corporate culture will be infectious.  It will be displayed in corporate and retail settings.  It will be noticed by customers, clients, and your competition alike.  It will be proudly displayed on company advertisements and marketing materials.  And perhaps most importantly, it will be seen on company employees.

This culture will create a strong brand image.  One that will be deeply associated with the company and the vision it is looking to achieve.  The culture will become famous and will build a reputation upon itself.

Attract New Hires

Think of some of the most iconic brands and companies.  What do you think of their culture?  Of how their offices are spread out, how they treat their employees, how they envision themselves as corporate citizens?  Think of Google, Starbucks, or Costco.  These iconic brands and companies have built a reputation based on their culture.  In-turn, they are able to attract some of the brightest, most capable candidates.  These are candidates that actively seek open and new positions at these companies.

The Rise Of Corporate Culture

Understanding the importance of corporate culture is one-thing.  But why has there been a sudden shift in how corporations perceive culture?  The reason is simple, in the interconnectedness of the internet, nothing is private.  Corporate culture is now on display.  Corporate employees actively and willingly discuss the perks, benefits, and issues with the company they’re employed at on social media and with their friends.

A company with poor corporate culture can be shunned and blacklisted by many potential candidates.  They may have heard from a friend or read a negative news story or seen bad and poor reviews on Glassdoor.  Whatever it is, that bad press hurts a company.  And as nearly everything is published online and searchable, a company has to make a concerted effort to ensure that their image and presence is squeaky clean.

Not taking care of your online presence and your brand image can be disastrous.  Not only can a company lose out on new candidates, but they may alienate customers and lose corporate clients.  By having a strong corporate culture, this can be avoided by maintaining those values day-in and day-out.

How To Get Your Corporate Culture On Track

If your company has a poor or unsatisfactory corporate culture, there are a few remedies you can implement.  Though not easy, it will yield dividends in the long-term.  The first, and most obvious, is to set a tone and structure on what you want the culture of the company to embody?  How would you like the company culture to be?  Write those points down.

Next, discuss it with your coworkers and colleagues.  Brainstorm with them on what type of company you want to be.  Discuss how you want to be viewed both internally and externally.  Talk to close family and friends or a focus group and see what your brand image is.  Is it what you want it to be?

From there, implement it slowly.  Culture needs to spread organically.  Talk to your management and leadership team and have them make small, subtle changes.  Perhaps a random work from home day for the entire office or providing the Friday after Thanksgiving off for the entire company. 

Making these small changes will become infectious.  Be subtle and work slowly.  Employees will begin to see and notice these changes over time.  As you begin to ramp up your efforts, write down the company guidelines and vision.  Reiterate them to your employees and how you want the culture to be.  Encourage your employees to live by these values.

If your employees see you and the management and leadership team living by these values, they’ll begin to do the same.  It takes time, it’s not instantaneous, but it’s worth it.

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