Why Is Corporate Culture Important?
Corporate culture is a very hot topic. We are constantly confronted with news items of poor culture being the reason why organizations fail, or become completely unethical. Unfortunately, we don’t often see stories of positive culture working properly. However, good leaders and managers understand the importance of having a strong corporate culture, something that every employee and the customers of the company are able to sign up to.
Businesses are becoming increasingly complex and the culture has to be able to respond to this. In a recent study by Booz & Company, who conduct research on innovation every year, it was noted that results are no longer driven by research and development. Instead, what matters was that companies have a culture that supports new techniques and innovation, and that this is strategically aligned. However, how do you build a strong corporate culture? What are some of the best practices we should look into in order to ensure your organization is able to move forward towards your vision?
Start at the Foundation
You have to learn to crawl before you can walk, and this is true for corporate culture as well. You cannot start at the point where you want to get to, but have to start at the point where you are at. This means that your foundations, your core ideas have to be addressed first.
“Clearly defining and communicating your company’s vision, mission and values are essential.”
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You have to have a vision that guides how your employees should behave. For instance, if you want to ensure your service users are happy with what you do, every action can be driven by that. Whenever anyone has to take an action, they can ask themselves whether it will positively impact service users, thereby following the vision.
Have Leaders and Managers Sign Up
Your leaders and managers are the backbone of your company. They are the mentors and the ones your other members of staff look towards in order to understand what is expected of them. This is why they should be fully signed up to the culture, understand what it means and demonstrate and live it.
“Culture is shaped mostly by how your leaders act, so make sure your leadership team embodies the type of company you want to be.” How To Build A Great Company Culture
Whatever you want your culture to be, your leaders have to embody that culture. For instance, if you want to be able to deliver excellent customer service, your managers need to be customer service experts and be happy to deal directly with customers. It is about leading by example at all times.
Value Staff Opinions
Having an excellent company culture is also about ensuring everybody else can sign up to it. You cannot impose a culture, as that would make your company a dictatorship, which would never be a positive culture. This is why you must listen to your employees and demonstrate that their opinions are valued.
“If your staff believes that they matter, that their opinions matter, the company soars.”
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The heart of any good company culture should be democracy. Every opinion should matter and should be listened to. If a certain opinion cannot be implemented, it should be made clear why not. It isn’t about never rejecting an idea; it is about giving it the consideration it deserves.
With these three steps, you should be able to start developing an excellent company culture. The positive impact of this on your business as a whole is measurable, and you should take the time to measure it as well. This is because proving that something works is a driver to continue it.