Understanding Corporate Culture
Corporate culture is the character and personality of a business, the shared values and beliefs of leadership and staff, it’s the intangible driving force of an organization. It is also one of the most overlooked pieces of starting a business. In this week’s addition of “What the Heck is Human Resources?”, we are going to learn more about the importance of corporate culture and how it can be a valuable tool for success when done right.
Leadership plays a vital part in creating a flourishing corporate culture by defining, accepting and embodying that culture. Leaders are called upon to create a set of core values that characterize the company’s fundamental beliefs. When it comes to developing your company’s culture, keeping it simple is best. Consider your personal values and use them if they align with the vision for your organization. Establishing values you already embody will make it much easier to weave them into everything you do. Keep in mind that varying beliefs among your leadership team or inconsistent acknowledgement of the core values will create confusion and poor adoption. The more ways you can reinforce your core values, the more engrained they will become and the more self-sustaining they will be.
An interesting aspect of culture is that it can develop with or without input from leadership. An organically constructed culture is not always best. Every person your hire will bring their own set of values and beliefs into the workplace. The values and beliefs of your staff should completement your corporate culture but not overpower it. Businesses that take the time to cultivate a strong culture will be able to avoid, quickly identify and correct toxic behaviors and situations within the workforce before it spreads to the rest of your team or your client base.
Maintaining corporate culture can be as simple as standing by your company values but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Monitoring and reinforcing the behaviors that reflect your core values can take time – something that many small business owners don’t have. When you find your culture veering off track, take a look at where you can beef up your reinforcement efforts. Are you considering your core values when making hiring decisions, when creating and enforcing company policy, when conducting performance reviews? What about your managers, are they leading by example? How are you highlighting and celebrating those who are aligned with the culture? Consistency and recognition will go along way in communicating the importance of the core values to your workforce.
Remember, creating a solid corporate culture is about defining and embodying the values that reflect what is important to you and how you want your organization to be seen in the community. Consistently applying those values to the work you do and working with people that also share your vision will lead to a happier and higher performing workforce.
Do you have specific questions about Human Resources and your business? Consult today with one of our Attorneys and let us help guide you through your employee related concerns.
Law 4 Small Business, P.C. (L4SB). A little law now can save a lot later. A Slingshot company.