Author: Marina Manopella
Organizations currently face a problem, and that problem is their lack of clarity regarding the importance of establishing a corporate culture that benefits both the company and its employees.
In this article, you will explore the meaning of corporate culture, its benefits, and how to develop strategies for creating a corporate culture that boosts productivity and aligns with corporate values.
What is Corporate Culture?
Corporate culture is defined as the set of values, beliefs, and behaviors that serve as a framework for teams to interact, work, and achieve goals together. Organizations are systems, and systems operate with their own culture.
Initially, it is implemented by the leaders of the organization, and this information is then communicated to the teams. It is worked into an action plan composed of a mission, vision, and values.
Culture can create paradigms. Sometimes, we realize that at work, we do things out of habit or because it has always been done that way. However, it is essential to identify which aspects represent the culture to analyze and change them, as these paradigms can affect productivity.
Elements of Corporate Culture:
- Mission: Describes the company’s activities, including its culture, ethics, values, principles, and objectives, and how this mission involves all employees.
- Vision: Defines how the company will look in a specific time frame, projecting into the future and describing how this will be achieved to inspire and identify the workforce.
- Values: Complement the mission and vision, helping individuals fulfill the company’s primary purpose with the established values.
Characteristics of a Good Corporate Culture:
- Communication: Communication between leaders, employees, customers, and external collaborators is based on respect and assertiveness.
- Integration: It should integrate all internal processes of the company to identify faults in daily activities.
- Structure: Employees are aligned with the company’s mission, vision, and values, leading to greater commitment and performance, impacting overall results.
- Fosters Belonging: Culture is not built by a single person; it requires a group. When people feel supported by a group, communities are formed.
- Dominant Culture: Everyone belonging to organizations shares similar characteristics that make up the culture.
- Decisions Benefit Everyone: Decisions must benefit both the company and its employees.
- Permanence: Corporate culture tends to be enduring over time.
According to a study by Roger Harrison, Vice President of the Research Association for Development in Newton Center, there are four types of corporate culture:
- Power-Oriented Corporate Culture: Organizations employing this culture focus primarily on competitiveness and exert control over their employees. They constantly seek advantageous opportunities and dissolve businesses that are no longer profitable for them. They are strict about job profiles and provide training for those who do not have the required technical knowledge and skills.
- Person-Oriented Corporate Culture: This culture focuses on individuals and their personal and professional development. There is no authoritarian model; leaders act through example, knowledge, and assistance. People are considered for any decision and are also part of problem-solving.
- Function-Oriented Corporate Culture: Companies with this culture base their culture on functions and procedures. There is a strong structure for each area of the company through rationalization and simplification. Supervision is also present, specifically for difficult activities that require problem-solving and decision-making.
- Work-Oriented Corporate Culture: The main characteristic of this model is flexibility. Companies applying this culture easily adapt to change to meet objectives and solve problems. The foundation lies in values, objectives, flexibility, and collaborative work.
Importance of Corporate Culture and Its Influence on Productivity:
Implementing corporate culture is important as it provides teams with the fundamental principles to carry out their activities with confidence and security.
In this implementation, employees must be a priority, considering their needs and desires. This will generate higher performance, commitment, and loyalty in their day-to-day work.
Emphasizing the establishment of values from top positions to operational roles will create a better work environment. Below are some examples of corporate values:
How to Implement Corporate Culture in Companies:
To implement corporate culture, we recommend using flowchart tools, which are useful for documenting processes and facilitating decision-making by identifying potential problems and creating solutions on the spot.
- The initial step is to evaluate how employees are performing their daily activities and whether they are having a positive or negative impact on productivity. The diagnosis can also help identify job satisfaction levels.
- Identify processes, interactions among internal and external individuals of the company, and current paradigms. These aspects have the most influence on corporate culture, and conducting interviews will provide precise information about the current state.
Establish the Mission, Vision, and Values of the Company:
- These three elements define the company’s direction. While they may already exist, they may not be aligned with the corporate culture you aim to implement. You can take inspiration from companies that have created exemplary corporate cultures, such as Google, Ikea, ULab, and Adobe.
Create an Incentive Program:
- In addition to traditional incentives, you can try new incentives that may receive a positive response from employees. Examples of additional incentives include free subscriptions to music platforms like Spotify, flexible working hours, paid days off, and team-building activities.
Be Responsive to Employee Needs:
- People have various needs, and not everyone may be receptive to the incentives you offer. Therefore, always keep your doors open for employees to voice their opinions about their needs. This way, they will feel heard and part of the company.