A Guide To Defining and Living Company Culture

A company’s culture is like its DNA. It marks out the values, norms and personality of a company, and determines how its people interact among themselves. Defining and developing a company culture is necessary if a company is to be sustainable as it inspires and guides people in the company.

Without a well-defined and well-rooted culture, neither management nor staff will have a reliable guide for work, and many projects could be left to fate. A healthy corporate culture, on the other hand, would bring about a harmonious and stimulating workplace where employees are inspired to do their best. Some challenges, however, need to be conquered before a company culture can be defined and developed.

Embracing a Common Vision and Mission

Defining and developing a company culture requires its people to embrace a common vision and mission. A company’s culture takes shape only when all the members of a company decide to travel along the same path.

In some companies, the company vision and mission is set by its founders, and adopted by the generations down the line. In other companies, however, these have to be defined and formulated. For large companies, more time and effort have to be invested so that a company’s vision and mission can be verbalized and accepted by all. It is almost the same for small companies, but less time and effort are required to achieve the same things.

Living by Core Values

While the vision and mission of a company determine where a company is going and how it will get there, the core values of a company determine the norms of behavior and the shared understanding of how things should be.

There is always a diversity of personalities and personal backgrounds in any company, regardless of its size, which adds to the dynamism of a company’s talent pool. The company benefits from this diverse population. These values determine what the company will say “yes” or “no” to. A company’s employees must be aware of these values, and these shared should be reflected in the employees’ work ethic and priorities.

Finding People who “Fit”

Diversity in the workplace is important. For a company’s culture to fully crystallize, the people who work there must “fit” into the company’s vision, mission and core values. This means finding people whose skills and attitudes match work and the output expected from it. It also means having people who can relate productively with others in the workplace. In addition to that, it means finding people who will be comfortable with the structure of the company.

Why is it so important to find people who “fit”? Because ultimately, the people in the company are responsible for everything the company produces. It is the people in the company, whether big or small, who will carry the company’s culture and take the company through its greatest challenges.

Consistent Dissemination and Involvement

Once a company’s culture has been defined, constant dissemination is necessary for it to fully develop. All the components of the company’s culture – its vision, mission, goals, ethics, and values – must be known to everyone in the company. It blossoms only if everyone in the company feels they have a role in forging the company’s culture. Their involvement will guarantee that each company member is marching to the same tune in his or her own unique way.

In retrospect, there isn’t too much difference between a big company/brand and a small one. The challenges in defining and developing the company or brand culture are basically similar, except that it takes more time and effort for culture for a big brand to be accepted and practiced by everyone.

 

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Photo: Archi Expo