Creating a strong corporate culture should be one of the most important goals for organizations that want to achieve long-term success. Basically, it is about the company, its leadership and employees, having a common picture of what you stand for, what you want to achieve and how you want to act during your journey there. In a strong corporate culture, the well-being of employees is taken care of, along with their skills and development.
“Corporate culture” is a term that is often talked about, but what does it mean? It is actually a “culture” in the same sense as in most other contexts. The culture consists of values, norms, behavioural patterns, and different types of communication. And above all, it constitutes an identity for the people who are a part of it. The feeling of belonging means that you respect the values, follow the norms, and learn the right pattern of behaviour, by voluntarily following the culture.
This is how different national cultures work, but corporate cultures tend to work in a similar way. The difference is perhaps that in a corporate culture you have clearer and more pronounced goals that you want to achieve with the culture. And with the fierce competition that prevails in today’s market, it is necessary to succeed in creating a culture within the company which the employees believe in and are proud to be a part of.
The most important and fundamental aspect of a healthy corporate culture is the company’s values. These must not be a paper product that only managers take seriously – they must permeate the entire organization. The values should characterize the employees ‘and managers’ actions in their daily work and constitute a support that you can safely lean on when you need guidance. The stronger your values, the easier it will be to address issues, challenges, and dilemmas that you may not have encountered before. Having strong values is also very motivating, especially if there is also a clear vision of how the company wants to make life better or easier for its customers and for society.
Leadership guides the way
Communication is a very important part of the corporate culture. It is about the people communicating with each other in a respectful way, at the same time as there is a high ceiling and room for a diversity of opinions, thoughts and feelings. Good communication also means that you give each other constructive feedback, and that above all -leaders and managers are careful to show that good performance (or attempts at performance) are appreciated and encouraged. Leadership should in general be characterized by openness and authenticity.
Employee well-being is very central to a healthy corporate culture, but it stretches beyond making sure they are well and taking care of themselves – although that can be a good measure of how the company is doing. In good corporate cultures, employees have the opportunity to develop and reach their full potential, while their skills are being fully utilized. Development and constant learning should be an recognizable part of the company culture, and employees should be encouraged to continuously update and renew their skills, and dare to try new things.
Lastly, it is important that management takes the lead and guides the way by “living” the company’s culture and values. If a manager talks about a value that is claimed to be important to the company, but then acts in the exact opposite way, no one will take the said value seriously. Or if the manager expects and demands a certain behavior from his employees but is not able to live up to the requirement himself, then the management will lose all its credibility. As a leader, you must make sure that you genuinely believe in the company’s values and are willing to follow them in your own everyday life, otherwise something is wrong with the values and culture (or the boss).
The corporate culture will be crucial to today’s companies chances of success. A strong culture generates motivation, commitment, and loyalty among employees, which results in creativity, productivity, good results – and a genuinely prosperous and well-liked organization.
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