Is your corporate culture what it should be? If you are like most companies the answer is probably “no.”
A corporate culture reflects an organization’s character, its values and the vision of its management. The culture serves as an unseen GPS for employees, customers, and partners – signaling who you are as a company and how you do business.
Too many companies place a glossy mission or values statement on their website, but don’t work to build a corporate culture that truly lives up to the words.
Senior management cannot impose a desired corporate culture on an organization. It must be earned and built brick-by-brick. Management must create a culture that treats employees as the company’s single best asset. Employees need to know that performance will be measured and appropriately rewarded. Conversely, they need to know that under performance has its consequences. And employees need to know that the same performance yardstick will be used fairly throughout the entire organization.
A culture that places loyalty to management over performance is a company abusing the shareholders’ trust. Likewise, a culture that tolerates — or worse yet – rewards an attitude that says, “all I need to do is keep my head down, go along with the flow, and not cause any waves,” is doomed to failure.
Jump-start your corporate culture starting today. Let employees know that their talents and value to the company matter. Provide a vision and a clearly defined set of goals for which all employees will share responsibility in achieving. Let employees know that risk-taking, an entrepreneurial spirit, and challenging the status quo are strongly encouraged. And make it clear that a strong sense of ethics is an integral part of your company’s DNA.
If you are able to do the above, your corporate culture will change for the better, your future will be brighter, and shareholders will happily reap the benefits.