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Top 8+ steps to create a great corporate culture

Let’s face it – great corporate culture doesn’t just happen – you need to make it happen.

In general, a company’s most expensive asset is its people. So it still surprises me that so many companies fail to develop a culture or “people plan” to invest in and grow that asset.

Corporate culture is an incredibly powerful factor in a company’s long-term success. No matter how good your strategy is, when it comes down to it, people always make the difference. It shapes the work environment in which performance occurs

I firmly believe that the difference between a good company and a great one is the strength, passion, and loyalty of its people.

 

Talkline - Blind Date - Corporate Culture

 

Essential elements in creating a great corporate culture:

# 1 – Define the purpose 

People are driven by causes more than anything else. The sense of purpose can be a unifying force that draws management and employees together. You can define purpose as the reason for why the organization exists

#2 – Define company values

These are the guiding principles for how you expect your team to behave internally and externally. Values can be made to work when they are a genuine part of a company’s culture. Put it on the wall, as screen saver, on your mouse pads, on your website etc.

#3 – Build a culture roadmap

Take the same approach as business or product planning. What tangible things will you put in place to promote and grow your culture? Think communication tools, team building exercises, team bonding events etc.

#4 – Measure and adapt

Take a survey on a regular basis and ask for feedback and ideas.

#5 – Make culture a priority

Remind everyone to live by your cultural values, and prioritize them in communication, hiring, and everyday work. Give employees ownership of culture, and ask them for their help.

#6 – Form an interviewing committee

Create a cross-departmental team that represents your culture well. Set an intangible standard for hiring and make it a policy that a member of the culture committee must interview every prospective employee. Larger companies can scale this by limiting it to management positions.

#7 – Establish a development committee

Select a diverse group of people from every department in the company and challenge them to come up with a new culture idea. This creates momentum and constant improvement. Change one-third of the members each quarter to keep it fresh.

#8 – Communicate, communicate, communicate

Constantly remind people at every team meeting, in every operating plan, on email and in person that culture is a priority to you and that they are all part of it.

Culture is made from the same five components

All music is made from the same 12 notes. All culture is made from the same five components: behaviors, relationships, attitudes, values and environment.  It’s the way those notes or components are put together that makes things sing.

Given enough time and money, your competitors can duplicate almost everything you’ve got working for you. The only thing they can’t duplicate is your culture. Is culture more important than strategy?

 

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About the author
Torben Rick Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement and development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland

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About the author
Torben Rick Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement and development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland

View full profile

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