A company’s culture is the personality of the organization. It’s what makes the company unique and is the sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviors, and attitudes. Keep reading to learn more about company culture, including definitions and examples.
Defining Workplace Culture
A company’s culture is its personality. It’s the set of shared values, beliefs, and behaviors that characterize how a company operates. Company culture is important because it shapes employee behavior and can affect business outcomes.
There are many definitions of company culture, but one of the most popular is Edgar Schein’s definition: “Culture is a pattern of shared assumptions learned by a group as it solves its problems of external adaptation and internal integration.” In other words, company culture is what allows employees to share a common understanding of how the company works and what’s important to them.
Company culture is shaped by a number of factors, including history, leadership, vision, values, ethics, products and services, organizational structure, and employee demographics. It can be positive or negative, adaptive or dysfunctional. When a company looks after its staff, the same will be reciprocated. Employees will care about their roles, responsibilities, clients, and colleagues when they are cared for by their employers.
One example of positive company culture is the medical benefits that come with joining a company. Dervilla Lannon, a vice-president of people at a security start-up in Silicon Valley described the Verkada culture as “hugely encouraging” as she was offered the benefit of a one-time $10,000 fertility treatment allowance. Having a boss and a company that is supportive is the definition of progressive workplace culture. Emphatic company culture can also help a company achieve its goals. Employees who are passionate about their job will be more motivated to do their best and achieve results.
Tips for Building a Winning Company Culture
Some elements of company culture are tangible, such as the office space, company policies, and employee benefits. Others are intangible, such as the way employees interact with one another and their attitudes about work. Company culture is shaped by the founders and leaders of a business. They set the tone for how employees should behave and what they should value. Company culture can also be influenced by outside factors such as the industry a company operates in or its geographical location.
Establish clear values and guidelines: Define what you expect from your employees and make sure everyone understands the expectations. This includes things such as attendance standards, dress code, etc.
Encourage communication: Promote an open atmosphere where employees feel free to communicate with one another. This will help ensure that everyone is aware of what is going on within the company and will prevent any misunderstandings or conflicts from arising.
Show appreciation: Recognize your employees’ accomplishments and thank them for their hard work. A little recognition goes a long way in creating a positive work environment.
Signs You Don’t Have a Strong Company Culture
Strong company culture is one in which employees feel a sense of belonging, are motivated to do their best work, and feel supported in their efforts. A company with a weak culture, on the other hand, may be characterized by high employee turnover rates, low morale, and lack of direction. The following are signs that your company may not have a strong culture.
Employees don’t feel a sense of belonging: If employees don’t feel like they’re part of the team or like they belong at the company, it’s likely because the company doesn’t have a strong culture. A sense of community is essential for building a strong culture.
Employees are apathetic about their work: If employees are apathetic about their work, it’s likely because they don’t see any meaning or purpose in what they’re doing. This can be due to weak company culture or an absence of one altogether.
Employees are unproductive: If employees aren’t productive, it’s usually because they’re not engaged in their work or they don’t feel like their efforts matter.
Employees are constantly leaving the company: If employees are constantly leaving the company, it’s likely because they’re not finding what they’re looking for—namely, a strong sense of community and purposeful work. Healthy company culture can help keep talented employees from jumping ship prematurely.