The trouble with company culture
Company culture are two of those words that are used loosely. Every day we hear those words but rarely do people understand what it is. And many companies often don’t have culture. But using that phrase loosely is pretty dangerous in that it could ruin an organization’s reputation.
Often people tend to blame negative events in the workplace on company culture, which may or may not be the case. So let’s look at what it is and what it is not.
Company culture is defined as a set of shared values, goals, attitudes and practices that characterizes an organization. This has the potential to be really good or really bad. It depends how that foundation was laid when the company first started and of course what those values and attitudes are.
What leaders should ask themselves is: “Do we practice what we preach? Are the core values that we put on paper, actually carried out in the company?” See, when these values aren’t insisted upon, employees could potentially destroy it as they may see it as just another bunch of words on paper.
Incentives and benefits are not part of company culture. These are add-ons that are used to attract and retain employees. What good is a snooker table in the staff lounge if your values as an organization are not adhered to?
Very often companies start without a clear picture of the trajectory they envision themselves on over the long-term. The domino effect of this is poor hiring. If you don’t know “who you are” as a business, then how can you expect to hire staff that meet your values? Employees can’t be held accountable for poor company culture. That rests solely on its leadership.
Companies that have been around the block for a long time, particularly large enterprises are not immune to issues regarding company culture. Their problems seem to be the other way around. They will not find employees that are 100% culture fit because their already established values might clash with that of their employees. Or employees simply won’t survive there. The best they can do is hire employees that meet the essential characteristics of their organization.
Values change over time, especially in large companies. Some companies have gone “woke” which could potentially lead to low staff retention or high turnover. Makes one wonder where leaders stand on company culture these days.