Every company, from small businesses to large corporations has a unique identifier, something that they are defined by whether consciously developed and implemented or not. This is called a company culture, which cannot be duplicated and can truly distinguish your business in a highly globalized market, where most companies find it hard to stand out.
What is company culture?
Company culture is your organizations distinctive personality. It is the vision, values, norms, language and attitude which your company runs by. Culture in essence is your company’s very own genetic code – your DNA!
Culture is fluid and ever-changing due to growth, new experiences and changes in personnel. Company culture is something that should be an aspect that is constantly addressed and not forgotten, it should be regularly spoken about in strategy meetings, vision sessions, and be an important part of the induction process of new employees to make for smooth integration into the company.
There are many aspects that influence culture such as, policies and procedures, hierarchy and leadership, as well as work environment. Establishing a good culture does not necessary guarantee a company’s success, however purposeful overlooking of culture may hamper the sustainability of the company long-term. In reality, culture will not physically appear in a company’s annual financial report but does in fact play a direct role in the company’s ability to generate income, and should be measured as a competency and objective such as financial growth, lead conversions, sales, marketing etc.
A well-developed culture is what inspires, motivates and guides current staff and is also what attracts and attains new talent. A healthy culture creates a good working environment, which will enhance productivity and goal attainment. The moment employees embody the culture of the business, they are better able to interact with clients and really display what your company has to offer. In this sense culture can be a company’s greatest strength and asset or its biggest weakness and liability. When a company intends to recruit, it is extremely important to look for a good cultural fit. Many companies make the mistake of choosing skill and competency over cultural fit, when in actual fact the latter is just as, if not more important than the former. One bad recruit can result in a holistic upset of the culture which should be avoided by any means. Instead recruiters should look for candidates whom can share in the vision and mission of the company, as well as have the ability to align their career goals with that set out by the company.
An unhealthy culture can cause employees to poorly communicate, lack morale, motivation, lack ambition which results in employees detaching from their environments and teams and working solely to meet their own needs and goals such as getting a salary at the end of the month.
With that being said, it is evident that internal culture plays a pivotal part in the success of a business and can either assist a company to sink or swim. Culture impacts the talent, environment, product, client experience and the revenue of a business. This is reason enough to consistently cultivate, measure and review culture in a company.