For a business owner or senior executive, the way your corporation’s culture is designed depends entirely on you. It is your decision how you implement a culture, and what you choose to bring to your business with it. It is the personality and culture of an organization that guide how your employees act on the job.
Culture is critical to achieving organizational goals, and it plays a key role in attracting and retaining desirable employees. It aids in creating a positive public image of the corporation and builds strong relationships with the stakeholders. Business owners who are successful at creating a strong company culture enjoy all these benefits and find that it also helps to facilitate decision-making processes in business.
On the contrary, if a culture is not clearly defined, it becomes difficult to achieve goals and targets. In fact, at times, attempts at creating a culture will fail, and corporations may incur massive losses because of it.
Culture is a vital guide for both internal and external communications. It is the deliverable of all deliverables, and a make-or-break for owners, partners, staff, and customers or clients.
McDonald’s is a pioneer in corporate culture. They designed a system of food, trust, and acceptance. A McDonald’s establishment is same everywhere. They achieved this by designing and implementing a culture which not only provides a consistent product (food that is always similar quality and taste), but also provide a consistent dining experience. You can be in any corner of the world, but the food and ambiance at any Mcdonald’s will be the same.
Their organizational culture influences how employees act. However, as it is owned by a corporate but has thousands of franchisees, today McDonald’s culture has some employee dissonance, and its culture is no longer as strong.
One the other hand, Google used culture as a tool for clarity: Why are you doing what you’re doing, and what one thing do you do extremely well?
Google, unlike McDonald’s, is owned by a couple of people, so they are intensely focused on culture for their hiring process. This way, Google is able to minimize cultural dissonance within the company. Google is caring towards its employees, the work environment is very casual, and the offices are designed in unconventional ways. The structure of the organization itself allows less room for middle managers and the upper management is very hands-on themselves, which allows teams to move quickly on projects and ideas.
At Google, it was Laszlo Bock who pioneered a lot of the culture policies. He was the force behind Google’s unique methods of hiring, providing employee benefits, and breaking up the pay structure on competency and not seniority.
Bock viewed Google’s employees as its most valuable resource and constantly tinkered with working conditions to find the most productive settings, floor plans, and policies to encourage creativity and productivity.
It is vital to identify the key factors that can make your company’s culture strong or weak.
Every company has its own unique culture, and culture itself can be strong or weak. A strong culture is more difficult to implement and hire for, but can yield more productive employees. Weak culture is what most companies have, where there are policies in place but little follow through.
A strong culture has the following attributes:
As compared to a weak company culture:
Understanding your business culture can improve decision-making processes in your BusinessLife.
Having a strong business culture and correctly implementing it can help provide answers to critical questions such as:
As a business owner, you get to decide who gets the job. For this reason, it is critical to keep your business culture in mind when hiring. Someone who could fit right into your company’s culture may become an essential part of the organization — likewise, hiring an improper or weak culture fit can end up hurting your business more than it helps.
Having a strong corporate culture means having the right framework of goals linked to the beliefs and values shared by your employees. As an executive, it is your role to ask questions based on your culture and ensure you are attracting the right people who share your organization’s belief system.
Having a consistent or strong corporate culture can greatly improve your business success. Culture needs to be understood at all levels of the company, which ensures that employee behaviors are consistent with your business goals.
A strong culture provides a shared understanding of the company’s vision and allows decision-making activity at all levels of the organization.
What steps you take to communicate your company’s policies, the division of responsibilities, team building, performance indicators, and conducting employee appraisals put your business culture into practice. All these elements form your company’s design.
You can considerably enhance your business culture by implementing an organizational design which clarifies authority, responsibility, and accountability.
You can start by creating a list of traits that all employees in your company must possess. For example:
When hiring, ask open-ended follow-up questions which will allow potential employees to express their opinions. This will reveal to you their view on your company’s culture, allowing you to choose the best fit.
There are many challenges to successfully implementing a corporate culture.
Your company’s culture is the facet of your business that is alive every single day. It is important not only to understand it, but also to assess the needs of your employees, your customers and clients, and your management team. Culture can make or break a business — it can steer a business owner to the right direction, the best hires, and the most effective response to a crisis.
As a business owner, you may choose to create a culture that not only provides a strong framework to help you make decisions and hire, but also to create a strong foundation for a company that will thrive.