Why is company culture important?
Company culture within an organization separates the successful businesses from the failing businesses. In fact, poor company culture will almost always result in high turnover, poor customer experience, disengaged employees, lower morale and eventually lower profitability.
So what is it?
Well simply put, company culture is defined as a set of behavioral and procedural norms observed by an organization. Typically, we use policies, procedures, codes of conduct, values, goals and initiatives to mold and shape our company culture. From the employee relations perspective, company culture is a company’s personality.
What are the different types of company culture?
There are many different types of company culture and some industries tend to gravitate towards certain cultures more often than others. The three main types of company culture are leadership, traditional, and innovative.
Leadership company culture focuses on developing employees and helping them grow in their careers through mentorship and coaching. The main idea is to create an organization of leaders, because as many say, a team is only as strong as their weakest link.
Traditional company culture is the most conventional style of company culture and it tends to get a bad reputation for being “stuffy.” Most folks wear suits and ties, there are a lot of rules and policies in place and there tends to be a clear organizational hierarchy.
The last company culture type, and probably most effective for the industry, is an innovative company culture. An innovative company culture is focused on the development and innovation in the business. This culture tends to break down the barrier to allow for open communication and transparency. Innovative company culture tends to be inclusive and accepting of individuality. Many innovative and creative employees tend to thrive in this setting and thus do amazing work for innovative companies.
What affects company culture?
Outside of the policies and procedures, there are other factors that shape our company culture including company goals, backgrounds and experiences of the aggregate employee workforce, leadership styles, rewards, and disciplinary systems in place as well as local and national government policies. I’d also add cultural norms with the local and national government, as that heavily affects our company culture. For instance, we often look to Europe with mastering work-life balance due to shorter workweeks and longer maternity leaves.
The backgrounds and experiences of the aggregate workforce is also a huge factor we often overlook. If we have an unconscious bias on our recruitment team, chances are, the entire organization will mirror that make-up, backgrounds, and experiences of the in-house recruiters, which leads to a lack of diversity across the board.