Recently a new phrase called the “Corporate Culture” has evolved and come to the forefront of the minds of many management teams when discussing marketing, research, organizing, and progress for their respected companies. The dictionary defines culture as “the act of developing intellectual and moral faculties, especially through education”.
Companies further define culture as “the moral, social, and behavioral norms of an organization based on the beliefs, attitudes, and priorities of its members”. All companies are different in their beliefs, attitudes, and priorities and most do not consciously plan to develop a certain culture. It develops unconsciously usually based upon the thoughts and ideas of the upper brass or founders of the company. Successful companies adopt strategies to strengthen their corporate culture in order to run effectively and efficiently. Hewlett Packard developed and implemented “the HP Way” program to inform employees and customers of their culture.
Developing a corporate culture starts with the hiring of employees. Companies seek strong, hard-working, enthusiastic employees that believe in the company’s mission and will help the company succeed. Positive, intelligent, and dedicated employees can make the company progress as quickly as negative, unqualified, and lazy employees can falter an organization. With the proper work environment and some guidance from a team oriented management staff, the employees can start to form the company’s culture.
The staff’s demeanor and attitude are vital attributes to look at and monitor. They are essential attributes which can tell customers volumes about a company. From the way an employee dresses and acts to the tidiness of the workplace, how a company is judged is usually from its appearance. The visual aspect is a large part of a company’s culture as well as its structure.
Behavior rules and boundaries have to be clearly communicated and understood by all in order to solidify a working and positive culture. With most companies adopting a wide variety of staff from various cultures, backgrounds, experiences, sometimes rules are misinterpreted or completely forgotten. Management has to communicate often with their staff to clear up any confusion. A well informed and knowledgeable staff leads to a concrete corporate culture.
Looking at one’s corporate culture also lends itself to analyzing how the customer can be served better. This gap can be filled possibly by remolding the attitudes of the staff or reshaping selection criteria of new hirees or management. Thinking of the ideal and matching that with an honest examination of the current company culture may help fill the gap or tear down the roadblock which impedes progress. All of these ideas relate to how companies approach and deal with customers and the community.
Customers and the community make up the backbone to any company. Without customers or community support, a company would lose money and eventually would have to shut down. Only by making customers happy and developing a positive community image can a company grow and prosper. The corporate culture of a company projects its image every time a transaction is made, whether monetary, charitable, or otherwise. As stated previously, image is everything and everybody is looking, all the time. A shiny image with an impeccable record with the community will sell product and keep customers and clients coming. Moral business practices, selective hiring, detailed training, and a clean appearance are steps leading to success.
The recognition and importance of corporate culture is growing everyday as the effect of several points. The more hands-on management style that many companies are adopting allows employees to make more decisions and act like owners. Many companies allow flexible work schedules and business-casual environments. Also the development of work teams and group activities with a wide cultural base highlight the significance of corporate culture. Organizations may need to change their corporate culture very quickly due to an ever changing industry. It can be done with some careful planning, but some values and beliefs should be non-negotiable. These should be reflected in the company’s mission statement and must stand tall without any bending. Corporate culture is an idea that cannot be easily ignored or dismissed for if a company wishes to be financially successful, have a positive reputation, and be in good standing in the community, companies need to shift their focus to building a solid corporate culture.