Consultants and business development gurus like to talk about nurturing an organic corporate culture that properly reflects values and objectives chosen by the management. However, bridging the gap between theory and practice has often been challenging, and many companies fail to formulate a coherent set of policies that would result in an authentic internal culture.
Here are some reasons why it’s smart to persist on this task and create a strong corporate culture that spans from top to bottom rung of a company:
1. Bringing the team closer together
It is difficult for a group to bond if its members don’t feel they are a part of something larger. That’s why it’s paramount to get them to adopt a mindset they share with their colleagues and the management. Well-defined values and procedures help new employees to fit in, and provide reassurance at times of greatest stress. They also reduce internal competition and distrust, since every worker knows his precise role and the mechanism for career advance is clear.
2. Stimulating free flow of innovative ideas
In many business systems, low-level employees are reduced to execution of routine tasks and their opinions are not taken seriously. As a result, they tend to stay quiet even when they have a good idea that could help the company. The management should try to maintain an open-door policy and reward the workers who display personal initiative, since this will send the message to everyone else that being proactive is a valued trait.
3. Improving workplace conditions
Building a corporate culture in which employees care about their environment can greatly improve the quality many aspects of office life. For example, workers will be more willing to take safety talks seriously and adhere to the rules if they have a deeper connection to the firm. They will also be more diligent to notice and report irregularities of any kind, trusting their superiors to fix the problem in a fair way.
4. Helping to retain key people
Happy employees that have a sense of belonging are less prone to jumping ship at the first opportunity, and may in fact accept less money to stay in the company where they feel welcome. Since it is enormously expensive to find and train new people for key positions, employers should do everything in their power to inspire loyalty among the employees. This is much easier to do for a company that has a clear identity.
5. Strengthening your brand
Ideally, corporate culture should eventually spill over into external communications, providing the brand with the philosophical background that customers can relate to. Every top-notch brand has a back-story, from Coca-Cola to Apple, and that’s why those companies have a large number of lifelong customers. It is much cheaper to build a culture than to pay for premium advertising slots, so this is a viable way of strengthening company image that shouldn’t be ignored.