“I think as a company, if you can get those two things right — having a clear direction on what you are trying to do and bringing in great people who can execute on the stuff — then you can do pretty well.”
– Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook
• Culture is the environment that
surrounds us all the time.
• A workplace culture is the shared
values, belief systems, attitudes
and the set of assumptions that
people in a workplace share.
• This is shaped by individual
upbringing, social and cultural
• In a workplace, however, the
leadership and the strategic
organizational directions and
management influence the
workplace culture to a huge
• Research by Deloitte has
shown that 94% of
executives and 88% of
employees believe a
distinct corporate culture
is important to a
• Deloitte’s survey also
found that 76% of these
employees believed that
a "clearly defined
helped create a positive
A Company’s Culture
Is A Direct Result Of
• the CEO is the one who sets the tone,
for better or worse, for the rest of the
• How the person at the top behaves
and interacts often funnels down
through the rest of the team.
• If organizational leadership has a very
passive-aggressive style of managing,
for example, that passive-aggressive
attitude will permeate throughout
the entire corporate culture.
• Culture impacts everything from performance to how your company is
perceived in the media.
• Organizational culture is hugely important to the success and overall
health of your company, your people, and your customers.
• So it’s helpful to spend time considering why your company’s culture is
the way it is, and why it’s important that it stays that way (or changes).
• A positive workplace culture improves teamwork, raises the morale,
increases productivity and efficiency, and enhances retention of the
workforce. Job satisfaction, collaboration, and work performance are all
• And, most importantly, a positive workplace environment reduces
stress in employees.
1. It defines your
• Peter Ashworth explains that your
organizational culture “defines for you and
for all others, how your organization does
business, how your organization interacts
with one another and how the team
interacts with the outside world,
specifically your customers, employees,
partners, suppliers, media and all other
• In other words, your organizational culture
will reverberate across all aspects of your
business because it represents the way
you do business. It’s simultaneously your
identity and your image, which means it
determines how your people and
customers perceive you.
culture is about living
your company’s core
• Your culture can be a reflection (or a betrayal) of your company’s core values. The ways
in which you conduct business, manage workflow, interact as a team, and treat your
customers all add up to an experience that should represent who you are as an
organization and how you believe a company should be run. In short, your culture is the
sum of your company’s beliefs in action.
• But if your espoused values don’t match your culture, that’s a problem. It could mean
that your “core values” are a list of meaningless buzzwords, and your people know it.
• A strong organizational culture keeps your company’s core values front and center in all
aspects of its day-to-day operations and organizational structure. The value of doing so is
3. Your culture can
into advocates (or critics)
• One of the greatest advantages of
a strong organizational culture is
that it has the power to turn
employees into advocates.
• Your people want more than a
steady paycheck and good
benefits; they want to feel like
what they do matters. And when
your people feel like they matter,
they’re more likely to become
culture advocates—that is, people
who not only contribute to your
organization’s culture, but also
promote it and live it internally
• How do you achieve this? One way
is to recognize good work. A
culture that celebrates individual
and team successes, that gives
credit when credit is due, is a
culture that offers a sense of
accomplishment. And that’s one
way to turn employees into
• Then again, if your company
culture doesn’t do this, you may
be inviting criticism.
4. A Strong
Helps You Keep Your
• Ask any top performer what keeps them at their company and
you’re bound to hear this answer:
• the people. It’s because a workplace culture focused on
people has profound appeal.
• It helps improve engagement, deliver a unique employee
experience, and makes your people feel more connected.
• One way to attract top performers that are natural culture
champions is to hire for cultural fit.
5. A well-
• Writing in Forbes, George Bradt explains further: “People fail in new
jobs because of poor fit, poor delivery or poor adjustment to changes
down the road. Assuming you’ve aligned the organization around the
need for your new employees and acquired them in the right way, your
onboarding program should accommodate their needs (so they can do
real work), assimilate them into the organization (so they fit culturally)
and accelerate their progress (so they can deliver and adjust).”
• Organizational culture also has the potential to act as an aligning force
at your company.
• The culture at your organization is essentially a guiding force for them,
so it’s important that it starts with onboarding.
6. Your culture
company into a team
• A successful organizational culture brings
together the people at your company and
keeps them aligned. When your culture is
clear, different perspectives can gather
behind it with common purpose. The
culture at your organization sets
expectations for how people behave and
work together, and how well they function
as a team.
• In this way, culture can break down the
boundaries between siloed teams, guide
decision-making, and improve workflow
7. Culture impacts
• Paul Barrett sums it up nicely, writing that
“Employee wellbeing strategies have the
potential to bring huge benefits to
employees and employers alike but they
need to be introduced in the right way for
the right reasons, and at the right time.
• To be properly effective they need to be
developed in a holistic way, consistent with
a business culture that is conducive to their
• That means supportive management
behaviours, flexible working options and an
open culture that allows employees a voice
and some say in shaping the working
1. Establish Clear Ethos
And Values For The
• It is important to have a set of clear organizational
core values that are communicated effectively and
discussed with the employees so that they feel part
• It is the commitment that an organization or a
company makes to certain policies and actions, such
as "going green" or "social change". It is not enough
to state this in the mission statement, brand story
or in marketing and promotional material.
• It is crucial that demonstrable actions are taken
regularly so that the employees feel an individual
and personal responsibility towards these values.
• This will ensure that they can evaluate their own
attitudes towards these positive core values, and
take pride in them.
• Positive attitudes and positive actions make for a
positive workplace culture.
2. Foster Collaboration And
• Leadership and management style that encourages teamwork,
open and honest communication is vital to creating a positive
feeling in the workplace.
• Open and honest communication also means that regular audits
are taken to evaluate how people are interacting with each other,
feedback is welcomed and taken on board, and opportunities for
social interaction are enabled.
• These can include coffee mornings, team getaways and family
• This gives an opportunity for team members to nurture and foster
connections outside of work.
• Continued learning opportunities enabling team members to
assess their inherent unconscious and implicit biases that can
impact their interactions with other employees are crucial.
• Also, strict no tolerance open door policies and complaint
procedure for workplace bullying is crucial for creating a positive
3. Create An
• A positive workplace is one where all the employees are valued,
supported and nurtured irrespective of gender, sexual orientation or
• All employees should have equal opportunities to progress and equal
access to all the perks and rewards on offer.
• An inclusive workplace is one that values individual differences in the
workforce and makes them feel welcome and accepted. Include signage
that supports inclusivity, is clear and positive.
• Language can create confusion and miscommunication. Careful use of
language that reinforces the gender-conscious and inclusive ethos, such
as that emphasizing the function of space rather than the gender
identity of users is important.
4. Create Clear
• The survey by Deloitte showed that 83% of executives and 84% of employees rank
having engaged and motivated employees as the top factor that substantially
contributes to a company’s success.
• Motivated and engaged employees can be created if they are treated equally and
have clear goals that they can work towards.
• Having a transparent policy for progression and promotion offers the staff an
opportunity to measure their performance.
• Measurable performance indicators will mean that there would be healthy
competition, but this kind of honest policy statement would help avoid negative
feelings and resentment amongst the team members towards each other.
• When goals are positively reinforced, and achievements are recognized and
celebrated, it leads to employees feeling valued which in turn creates a positive
feeling in the workplace.
HR Roles in
• And while corporate culture is
influenced by organization
members, HR plays a pivotal
role in setting a company’s
• An employee’s first point of
contact when brought onboard
is often the HR department.
• As a business function, HR
shapes and reinforces how
employees define corporate
culture. The role HR plays in
defining a company’s culture
can have an effect on its long-
term business success.
• Deploy engagement and feedback tools
• Employees use HR to voice concerns and
• Leaders employ HR to issue directives and
• And HR connects through strategic
assessments to effectively engage with team
• Clarify the company’s mission statement and
• Consistent collaborative feedback conveys
corporate culture and better aligns
conversations between organization
• Different demographics and cultures must work together to
achieve long-term business success.
• HR must take a prominent role in providing positive leadership.
• A mentorship program promotes team spirit, ensuring current
values resonate with all generations and demographics.
• The attraction and retention of top
• Shaping corporate culture so potential
candidates are culturally a good fit for
• HR shapes corporate culture through
the literature it publishes.
• Advocacy starts with publications that
include job descriptions, performance
appraisals, and employee development
• These publications give potential
candidates a glimpse into a company’s
structure and workplace culture.
• Current values are emphasized through
these publications and allow the HR
department to serve as culture
champions for an organization.
• Technological innovation, globalization, and information access are some
examples of changes occurring across the business landscape.
• These changes occur rapidly and can have a dizzying effect on a
workplace’s culture, particularly if these initiatives are not delivered in a
• Businesses with the ability to respond to these rapid changes are better
poised to become global leaders in their marketplace.
• HR’s responsibility as change agents is to ensure that such changes do
not negatively impact workplace culture.
• company culture must be a significant focus.
• Company culture can be a defining point for an
• It is a deliverable that garners interest from
prospective candidates and top talent.
It is impossible to
manufacture or change
• HR plays a key role in driving the culture of
• HR can ensure the company understands
employee concerns and act on them by
conducting an ongoing feedback loop via
engagement surveys or focus groups to give
employees the chance to voice their
• Once this feedback is collected, HR can help
to ensure unity across the leadership team,
coaching those at the top and making them
aware of negative behaviors and how these
impact the company as a whole.
• In addition to encouraging leaders to drive
the necessary changes, it is also HR’s
responsibility to impact culture by working
to remove those who are poor leaders and
bringing in people who align with the
company’s current or desired culture.
• As culture continues to be a key determining
factor in a company’s ability to attract new
talent and retain its current employees, HR
departments are under increasing pressure
to manage and foster their company’s
• While HR might not always have the power
to change the culture outright, it does have
the ability to influence leadership to steer
the culture in the right direction and nurture
an environment where employees enjoy
coming to work and performing their jobs.
• These are just a smattering of reasons why
organizational culture is important, but they’re a good
starting point to get you thinking about what your
own organization brings to the table.
• What’s important at your company might be totally
different depending on the situation.
• HR plays a fundamental role in emphasizing company
culture both internally and externally.
• An HR department that empowers workplace culture
will drive organizational excellence and success.
• By playing its role as a culture champion, change
agent, and business advocate, HR can shape
processes, increase employee contribution, and
enrich an organization’s value.