I was with a group of business owners a few weeks ago and the topic of company culture came up.
As with any discussion of culture, it was an interesting and quite perplexing discussion. Some were curious what culture was all about, and others wanted to understand how to create a good culture at their organizations.
Here’s what culture is, according to Investopedia.com: Corporate culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company's employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires.
Here Are a Few Things I've Learned About Company Culture…
- Culture will build itself based on the leadership team and the types of employees in the organization. If you’ve created a place where people like to be, and hire people that others enjoy being around, you’re much more likely to foster a healthy culture over time.
- Groups of people who are encouraged to help each other out and have each other’s backs will stick together. They’ll also outperform any team that attempts to go it alone – no matter what the task or project is.
- Turnover of good people can be a big problem for some companies. Leaders who work on culture daily, weekly, and monthly are less likely to have people leave, and more likely to have employees train into better opportunities right where they are. Giving an employee an opportunity to take on a new position is fantastic for the individual. It also keeps the “tribal knowledge” within the current organization. It’s a win-win. (Side note: I was recently quoted on this in an article by WorkplaceDynamics. You can check it out here if you’re interested.)
- If someone doesn’t fit the culture, it doesn’t take very long for the entire organization to notice; the balance can be upset in a flash.
- Culture is difficult to measure, but the benefits of a positive culture pays huge dividends. People work together better, are more productive, and have good relationships in and out of the office.
Great cultures are intentional, and they’re not easy to create and maintain. But the value of having a positive culture is invaluable – and it makes work a lot more FUN!
Marty Kaufman is Founder and President of Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., a Southern California-based innovator in IT thinking. He got his start in the world of Big Data as Manager of Information Systems for General Dynamics. He earned his B.S. degree in Computer Information Systems from California Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1985 and started Accent Computer Solutions as a consulting firm in 1987. He has spent his entire career researching and implementing Information Technology strategies and processes to help his clients reduce the cost and risk of IT.