How do you define company culture? Since this is a topic I’m passionate about, I’ve read many descriptions of company culture over the years. One I particularly like appeared recently in Harvard Business Review:
“In practical terms, culture is not an intangible cloud that hangs over a company, but an outcome of the way people behave on multiple dimensions. Better understanding of these behavioral patterns — and how each person experiences them — makes it possible to decide whether to continue them or not.”
Your culture is an outcome of the way your employees behave. This begs the question, “Precisely how are you encouraging your employees to behave?”
What are you using as the guideposts for employees to follow on desired behaviors? We always strongly recommend your core values – after all, your management team invested a good deal of time at some point determining these values to be critical to company success.
The challenge lies in helping employees understand how those abstract values translate into real actions and behaviors in their daily work. It’s your values in action that define your culture – not your values hanging on a plaque on the wall.
About Derek Irvine
The VP of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their organizations. As a renowned speaker and co-author of "The Power of Thanks" and "Winning with a Culture of Recognition," he teaches companies how to use recognition to proactively manage company culture. Derek holds a B.Comm and Masters of Business Studies from the Smurfit Graduate Business School at University College Dublin.