Company Culture = Core Values in Action

Recognize This! – Defining desired values is useless without making those values real for employees in behavior.

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.

 

Derek Irvine

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.

11 Responses

  1. Valerie Iravani says:

    Hi Derek,

    I am so glad you are educating business people about this subject. It’s one of my beefs, passions, soapboxes, and specialties as well.

    Bring the big bright vision (words) and made employees see how they implement the vision in everyday behavior.

    I can’t attend your seminars, but I’ll be passing along the information to my followers! Good luck.

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  3. […] Like core values and mission statements, EVPs are mere words on a page unless leadership at all levels works to make it a reality through the culture of the organization. […]

  4. […] Like core values and mission statements, EVPs are mere words on a page unless leadership at all levels works to make it a reality through the culture of the organization. […]

  5. […] of my blog know that organization culture is passion of mine – especially how to build a culture of recognition and then proactively manage it. I’ve heard many discount the ability to manage a corporate […]

  6. […] Taking the values off the plaque on the wall and deeply integrating them into the daily work of employees […]

  7. […] Taking the values off the plaque on the wall and deeply integrating them into the daily work of employees […]

  8. […] those cultural attributes is unique to every organization. Think of these attributes as your core values. What are the behaviors and actions you need and expect from every employee in order to achieve […]

  9. […] written repeatedly that your core values do you no good hanging on a plaque on the wall. They deliver little better result if only a few employees live them. Permeating your values […]

  10. […] written repeatedly that your core values do you no good hanging on a plaque on the wall. They deliver little better result if only a few employees live them. Permeating your values […]

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