Corporate Culture – How to Define Yours
Your company may not be the right fit for everyone, that’s okay. When you’re hiring and recruiting it is important to be able to clearly define and communicate your organization’s culture. Your culture is a way that your company stands out from others, and it helps explain your way of performing and doing business. It can be a unique challenge to try to define exactly what the culture is within your organization.
Finding out your culture should involve a bigger discussion about all aspects of your company, including defining your corporate strategy mission, vision and values. If you are new to defining culture of your company I recommend that you involve the other leaders within your organization and then have them engage the members of their team in the discussion. The following three questions will help you get started and get the discussion ball rolling when you are sitting down with your teams.
- What is the “why” that drives your organization?
Why does your organization exist? What need does it fulfill for customers? Being able to answer the “why” will serve as a strong foundation for the discussion of defining your company culture. The need that you solve for in the marketplace is the reason for your company’s existence and defines what your organization is trying to accomplish. There is something innately powerful in knowing what the purpose of the organization is and the common goal that everyone in the organization is working towards,
- What are the values of your organization?
What does your company stand for? Values are more than a quote on a wall or website, they need to be what you live and breathe every day. What are the standards or “norms” within your company and how do the company’s short- and long-term goals align with the values of your organization? The values of your organization are connected to the “why” – they explain the principles and way your organization will fulfill its purpose.
- What are the best parts about working here?
Don’t mistake this question for asking for a list of perks, it is pretty well established that perks are not a culture. This question is meant to focus the discussion on what makes employees proud to say that they work for your organization, or what excites them about showing up to work. Do they always feel like their work is appreciated? Is there an environment of positivity in every meeting? The best parts of working for a company will help define how employees feel while they are at work and how the company makes them feel about the work that they contribute.
Answering these three questions won’t give you everything that you need to define and create your culture, but these questions are a good first step in helping guide your organization. Make sure to get as much feedback as reasonably possible when starting to define your organization. Culture isn’t about one person; it is about the company as a whole. Discussing and defining your company’s culture is something that is best accomplished by bringing other people to the table and hearing what they have to say. Because culture is something that you want to exist within the organization as a whole, make sure that you take that global perspective when beginning these discussions.