Human Resources Insights
The Value of a Sound Company Culture
I believe that one of the most valuable components of a good organization is the depth of and value placed on the culture of that organization. Just so you know, I believe that a culture must exemplify every aspect of what the organization stands for and what they value. When you don’t place the proper amount of focus or importance on who you are and what you stand for, you may come across as insincere, uncaring and vague. The perception, these days, is that a cultureless organization appears to be arrogant and has no integrity.
A strong company culture must consist of several very important factors. I think that those factors must involve values that the average person can relate to and that attract individuals who hold those same values themselves.
Here are some cultural values that I find meaningful…
• Support individuality and creativity.
• Emphasize the importance of each individual and support the
• Stand for honesty, truthfulness, accountability and integrity.
• Be receptive to new, unique and original ideas.
• Value every member of the team and encourage longevity and tenure.
• Encourage sound communication efforts and value the principles of open door.
• Give every individual a voice and encourage contributions from all regardless of position.
In order for there to be success with any cultural effort or initiative, the culture must first be exemplified by each and every member of your leadership team. The only way to actual success in your organization is to “walk the talk” and support your culture in all that you do and say. Some organizations can talk a good game, but lack of culture is quickly evident through the way that the management acts and treats their employees.
Individuals in today’s workforce will not be fooled. They know that no culture exists if employees are lied to, treated poorly and not listened to. Those same employees will leave the organization and unfortunately start to spread the word about how poorly they were treated and disrespected. When this happens, it is very difficult or may be impossible to recover from the damage that can happen with gossip, hearsay and poor leadership.
If you want to develop or support a sound culture, you must start from the ground up. You must look at your past mistakes, honestly evaluate where you must improve and then begin a process of recovery and renewal. This will be a long term and arduous process, but it can have significant impact on your reputation and ability to recruit good talent from this point forward into the future. It is my recommendation that you engage a good HR vendor to help you change and revitalize your culture, and do it with direct, honest and ongoing support from the top down. To do otherwise would be an exercise in futility and a waste of resources. Your belief in the importance of a culture emphasizing who you are and what you stand for will determine your success and your legacy for the future and your future generations.