As a CEO, you have no shortage of concerns for your organization. One topic that likely stands tall on your priority list is improving your corporate culture. After all, corporate culture is that very real—and very powerful—intangible that has the ability to separate the great from the good. Whether you are in Cincinnati or in a boardroom far across America, improving your company’s culture should be on your short list.
The culture of a business is the value system created by the attitudes and behaviors that are universally accepted by the company’s employees. In some companies, the corporate culture is written down and widely communicated. But in most, it’s a word-of-mouth concept that needs reinforcement from the CEO and other members of the leadership team.
Let’s take a closer look at what goes into corporate culture.
Corporate culture isn’t a fad or a slogan. It’s a message that starts with the founder or CEO and is communicated—and ideally re-communicated at every opportunity—throughout the organization. For it to exist, it needs to be known, accepted and adhered to by every employee. Furthermore, it has to be shared with every applicant, so you attract more people who share your values. And finally, it should be part of your messaging with customers as a point of differentiation and reason to do business with you.
While the words that express corporate culture are important, even more critical are the actions of the senior leadership team. For example, if the words “spartan attitude” are part of the written corporate culture, don’t let senior leaders lavish themselves with perks. Because if you do, employees won’t believe in your culture…or live it.
A strong corporate culture is a competitive weapon in an increasingly crowded marketplace. While your mission is the essence of who you want to be, and your vision is where you are going, your corporate culture is different. It’s the very fabric of your being, the ideals that define how you behave, how you treat others and what matters most. Ideally, your culture is who your people really are.
At Barr Corporate Success we’ve seen many different cultures up close. Some are great, some okay and some non-existent. And we’ve helped many companies develop, strengthen and communicate their culture. If you are a CEO who is ready to make improving your corporate culture a priority, give us a call.