Corporate culture is more than just a buzzword, it encompasses heart and soul of your organization, the vision of your leadership, the key tenets of your business, the passion of your employees and your innovations in your industry. And it’s important to remember that corporate culture is something that’s never stagnant…it’s always evolving. Corporate culture shifts as younger workers with fresh perspectives enter the workplace, but it is also driven by the hard work of your executive leaders and human resources department.
It starts at the top
The way your company leadership treats employees, manages conflict and handles communications all effect the overall feel of your organization. Are you ultra-conservative? Does your office promote teamwork and collaboration? Encourage your leadership to take some time thinking about the true definition of your organization, how you work, and what you expect. Are there areas that you want to change? Processes that need updating? Careful planning and strategy from your human resources department can help you hone current processes to keep you moving in the correct direction.
Employees play a critical part
Today’s younger generations of employees have different workplace expectations than their predecessors. Attitudes are different and workplace preferences have changed. Instead of resisting ideas and concepts that may not have been a part of your organization even only a few years ago, listen to employees and understand what makes them tick. Including employee ideas and inclinations does shift your corporate culture over time, but considering what your talent has to say – within reason – can make for a more successful organization and happier employees.
Mean what you say
Saying that you have a flexible corporate culture or thorough conflict resolution practices is one thing. Delivering on your promises is another. Don’t follow corporate culture trends simply to incorporate what seem to be desired catchphrases and concepts into your operating practices. Stay true to your brand, your leadership styles and your promises to employees when crafting your key messages and honing the processes that drive your corporate culture. Don’t promise something you’re not going to be able to deliver.
Don’t forget to laugh
No matter how serious your industry, it is important to have a little bit of fun in the workplace. Encourage your leadership to truly focus on your employee’s workplace experiences. Because if you can’t attract and retain great people, you don’t have much of anything. And, you may have some “corporate culture experiments” that don’t go well at all, much to the horror of your leadership and maybe to the chagrin of your employees. Remember to be able to laugh at failed experiences, reassure your employees, learn accordingly and continue to work together to build a dynamic workplace that your employees value.
The human resources function in today’s workplace isn’t what it used to be. Processes, tools and technology mean that today’s HR departments have evolved into instruments of change for corporate culture. Human resources used to be viewed only as “hiring, firing and policing employees”, but today’s human resources functions are very different. Today’s HR departments not only handle recruiting and retention, they also foster company culture and help everyone understand the company brand and what the organization represents.
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