Company Culture…What’s all the hubbub?

You can’t go anywhere in the business or corporate space without hearing the word “culture”.  Companies boast about their culture and/or employees complain about it.  In my opinion the word culture is far often used and overused without awareness, intention or thought.

Corporate Culture:  A blend of the values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals and myths all companies develop over time ~Entrepreneur’s encyclopedia

I agree with this definition and feel the most unfortunate part of it is that many companies don’t intentionally develop it.  Rather it gets developed and passed on from leader to manager to employee without awareness or acknowledgment of the true impact culture has on it’s employees and worse yet, it’s customers.  

I have worked for companies with cultures of workaholism, micromanagement, disrespect for functions other than the services sold, and abusive verbal communication.  And not one of those companies had any of those things in their mission, vision, and values statement.  As a matter of fact, I was not aware if some of these companies even had a values statement.

Could you imagine working for a company who told you in the interview “We work our people 80 hours per week and you get to be micromanaged along the way”?  Would you buy from a Apple if they said “We think people who aren’t engineering the latest iProducts are worthless and stupid”?  I imagine your answer would be no to both.

Intentionally creating a Mission/Vision/Values (MVV) statement  is becoming more of a mainstream focus for organizations.  In the past, the exercise of creating an MVV was reserved for the large corporations with an executive team, but that is no longer the case.  Companies of all sizes are interested in actually designing and living their Mission, Vision and Values.  And with the three generations (baby boomers, gen X and millennials) of people in one workplace, companies have to find a way to get everyone on the same page of the same book so there isn’t disengagement and discourse.

In my work with executives and leadership teams, the “creating the right culture” conversation happens every day.  The amazing people I get to work with are truly interested in and investing in creating a culture that intentionally attracts and keeps engaged, committed and connected team members.  These leaders are using language like “team members” instead of “employees”, they are getting input, agreement and consensus so that everyone on the team feels valued and values each other.  As the organization grows and moves forward, everyone is not only sure that they are on a bus taking them where they want to go, but they are sure the bus has like minded people who care about the same things they do.

So what IS all the hubbub about creating the right company culture?  It is about business sustainability, growth.  It is about employee engagement.  And it is ultimately about business and personal fulfillment!

Coaching Exercise:  Identify the gap in what your company culture IS and what you WANT it to be.

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