By Terry Thompson and Jason Kipps
In our last article, we wrote about my company’s need to improve corporate culture in order to maximize the long-term potential of our competitive advantage. But what is corporate culture, why is it important, and how do you measure it?
Definition of corporate culture
There are many definitions. The one that makes the most sense to us is “the specific collection of values and norms that are shared by people and groups in an organization and that control the way they interact with each other and with stakeholders (i.e. customers) outside the organization.”
Importance of corporate culture
The above definition essentially means that corporate culture affects the way you and your employees behave towards each other and towards customers and suppliers. Good corporate culture promotes good behaviour and results in highly productive, happy employees with low turnover. It also brings about loyal customers that value the services/products that your company provides – all of which maximize the fun and profits of your organization. Many industrial research studies prove this theory. These studies show that without a doubt, the quality of corporate culture is directly linked to the performance of an organization.
How to measure corporate culture
The best way is to conduct:
- A customer survey and
- An employee survey
Caution: Don’t open a can of worms you are unwilling to close! Do not commit to a survey and to collecting the input of your employees unless you are committed to taking action and doing something with the results. Doing nothing with the results will erode the trust and morale of your employees. Our recommendation is to plan a strategic planning session and to commit to taking action on the results of the survey before initiating it. Leveraging this in your communications and in your invitation to employees to participate in the survey will help get greater levels of participation and more robust data.
There are a number of organizations that can be hired to measure your customer and employee satisfaction. We would be happy to direct you to some industry leaders in this area.
What is an engaged employee? To us, this is someone that:
- Is intellectually and emotionally bound with the organization
- Feels passionately about its goals
- Is committed to live by its values
- Gives 100% and is willing to put in discretionary effort
Our next articles will identify the priority areas that we addressed to build a great corporate culture and in doing so provide further evidence that it is the cornerstone to corporate (and personal) success. Fortunately they are not as complicated as you may think.