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Two men walk into a bar.
One is wearing a tie-dye t-shirt, has a beard and a wrist full of festival bracelets. The other is in a sharply tailored suit and carrying a briefcase.
The barman serves one a novelty green juice and the other a scotch. Who was served what? It doesn’t take an expert to guess which type of drink is paired more frequently with which person.
It’s clear what they like, what their expectations are and perhaps even what they’re going to want to talk about because of their clearly defined identities.
If your corporate culture was a person, what type of person would they be?
What are their hobbies, interests? Are they an introvert or an extravert? Do they have a huge network of friends or just a few close companions? As anyone will guess from the eerily-on-point adverts that pop up in their browsers, marketers have long caught on to the fact that defining someone’s identity is key to growing a positive business relationship with them.
People buy products, join groups and social spaces because of how it makes them feel about their identity.
If your corporate culture is defined and intentional, you’ll automatically attract the best people for your business, whether that’s to work for you, partner with you or buy your services. If your brand is a little hazy, however, you could risk pulling in people who won’t be a great long-term fit – creating higher turnover!
So how can you define your corporate culture? What works and what doesn’t? Here are a few handy questions that will tell you just what you need to know…
What 5 words would you use to describe your company?
Are you adventurous, established, zany, conservative, innovative, outgoing, approachable or elite? Drill down into what makes your corporate culture different to define your values. Having to whittle down your corporate culture’s broadest elements to a few key words may feel impossible at first, but it’s a good way to sift through all the various parts of your company to find out which aspects are the most important to your specific company! Don’t be afraid to be different. Netflix is a prime example of a company that knows who they are. According to their “real values” list, above all else, they value:
By contrast, supermarket giant Aldi simply lists 3 core values they base all of their decisions on:
So how would you describe yours? It’s up to you! At Prime Appointments, we have decided that the most important qualities to us are honesty; collaboration; flexibility; commitment; innovation; excellence.
These underscore everything that we do and have done for nearly 30 years! What are yours? But corporate culture goes beyond your company’s mission statement – it encompasses all aspects of your business’ day-to-day operations.
Making sure your corporate culture is consistent at all levels of your company is key to making it work for your team. In short…
Take stock of your benefits
How does your corporate culture work on a day-to-day basis? One way to consider this is in your company’s benefit structure. For example, at Prime Appointments, we like to think of ourselves as an active, competitive team! Key to maintaining ourselves at the top of our game is looking after physical health.
As such, our Managing Director decided to subsidize our gym memberships – a radical step for a medium-sized, independent business, but one that marks out our commitment to one of our key values – excellence! Another example is Nestle – a company that prides itself on the quality of its infant formula. To mark out its commitment to helping mothers, it’s offers an extremely generous maternity leave scheme to its individual employees.
Create your space!
Another hands-on way to make your dream corporate culture a reality is in the physical space of your office. What’s on the walls? In the kitchen? In the garden, if you have one? If you’re an eco-friendly company who prides itself on being environmentally friendly, you could consider having some easy-to-maintain house plants throughout your office.
At Prime, our mission revolves around creating growth for our clients through positive talent acquisition, and this is shown in our signature tree – which we have a wooden sculpture of in the middle of our office! This keeps our mission front-of-mind for everyone who works here.
Make your vision a reality
It’s easy to dismiss the term “corporate culture” as a popular buzzword, but the numbers don’t lie – studies show that the most profitable businesses are, interestingly, those that place their focus on purpose are more successful. Specifically, companies with a strong sense of purpose are better at adapting, transforming, innovating and growing, according to research carried out by the Harvard Business Review.
If there’s one trait we’d all like our companies to have in spades in the current climate, it’s the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. As a company that was founded in the recession of the early 90s by two women who were determined to create something different, we are living proof of the power of purpose! That’s why we always hire for cultural fit, focusing on growing a team of people with shared values and goals.
If you’re keen to grow a team that will grow your corporate culture, get in touch with one of our consultants today! We take the time to get to know our clients’ companies and mission inside-out, here at Prime.
With a focus on face-to-face interaction and shared understanding, we provide candidates not just with the right skills, but the right personality fit to ensure your corporate culture thrives.