Tips for Defining Your Unique Corporate Culture

Corporate CultureA lot of people and blogs and articles talk about “corporate culture.” Is it just a buzzword, or are people actually living it? I’m not here to tell you to make game rooms and incorporate flexible hours and work-from-home Fridays into your culture, if that’s not what you’re actually about. I am here to tell you the little-known secret about a truly successful corporate culture that keeps your employees happy, engaged, and loving to come to work: sincerity. 

If YOU believe in and truly want a corporate culture built on collaboration and shared objectives, others will, too. If you’re just putting in the latest shiny object, but the spirit of collaboration, authenticity, and respect isn’t there, your employees (and customers!) will know that you don’t actually care about them and where they are going. 

That said, here are my top tips for developing a collaborative and successful corporate culture: 

  1. Know who you are and where you’re going. Have well-thought-out vision and mission statements and share them with your staff.
  1. Remember that your organization’s culture is a reflection of “who you are,” including your values, your focus, and your life’s ultimate objectives—your dreams.
Your organization’s culture is a reflection of who you are, including your values, focus, and your dreams. Click To Tweet
  1. In other words, you can’t build a corporate culture that’s not an extension of your beliefs and your personal desire for how the world views you. In fact, that is a very important point for creating your organization’s culture. Consider how you perceive the world perceives you, the world being your employees, your customers, your banker, your competition, etc.
  1. Ask yourself what you hope the world sees when looking at you. That is the beginning of creating “your org’s culture” and the central “tip.”
  1. The culture grows and is sustained by:
    1. Thoughtful recruiting
    2. Continual reminders and motivational opportunities, including discussing the importance of the company’s culture and revisiting it with the staff, sharing that it “defines who we are.”
    3. And, ultimately, having a clear corporate ultimate objective and knowing that the culture will be the fuel to get you there resulting in everyone achieving their personal dreams.

A caution here is important. You can’t just talk about culture and having a positive and exciting place to work if you don’t actually want it, believe it, and live it. Without sincerity, people can see through you and will know that your discussion of corporate culture is just talk with no action. As a result, people will lose trust in you, if they ever gave it in the first place. Remember, as Simon Sinek says, “A team is not a group of people who work together. A team is a group of people who trust each other.” 

A team is not a group of people who work together. A team is a group of people who trust each another. –Simon Sinek Click To Tweet

What has been your experience with developing a unique and collaborative corporate culture? What tips would you add? Feel free to leave a comment.