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Who defines corporate culture? by Margaret Kett

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Who defines corporate culture? by Margaret Kett Banner

Corporate culture may be one of the latest buzzwords tripping off management tongues, yet on inspection it appears to be a vague notion that few grasp well. The fact that corporate culture occurs regardless of whether an organisation consciously shapes it or not means it is often used as an indicator of a company’s wellbeing.

Take Netflix, whose culture is based on trust and autonomy. As I write this their revenues are soaring to new heights as they shift into a new business model. This is atypical.

Yet whilst most agree that a positive culture is integral to success, a recent survey by the Workforce Institute at Kronos and WorkplaceTrends has highlighted a wide gap between how employees view and experience workplace culture versus their managers and HR professionals.

According to the survey, many HR experts see themselves as leading corporate culture, with about one-third of HR professionals surveyed in favour of their department setting the culture. Yet only 10% of managers and 3% of employees agree with this.

In contrast, 26% of managers felt that culture was defined by the executive team, and 29% of employees said they were in charge of defining culture. This opinion was particularly prevalent among millennial workers, 40% of whom felt that as employees they define the culture. That left 28% of employees who believe that no one defines workplace culture.

Being treated fairly in a supportive environment is key to boosting the positive elements of company culture. The  survey concluded that the key contributor to negative company culture is a lack of sufficient employees to support goals with disengaged employees, a close second. 

HR and managers agreed that stress and company growth had the most negative impact on culture. Which leads us to something we have always deemed vital - hiring the right people, appropriately staffing, and ensuring managers have the proper management training to help their teams thrive does have the greatest impact on sustaining and developing a healthy corporate culture.

Regardless of who believes they define corporate culture, it is ironic really that we talk about corporate culture as though it was a new way into the corporate psyche when in essence it leads back to the value of finding the right people for the job. It sounds simple but that does not make it easy.

Having said that, being more aware of the impact corporate culture can have should empower all stakeholders to define and mould it in a way that projects a positive culture that benefits everyone.

This article was published on http://daviddumeresque.blogspot.in/


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