How Does Corporate Culture Impact Employees?

Corporate culture, while sometimes unknown to the general public, can have major implications over how a business performs. This is especially true with regard to that business’ employees. What exactly is corporate culture, and what are some of the ways it can affect employees? Follow along to learn more.

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Corporate Culture Defined

There is often some haziness attributed to the general understanding many have of corporate culture. Directly defined, it is the general set of values, beliefs, and other elements of culture that an organization utilizes within its work force. As its name suggests, this culture is nearly always defined by the corporate level workers of that organization and then followed by everyone else accordingly.

Concepts of Culture

Human culture can be complex, and as a result, there are nearly limitless numbers of ways in which a company’s culture can manifest. Some of the most common manifestations can be seen in how many companies encourage a culture of broad diversity. This can be facilitated through hiring practices as well as the holding of events to encourage diversity understanding in employees in addition to training applications.

Another common culture pushed by many organizations today is that of heightened production. Perhaps a company wishes to encourage employees to work harder and produce more. Here, the company may setup a rewards system, create a competitive atmosphere via contests, or even place various forms of signage throughout the premise that encourage or give tips on maintaining this more productive behavior.

So, how do these methods actually affect a workforce? The answer to this lies in the overall efficacy of how that culture is communicated to employees and maintained therein. For example, if a company tries to facilitate a culture of enhanced production and competition, as mentioned above, and the incentives are too weak or too few employees are aware of this culture, it is likely to have little impact in the desired fashions. However, if that same company communicates this culture strongly and it is favorable enough to the employees, it will likely affect the employees in a positive way – perhaps by encouraging ways to earn more, gain rewards, and stand out among piers via excellence.

The Best Performers in Real-World Business Today

One can learn even more about corporate culture and its implications on the workforce with a look to some real-world businesses and their utilizations of it. Periodically, Forbes reviews various companies across the business world and publishes the results. One of Forbes most recent reviews here put Netflix, Warby Parker, and Meltwater atop the list of those getting corporate culture right.

Per the publication, Netflix has utilized a culture that allows employees to mostly pick their own hours and they are assessed based on what they do when at work instead of how much time they may spend away. The eye-wear company, Warby Parker, has implemented an entire work environment built around fun, enjoyment, events, and more for their employees. Similarly, Meltwater employs a culture of fun and great respect among its employees, causing great morale, productivity, and loyalty in employees. It’s also notable that the publication mentions Amazon as, on the other end of the spectrum, employing a “bruising” and “toxic” corporate culture due to its few incentives and greater use of simple hire-fire technique to maintain the most productive pool of workers.

Corporate culture is an important component to every organization. When done right, it can assure a company of a powerful and highly productive workforce. Done wrong or otherwise neglected, corporate culture can have the opposite effect, killing employee drive and productivity altogether.