Corporate Culture: Five Common Determinants

  • Personal Beliefs of Corporate Workers
  • Internal Strategy
  • Current, External Cultures and Norms
  • Specific Corporate Goals
  • Employee Turnover/Retention Rates

Corporate culture is a key determiner for how a company ultimately succeeds or fails. But what then actually determines how a company’s culture itself is shaped and maintained? The determinants that shape corporate culture today are many, but the following are some of the most commonly seen and are as impactful as any others one might imagine.

1. Personal Beliefs of Corporate Workers

Simply put, the personal beliefs of corporate-level employees are rarely in conflict with the culture their corresponding companies exhibit. Whether these be beliefs along the lines of religion, politics, or even foreign affairs and human rights, they will largely be seen also in effect within the company culture. These various stances, however, are not always fixed, and can subsequently be adjusted in any number of ways with changing times and the evolution and sway of opinions.

2. Internal Strategy

Internal strategy is as impactful a determiner of culture as virtually any other. In some cases, finances my be the driving, strategic force in the shaping of certain elements of culture. In other cases, the driving strategy may be one of greater safety-mindedness, perhaps due to past safety issues plaguing the company. Often, there is not just one area of internal strategy at play in a company’s current environment but rather multiple – correlated and non-correlated.

3. Current, External Cultures and Norms

Few companies can survive going completely against the current norms, beliefs, and cultures in their external customer base. For this reason, most corporate culture today will be assured to go with, as opposed to against, the current cultural atmosphere in general. Diversity and acceptance of others is, for example, a pinnacle belief in society and culture right now, and so too will these very elements be aligned with in most companies’ ideals as a result. To that point, a culture of inclusion is one of the top ten recommendations given by Forbes Business Coaches Council on highly effective corporate cultures right now.

4. Specific Corporate Goals

Aside from matters such as broad strategy and upper management’s personal sentiments and beliefs, some companies choose to pursue some very specific goals via their chosen style of corporate culture. Perhaps, a company’s management team has decided it wants to become one of the top companies known for its culture in all of the business world. Other companies still may desire to reach other, specific goals such as drawing employees and talent from rival, competing companies; fostering work systems and attitudes that ultimately reduce wear and tear on company machinery; or even fostering a more beautiful or appealing work campus.

5. Employee Turnover/Retention Rates

It’s fairly common knowledge that high turnover rates in a company’s workforce can lead to catastrophic consequences, and as such, many companies curtail elements of their overall culture so as to abate turnover and bolster ultimate retention rates. So, what are some good ways to maintain a healthy workforce via a company’s culture? By simply aligning with certain core principles, such as those laid out by the US Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, an organization can avoid the hazards of an unhappy workforce and reap the benefits of an enthused and loyal pool of workers.

Corporate culture can have a reaching effect on the ultimate success of a company. Factors like those mentioned above then play a determining role in what kind of culture is realized in a company. These are the basics of corporate culture and some of the common determinants of it today.