Cynical About Positive Corporate Culture? Here Are 5 Ways It Can Transform Your Business


Google was recently ranked Britain’s best place to work — employees raved about its sharing culture and collaborative working.

But in some organisations, C-Suite declarations about cultural change are met with groans — employees don’t experience company values in action and middle-management defaults to outdated ‘carrot and stick’ employee motivation methods.

So if you’re cynical about positive corporate culture, here are five ways it can genuinely transform your business.

  1. The bottom line

Businesses can have an impact that sometimes transcends their aims and objectives — but in simple terms, they’re there to make money.

However, if a progressive company culture helps to make society more equitable, perhaps it doesn’t matter that the motivation isn’t primarily altruistic.

For instance, a recent McKinsey study revealed that conscious inclusion makes ethnically diverse companies 35 per cent more likely to outperform their competitors than non-diverse companies.

So it’s possible to simultaneously make money and change things for the better.

  1. Good governance

Rogue corporate cultures are a breeding ground for poor governance — as proven by many of the prominent business scandals of the 21st Century.

Investigations into the Barclays LIBOR rigging scandal and the BP Deepwater horizon disaster concluded they were caused by internal processes and cultures being at odds with each other.

And although culture requires buy-in at every level of the hierarchy, it’s role-modelled from the top down — meaning it’s crucial that senior management and boards take it seriously.

If you want the type of transparent and effective governance that ensures compliance and delivers results, culture should be on the agenda at every executive meeting.

  1. People-first

Culture is most effective when it works organically from the inside out — companies with a people-first ethos know that if they treat their employees well, great customer service follows.

When staff members feel valued they’re more likely to be loyal and less likely to leave quickly. And firms that offer great working environments, mentoring and the prospect of progression will attract new talent more easily.

This approach might mean the traditional roles of some internal departments change — HR might spend more time educating staff about emotional intelligence and enforcing values-based behaviour at all levels than completing admin tasks.

But in this scenario, human resource software can pick up the slack by taking care of payroll and reports automatically.

  1. Cost of unhappy employees

We’ve covered the benefits of making employees excited about coming to work.

But the flipside is that unhappy workers damage the economy — disengaged employees cost Britain £85 billion per year in lost productivity and only 11 per cent of UK workers are enthusiastic about their jobs.

To stop the rot, Gallup researchers recommend replacing annual performance reviews with constant feedback and fostering stronger work relationships.

So if you want to get the most out of your workers, treating them well makes good business sense in more ways than one.

  1. Hero to host

Traditional command and control cultures create an environment where leaders are constantly expected to know the most effective course of action at every moment.

This means frontline staff members have unrealistic expectations of management’s capabilities and executive decision quality suffers because there’s no input from throughout the ranks.

But a flatter organisational structure allows the collective intelligence of the entire organisation to enhance leadership.

And leaders move from hero to host — staff feel valued because they’re consulted frequently and managers have the load lifted from their shoulders.

These five transformative tips should make you more enthusiastic about corporate culture.

Does your company have a good culture? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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Tuesday, 16 July 2019
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