Company Culture: Deal Maker or Deal Breaker?

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company-culture-deal-maker-deal-breakerWhat is corporate culture, really? The term brings many different things to mind:  attitude, work ethic, fun, employee retention, teamwork, turnover, benefits, and on and on. According to, corporate culture is defined as:

“The shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that characterize members of an organization and define its nature. Corporate culture is rooted in an organization’s goals, strategies, structure, and approaches to labor, customers, investors, and the greater community. As such, it is an essential component in any business’s ultimate success or failure.”

Corporate culture is an intangible that can make the difference between being an employer of choice and being passed over by top talent.  If someone asked you to describe your corporate culture, what would you say? Would you know where to start, or have you even considered it?  Are you too far removed from your employees to know?

Culture truly is at the root of what makes an organization, and whether or not a company will be successful in the long run. Here are some questions that may help shed some light:

  1. If your employees were being honest with themselves, is your organization a place they are excited to come 5 days a week? If it is not, ask them to give their biggest grievance.
  2. What are the standards your organization holds to on how employees treat each other? What are your customer service standards? (Side note: your employees will tend to treat your clients the way you treat your employees.)
  3. What is your organization’s vision/mission statement, and have your employees bought into that mission? In essence, is everyone in the boat and rowing in the same direction or are some people poking holes in the bottom, rowing in the opposite direction, or trying to turn the boat right and left, or still standing on the dock?
  4. How do your employees know you support them?

Once you have made an honest assessment your corporate culture, what are some of the tangible things you can do as an employer to positively influence the intangibles that make up your corporate culture?

  1. Benefits – What kind of benefits do you offer your employees? Do they have a robust medical plan, short term disability to ease their mind in case of possible injury, a safety plan, training for employees and managers, a 401(k) retirement plan, etc.? Benefits and perks can come in many forms, from medical plans to Paid Time Off (PTO) to holiday parties and company picnics, and often are the starting point for creating a culture where employees feel valued.
  2. Clear Mission Statement – A company that has a clear mission statement has a strong foundation on which to build its corporate culture, as everyone in the boat knows which direction to row. It also allows prospective employees to more easily determine if they want to be a part of the team.
  3. Job Descriptions – When employees do not have clearly defined responsibilities, a culture of confusion and resentment can build.  It also holds your team back from working together and impacts communication, often leaving tasks unfinished and clients’ needs unattended. Although this might seem basic, many companies are lacking in this area.
  4. Community Service – A team that serves together generally has a greater sense of purpose and a greater desire to help team members.

If you are looking to give your corporate culture an overhaul, but may be lacking the resources to add benefits or review your job descriptions, consider enlisting the help of an HR Outsourcing company. At Staff One, our vision is to help companies build their people advantage so they become “Best companies to work for.” Our clients are able to build this type of culture by using our services to provide those Fortune 500 benefits they may not have otherwise been able to provide. Partnering with an HR outsourcing provider allows you to build some of those tangible stepping stones without carrying the liability.

If you are interested in learning more about how we work with our clients to improve their corporate/company culture, call us at 1.800.771.7823, or contact the author directly