True Corporate Culture – When Nobody Is Watching

True Corporate Culture a giraffe is looking over the fence

What is Your True Corporate Culture?
One way we like to to think of your true corporate culture is what employees do when the CEO is not in the room.  When no one is watching, how do your employees behave?  In many respects, the norms and beliefs that guide their behavior when they are on their own are the basis of a company’s corporate culture.

Corporate Culture Accounts for 40% of the Difference Between High and Low Performance
According to Frances Frei and Anne Morriss at Harvard Business Review, it is organizational culture that “guides discretionary behavior and it picks up where the employee handbook leaves off.”  We agree.  Our organizational alignment research found that cultural factors account for up to 40% of the difference between high and low performing companies.

Some Corporate Culture Examples
For example, what happens when a customer service rep is faced with an extraordinary request? The rep must decide how to respond. A strong company culture will guide possible reactions from one end of the spectrum to the other. A rep inured in Zappo’s culture will most likely have the discretionary power and the will to provide extraordinary customer service.

A rep guided by a less customer-focused culture (my cable provider comes to mind) might ignore the request because it takes too much time and effort to understand the problem or push it on up the ladder for someone else to figure out.

True Corporate Culture at Your Company
In your own organization, think about what happens when an employee encounters a problem on the job. Do they feel comfortable solving it or reporting the situation to a superior?  Or do they hope someone else will notice and become the bearer of bad news?

A corporate culture where everyone feels responsibility for and ownership of the company’s success is one where problems are pointed out early enough to be dealt with before too much damage has been done. A true corporate culture that keeps employees fearful of the consequences of pointing out issues is one where problems go undetected until they grow too large to handle easily.

What happens when an employee comes up with a great idea for improvement? In an open environment, a new idea can be considered and tested by the team. Ideas for doing things better are always welcomed. In more closed or toxic cultures, good ideas may never be aired and many opportunities for improvement lost.

Who is Responsible for Your Corporate Culture?
So your true corporate culture matters. But who is responsible for creating it…

  • is it HR?
  • the CEO?
  • management?
  • the employees themselves?
  • or does it just evolve on its own?

Our research shows that the answer needs to be a fine-tuned combination of the CEO, leadership, HR, and the employees.

First and foremost, leaders should work with employees and senior managers to determine just what kind of organizational culture they want to best execute their business strategy. When it comes to effective corporate cultures, our research showed that highly aligned companies’ employees:

What true corporate culture will help you best achieve your strategic objectives and talent goals in a way that makes sense?

To learn more about how to align your true corporate culture with your business and people strategies, download The 3 Levels of a High Performance Culture

 

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Understanding and conforming to legal compliance was very important to our company. We turned to LSA Global to provide a quality and cost effective way to ensure that we were AB 1825 compliant. Their interactive eLearning program was top-notch. It allowed our managers to learn at their own pace, and on their own time. The program was tailored to include our logo and our internal harassment policies. It was interactive and met all federal and state legal requirements. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company looking for an efficient and effective and top quality way to train their managers to be in compliance.

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I’ve been associated with LSA for the last 8 years and have found them to be an extremely professional, well managed full service training organization. Since working with LSA, I’ve participated in a number of solutions ranging from Performance Management to Assertiveness Training – I’ve found that the quality of the resources is superior. They are well prepared and have definitely done a considerable amount of pre-work in order to customize our culture and business into the total learning experience – making it most beneficial for our employees.

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VP of Human Resources

What a personal and professional pleasure it has been to Partner with LSA. They are truly a strategic partner with Wyse. For more than 5 years, LSA has been engaged in delivering various training and development solutions for Wyse, from custom on-site programs targeting specific core competencies, to working individually with clients to build job skills, and offering invaluable services to me and my team as we continue to build our learning programs. LSA’s representatives do more than sell a product, they offer a full service solution: they understand our business, our strategic initiatives, and the needs of our customers.

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Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.

Farhat Ali
President and Chief Executive Office

Fujitsu

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