Corporate Culture

Throughout the past two years at my job, I’ve been asked many times what made me choose to work there. We joke about it all the time at recruiting events, but the answer truly is “the people”. The people are the driving force behind the culture at a company – they maintain it or they can change it. But before we get into the details, let’s break down what corporate culture is.

“Corporate culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over timefrom the cumulative traits of the people the company hires. A company’s culture will be reflected in its dress code, business hours, office setup, employee benefits, turnover, hiring decisions, treatment of clients, client satisfaction and every other aspect of operations.” – Investopedia

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Now that was pretty business-y (and yes I know that’s not a word), but I think that definition defines it perfectly…because it all goes back to “the people”. Full disclosure – I am lucky enough to work at a company that values culture. I would say on the whole, the firm very much operates under the motto, “culture eats strategy for lunch.” Which is definitely smart on their part, since most Big 4’s are employing the millennial generation and we tend care more about *other* things that go beyond the work we’re doing in the day-to-day. 🙂

I love me some alliteration (today’s letter is “V”), but here are some things I have noticed impact people and in turn, impact corporate culture.

VALUE: Do you feel like just another resource at your job? Like you could be easily replaced? I hope you don’t (and I feel for you if you do), but a company’s people is where their true value is. It’s pretty common logic – when people feel valued at their job, they are more likely to stay. They feel like the work they are doing is providing value/impact/fill-in-the-blank to their company and that makes them want to give it all they got and then some.

VALIDATION: While the workplace can sometimes feel like a competition, I think that validating others can be a complete game changer. It’s not rocket science. Seriously – just tell people they are doing a great job when they are.  A simple, “hey, you’re killing it on that *fill-in-the-blank*”, could change someone’s day. Example for the ladies – you know how you get the warm fuzzies inside when someone compliments your outfit? (Or maybe that’s just me and I am a complete weirdo, but I hope not.) Sometimes, we all just need a simple validation (aka a verbal pat on the back) to motivate us to keep doin’ what we’re doin’ at work.

VISION: One of the greatest qualities I look for in leadership is the ability to cast vision. When I say vision, I mean beyond financial performance (as long as you’re making more money each year, rock on man). I’m talking like a “this is what I want people to think of when they hear my company’s name” kind of vision. That thought people have starts with you. Would people want to work for your company based on the way you speak of them? Do others hear about the opportunities and experiences you’ve had at your company and think “I want to do that!”? If they don’t, what can you do to change that?

I hope these weekly posts are beginning to help YOU navigate the corporate world because let’s be honest, it can be a tricky place to navigate sometimes! I’m about to start year three at my full-time gig and I still find myself learning lessons in the workplace every day. Now to ask you guys – how are you making an impact on your corporate culture?


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