Making Company
Culture Stick

Most of us would agree that a “strong culture” is an important component of business success and employee attraction and retention. Research continues to show that people of all generations pay attention to “culture” when making decisions about joining, staying, or going. Unfortunately, when asked many employees also indicate that culture seems to continue to get lip service at their company and is seldom something that gets more attention than a poster on a wall or a slogan in a manual or handbook.

Interestingly, when you ask them to give an example of how they personally support their company’s culture in their day-to-day job, most have a hard time doing so. We have found that there are steps and techniques that companies can take to bridge this gap.

Organizational Culture can be defined as the underlying beliefs, assumptions, values, and ways of interacting that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization. In other words, how things get done around here.


Common Approaches to create a company culture
  • Clever slogans
  • Colorful posters in all conference rooms
  • Ornate depictions in lobbies and common waiting areas
  • Sections reserved in employee, handbooks, training and policy manuals
  • Mentioned in annual reports
  • Prominently displayed (but seldom discussed) in town halls and other all employee events
  • Not necessarily viewed as a “competitive advantage” or discussed how the customer fits in
  • May not be something the typical employee feels is important to them
People sitting and talkingin a group

Here’s some ideas to try instead
  • Frequent sharing of examples of “Our Culture in Action” in team meetings
  • Boil key culture attributes down to simple, behavioral terms
  • Include a discussion on Culture (Vision, Values, etc.) in onboarding processes
  • Include culture as part of your goal setting and performance feedback discussions
  • Assure that Senior Executives regularly conduct Q&As focusing on culture and its role in the company’s success
  • Include culture in company’s sales and marketing materials and why it is an important part of the value proposition
  • Begin all employee meetings, town halls, and celebrations with a “Culture Moment” where a practical example of the “Culture in Action” is shared
  • Consider an Annual Culture Award
  • Keep your culture goals fresh and aligned with your evolving business strategy

Gerald Gibson BA

Human Capital Advisor

Gerry has held senior level roles with board involvement and global accountability for leading, coaching and developing Talent, Change Management and Organizational Development Teams to assess, plan, design, develop and implement global Transformational Management Strategies. His focus has been geared to helping companies build organization capabilities, create change champions, cultivate the talent pipeline, and grow employee engagement and future Talent Management Leaders and SME’s.

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