Corporate Culture Defined: Why it’s important

Lindsay Shearman —  September 24, 2014 — Leave a comment

While “Corporate Culture” as an idea can often seem nebulous, having your corporate culture defined is far more important to your business and your employees than you might realize.

Darius Mirshahzadeh, President and Co-Founder of Endeavor America Loan Services, said in a recent Forbes article, “Consider your employees your first level of customers.”  In business, the customer is number one. Considering your employees your first level of customer puts a heavy emphasis on why corporate culture is important for your business’ success. Here are a few reasons why creating corporate culture is necessary for finding and keeping talent in today’s job market:

Employees that Want to Stay

corporate culture definedWhen your corporate culture is poorly defined, your odds of making a hire that stays with your company for less than a year are higher. In a study done by the University of Western Ontario, the results showed that, “commitment was greater among employees who thought that the organization considered relationship-oriented… values to be important.”

In other words, employees working for companies with a cultural emphasis on building relationships felt more committed to their companies. If they’re going to spend 40+ hours per week in a place, employees want to know that they fit in.  Having your corporate culture defined keeps employee morale high and increases productivity, which brings us to our next point.

A Productive Company is a Happy Company

Where corporations have a tendency to fall short, culturally speaking, is investing in getting their employees to invest in the company itself.  By creating corporate culture that promotes mutual investment – of the business in its employees and vice-versa – a relationship is established of mutual value. No person, inside or outside of work, wants to disappoint someone they value.

When company culture is defined, the sense of camaraderie is high and draws employees in to caring about their work, which has clear advantages for the corporation itself.  Noting the table from Forbes below from you can clearly see the drastic difference between a company’s financial growth when comparing companies with strong “Performance Enhancing Cultures” and those without:

Average Increase for Twelve Firms with Performance-Enhancing Cultures Average Increase for Twenty Firms without Performance-Enhancing Cultures
Revenue Growth 682% 166%
Employment Growth 282% 36%
Stock Price Growth 901% 74%
Net Income Growth 756% 1%

Invested Employees Garnish a Good Corporate Reputation

You may have heard from us over here at New-Hire about the importance of online reviews, in places like Glassdoor and Indeed, for being competitive in the job market.  Every company is vulnerable to criticism, both from disgruntled former employees and from competition.

However, when employees are invested in their company, they will want to make the company look good across all mediums. They will tell their family and friends how great it is to work there, and when asked, they will definitely write a good review. So, now that you know some of the important ways having a corporate culture defined can benefit you, how do you find your corporate culture?

What’s Your Mission Statement?

Take a look at what your corporation is trying to accomplish, not in terms of what you are literally doing or selling, but rather in terms of what you are putting out there as your corporate values.  Regardless if you are a high-powered private equity firm or a small, mom-and-pop grocery store, the face you present to the public should be congruent with your mission statement, which will help define your corporate culture.

corporate culture defined

Live that Missions Statement

While finding your mission statement can take a bit of creativity, making sure you bring your mission statement to life is basically the corner stone of having a corporate culture.  Find ways to let that mission statement permeate your corporation’s daily function, whether that means being flexible with your employees’ schedules to show that you value work/life balance, or by offering a corporate phone, computer, or car to show you want to make sure they have all the tools they need to be successful.

Finally, Let Your Corporate Culture Be Fluid

It is important to keep certain aspects of your corporate culture staunchly in place, especially as your business grows.  However, as our day to day lives change with technological advancement and changes in our families and goals as employees, it’s important for your corporate culture to have wiggle room for those changes.  Some corporate cultures rely on hard workers and incentivize their employees accordingly to keep them from burning out, but if one of those 70-hour-per-week employees starts a family, their values will more than likely change.

It is important for the corporate culture, defined as it may be, to allow for life changes without making an employee feel as though they have to find a new job because they no longer fit the exact mold as all their coworkers.  As we all know, seasoned employees, more often than not, have value in and of themselves and it won’t help your corporation to have a corporate culture defined so strictly that it doesn’t allow life to happen.

The task ahead of finding your corporate culture may be a challenging one, but take the time to really hash out the details and instill these values into your office.  You’ll find it’s well worth the effort!

Lindsay Shearman


Lindsay previously worked as Staffing Coordinator here at NewHire. She is a graduate of University of Kentucky (C-A-T-S CATS CATS CATS!) and in her free time she enjoys practicing and competing with American Saddlebred horses, watching Firefly over and over again on Netflix, and will enjoy playing Roller Derby.

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