Four types of Corporate Culture – Which one describes your business
Ask your employees to share what they appreciate most about your company, and they might mention things like the focus on collaboration, dedication to tradition or rewards for an initiative. These descriptions give you insight into your company’s corporate culture.
Corporate culture defines your company’s collective attitude, belief, and behavior. In other words, it describes how your company will achieve its mission and vision. Corporate culture originates with the company’s leadership and affects your company’s goals, relationships, hiring processes, financial status, and long-term success. Identify the dominant corporate culture in your business as you understand how it affects your employees, company and future success.
Well-established companies with tried-but-true operational methods often display a traditional corporate culture. The traditional or conventional corporate culture includes a clear chain of command and defined roles between employees. Leaders give commands and create standardized operating procedures, and employees comply without disagreeing or deviating from the norm.
Effective and efficient, a traditional corporate culture may also be rigid, take few risks and discourage innovation. This type of business focuses mainly on the bottom line and will value customers but not prioritize the customer experience. While employees may be discouraged from thinking outside of the box, the structure provides stability and predictability. Employees and customers know that they will receive the same level of service every day as they interact with a business that implements a traditional corporate culture.
A company that focuses on hiring top talent utilizes the highly skilled or elite corporate culture. The dynamic workforce produces results because each confident, competitive and daring employee specializes in leading the way forward, using innovation and working long hours to achieve results.
Whether they craft jewelry, design presentations or build homes, companies that want to stand out from the competition or grow fast often embrace the highly skilled corporate culture. They serve customers and businesses that want to remain relevant and current. While this trailblazing type of corporate culture can cause the high turnover, employee competitiveness, and low employee morale, it gets results. Many companies that demonstrate the highly skilled corporate culture also offer peer recognition programs that encourage and motivate employees to continue performing at their best.
Innovative or horizontal companies thrive on deviating from the norm. Employees are encouraged to think outside of the box, take risks, collaborate and experiment. Many start-up companies, including those that develop car tech, OTT apps or interactive textbooks, embrace this flexible culture as they explore new products and services that can easily be changed or adapted based on customer feedback or market research.
Companies that embrace innovation also experience a level of risk, lack of direction and low accountability. Experiments may fail, resulting in wasted time and resources. Innovation can provide exceptional benefits, though, from breakthroughs that change the world. Employees also value the open communication, mutual responsibility and the variety of creative talent that maintains momentum as the company moves forward.
With a comrade corporate culture, a company values its employees and their happiness. Typically team-oriented, companies with a comrade corporate culture hire employees based primarily on their fit with the culture, and the employee’s experience or work history is a secondary consideration. The company will then nurture and develop all employees to ensure they find their niche and succeed.
These companies thrive because leaders provide opportunities for feedback and because happier and satisfied employees tend to perform better. This type of company promotes collaboration on all design, video or creative projects and may offer higher pay and numerous perks that reward and recognize employees. Additionally, frequent team outings and encouragement of employee work-life balance supports each employee and allows them to feel pride in and gain a sense of identity from their job. While a comrade corporate culture can be challenging to maintain as a company grows, a single employee or team can cultivate this social culture and ensure it thrives over time.
As you read through this list, do you recognize your company culture? While your company probably exhibits one of these corporate cultures more prominently than the others, you may also experience a mix of several different types.
When you understand your company’s corporate culture, you can assess how well it aligns with your company’s vision and mission. You can then continue to cultivate the current corporate culture if it matches your vision or decides to transform the culture. A total transformation or even small tweaks takes time and requires participation from everyone in the company. However, as you ensure your corporate culture accurately reflects your business’s purpose, you support employee satisfaction and the longevity of your company.