While many companies may look similar in their industry or size, they are still different and unique in their culture. Today, how to define the corporate culture ? In what way does it represent a key issue for HR ?
As a strategic point for HR, the corporate culture is nowadays the focus of all attention. Intranet, charters, seminars, many are the approaches of companies to shape it.
Its mission is twofold : to create a sense of belonging among employees and to lead a different method. But the corporate culture, also known as organizational culture, is constantly changing. A few institutional supports alone were not enough to establish a real link between, on the one hand, the general management concerned with maintaining the course and, on the other hand, the daily reality of the employees. This is the challenge for HR, the corporate culture is not just words and events, it is much more than that.
Consistency and motivation : The keywords of the corporate culture
If it is considered very strategic, it is because by conveying its values it makes it possible to activate the motivation levers for employees. Thus, it is not enough to bring together several employees to create a corporate culture. A culture is strong if decisions are coherent and go beyond the simple objective of wealth creation. For Maurice Thévenet, professor at CNAM and Essec, “Corporate culture is a set of shared references in the company, consciously or unconsciously, which have developed throughout its history”.
For the HRD, the mission is on several aspects. On the one hand, it needs the full support of management and on the other hand, it must prove to employees that the company culture is translated into concrete realities on a daily basis. One of the avenues to be explored by the HRD is the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In this sense, it can take action by encouraging employees to spend a day in an association or by setting up a solidarity pay scheme. But corporate culture is also everyone’s story, if the HRD is the internal guarantor, managers must convince their teams to contribute daily to it within the company or outside by conveying a positive image.
Key elements in the development of a strong corporate culture
1. Learn to listen the advices of his employees
As the first concerned, they form the basis of a strong corporate culture and therefore the whole issue. It is a question of listening to them, analysing them and thus understanding what could be put in place to improve them. This first mission aims to be able to retain these best people and increase the involvement rate of these employees.
2. Identify and work on your targets before recruiting
The trap to avoid is to want to please everyone. When recruiting, attracting talent is certainly important, but the difficulty is to be able to attract the right person for the company for his hard skills but also for his values.
3. Bringing your employer brand to life within your organization
Beyond recruitment, the employer brand exists in the company throughout the entire duration of an employee’s experience. In addition, employees are the best ambassadors for a company. Making them representatives of an employer brand will bring visibility to the organization.
The impacts of a strong corporate culture
Corporate culture is a management tool. For HR, the strategy consists in being attentive to employees’ aspirations, promoting the environment and collaborative work. He must develop a “family” spirit around the company. A strong corporate culture is all the more necessary in terms of competitiveness and performance. Common practices and beliefs coordinate employees’ efforts and provide an informal control mechanism. Not to mention lower labour costs, the culture effect will translate into better financial performance.
However, not everything is rosy, and some disadvantages exist. A corporate culture yes, but be careful not to overdo it. Some employees who do not recognize themselves in the values established may feel marginalized and therefore demotivated. The main danger of corporate culture is that it becomes prohibitive. A climate of conservatism in the company can lead in the long run to an obstacle to creation and innovation.