Why Is Company Culture Important To Managers?

It turns out that a company culture really does matter
It turns out that a company culture really does matter
Image Credit: Scott Beale

In the day-to-day activities of a manager, most of us really don’t spend all that much time thinking about our company’s corporate culture. However, it turns out that it really does matter. If your company has a bad corporate culture, then it’s going to have a negative impact on the company’s bottom line results, its reputation, and in the end, recruitment. It sure seems as though managers need to start spending some time using their manager skills to look into how they can improve the company’s culture.

Why Does Corporate Culture Matter?

I’m pretty sure that we’ve all heard about “corporate culture” before, but do any of us have any manager training that has helped us to really understand what it means or how it is defined? Corporate culture describes the way that values and actions create a unique business environment for a company. Studies have shown that firms that have a positive corporate culture have better profits. Likewise, companies that have weak corporate cultures have higher levels of misconduct.

One of the problems that managers are currently facing is that we spend very little time on overseeing our company’s culture. In all honesty, we really should be monitoring this just like we do the risks that our projects are facing. Oversight of the company culture should really be one of our top priorities. Studies have shown that a strong corporate culture can offer the company a powerful source of competitive advantage. In the past, problems that showed up at Uber and Wells Fargo were in part based on problems with their corporate culture.

One of the key points that managers need to realize is that each and every employee in the firm has to buy into the company’s culture. This is why it is very important that how employees are evaluated becomes a part of the culture. Just evaluating results achieved can lead people to making poor short-term decisions that can come back to haunt the company. A much better way to go about doing this is to inform everyone on your team that they are going to be judged based on how their achieve their results, not just the results that they have been able to achieve.

How Can Corporate Culture Be Improved?

A company’s culture can only be measured by talking with its employees. What this means for managers is that you are going to have to take steps to measure the corporate culture that your team is experiencing. Employee polls should be taken at least annually. Additionally, managers should evaluate worker performance and make sure that there is a way for whistleblowers to make reports about things that they discover.

Managers have a key role to play in how team members view the company’s culture. You can take steps to make sure that everyone on your team attends some form of compliance training. You also want to make sure that members of your team feel as though they are being encouraged to speak up when something is wrong. As a manager you want to see polls of your team showing that members feel more and more willing to speak up if they encounter a situation that requires it.

The one thing that a manager does not want to exist within his or her team is a varied view about behaviors that are valued. These views can relate to things that are as simple as how the company chooses to define performance. As a manager, you need to create a common approach to communicating the company’s culture to your team members. This may include doing such things as making a presentation on culture to them. In some cases, tougher performance evaluations will make the members of your team more aware of what the company’s culture is.

What All Of This Means For You

How the members of your team choose to behave while doing team building and when they are at work is at least in part governed by your company’s culture. Managers probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about their company’s culture, but they should.

Corporate culture has to do with all of the various things that go into shaping the unique business environment for a company. A good corporate culture means more profits, a poor corporate culture means a greater potential for misconduct. As managers we really should be spending more time overseeing our company culture and the impact that it has on our team. Additionally we need to make sure that each member of our team buys into the company’s culture. In order to improve your company’s culture, you need to take the time to poll your team members. Managers need to make sure that team members feel free to speak up when they detect that something is wrong. Managers have to create a common approach to communicating the company’s culture to your team members

Company culture can be a difficult thing to define. You can’t touch it and it’s not really written down anywhere. However, it exists and everyone knows about it. As a manager it is your responsibility to make sure that your company’s culture is as good as it can be and that everyone on your team knows about it and has bought into it.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: If you discover that you have a poor company culture, what is the first step that you should take to fix it?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

The way that most work gets done is when we create a team of professionals, tell them what needs to be done, and then send them off to accomplish it. However, that is not always what happens. We’ve all had experiences with teams that we’ve used our manager skills to build that have struggled to accomplish their goals, have fought with each other, and generally have not gotten along very well. We know what failure looks like. What can a manager do in order to boost the chances that a team that he or she is responsible for will be a success?