The notion of corporate or organizational culture is on everyone's lips.
And for good reason: corporate culture is said to strengthen cohesion and team spirit, facilitate collaboration between employees, simplify recruitment and even boost performance.
In a context of talent wars, changing work patterns and constant change, organizational culture could therefore be a real panacea for employers.
But what is it exactly? And, above all, how can you create a strong corporate culture for your organization?
Mozzaik lifts the veil on this superpower and reveals 6 key steps to building a strong organizational culture. Read on!
📌 Contents :
- What is corporate culture?
- 6 essential steps to create a strong corporate culture
- Conclusion: moving from concept to reality
What is corporate culture?
Corporate culture is a concept that originated in England and the United States. In the language of Shakespeare, it is referred to as , Organizational, Culture, Company Culture or Corporate Culture.
But what does this mean?
Corporate culture: definition
Experts do not agree on a single definition of corporate culture.
The definition provided by professor, entrepreneur and author Raphaël H. Cohen in the Harvard Business Review seems to us to be both accurate and clear.
He describes organizational culture as ".a set of knowledge, values and behavior that facilitate the functioning of an organization by being shared by most of its members".
In detail, the corporate culture is translated through different elements aligned with the raison d'être of the organization, including
- Values such as transparency, the right to make mistakes, autonomy, benevolence, creativity, innovation, team spirit, perseverance, boldness and respect for hierarchy;
- A common history, the famous "founder myth" for example;
- Rituals such as a weekly lunch with colleagues, a daily "Teams aperitif", the habit of celebrating individual successes or simply greeting each other in the morning;
- Managerial postures such as that of the manager-coach;
- A specific mode of expression and vocabulary, think in particular of the specific language used in the Startups;
- Dress codes, such as the casual jeans and trainers look or the more formal suit and tie combination, to name but a few;
- A working environment, the individual office, the Coworking, the corporate social network, the Digital Workplace or the Open Space with a table football and/or a coffee machine.
Finally, corporate culture can be explicit or implicit, left to itself or carefully studied and nurtured (this will be the subject of our second part).
4 main types of corporate culture
There are no less than 4 main types of organizational culture (and up to 12!):
- The clan culture or collaborative culture, which favors a friendly, even family atmosphere, horizontality, the practice of feedback and team spirit. It is often observed in start-ups and SMEs.
- The creative culture or Ad-hocracy, which encourages innovation and experimentation by giving employees the right to make mistakes and a margin of autonomy. This form of culture is characteristic of disruptive companies in the Tech sector.
- The market or competitive culture, which is primarily concerned with return on investment and winning new market shares. This form of culture values the spirit of competition, individual success, respect for rules and hierarchy. It is widespread in particularly competitive industries.
- The culture of hierarchy or the culture of control, which corresponds to a vertical operation in which procedures and respect for management occupy a predominant place. This type of culture is suitable for large groups that favor security and stability over innovation and dynamism.
Which organizations need to create a strong corporate culture?
From SMEs to large corporations to startups, all organizations need to create a robust and unique corporate culture.
And for good reason, organizational culture performs many essential functions:
- It helps to maintain social peace, cohesion and team spirit among employees. Indeed, it generates links between individuals, federates employees, facilitates interactions and facilitates internal collaboration.
- It is a performance driver, as it creates synergy between members of the organization, brings out the best in each employee and accelerates individual decision-making. According to professor Frances Frei and entrepreneur Anne Morriss, "corporate culture tells us what to do when the CEO is not in the room".
- It contributes to the emergence of an employer branding attractive. Corporate culture promotes a sense of belonging to the organization. It helps build employee loyalty and facilitates recruitment by attracting individuals who share the company's values. In a word, organizational culture is a vector for attracting and retaining talent. Conversely, a toxic corporate culture is one of the primary reasons for resignation.
- It contributes to the consumer brand image. Indeed, consumers are sensitive to the values conveyed and implemented by organizations. Corporate culture thus represents a means of differentiation, particularly in competitive markets.
- Finally, corporate culture is a resilience factor, which is essential in times of crisis or transformation. It provides a reference point for all the stakeholders in the organization and enables them to continue to work together.