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3 Parameters to Measure Corporate Culture

by Jody Ordioni

You might ask yourselves, why does culture matter? To put it simply, culture is as integral to a company as personality is to a person. A strong and positive culture helps companies to retain top talent and customers. A business thrives on the right culture. Culture has to be durable, useful, and beautiful to be successful.

Good Cultures are Durable

Your company’s culture should have the resilience to withstand any adversity that comes in its way. Durability is the trait that allows one to overcome any wear, damage or pressure. However, durability does not imply that your culture is unchangeable or should become obsolete. Durable stuff can undergo change. But this change does not happen accidentally. Rather, it is through slow evolution or intentional changes. What determines the time frame for change? In a nutshell, as soon as the culture becomes irrelevant.

One of the major threats to good company culture is staff reduction. There is no danger more palpable than job cuts. The goodwill your culture has built flies out of the window as soon as there is even a whisper about downsizing. Lay-offs are a detrimental process in any culture that prides itself on being supportive and building a family. One alternative to evade this harmful step can be to collectively decide to cut back on hours and reduce the pay a little. This will allow the company to weather the financial storm without having to cut ties with anyone.

Good Culture is Useful

When comparing two different buildings- a department store and a hospital- one can easily comprehend that the structure for both would be different. This is mainly because both the buildings serve different purposes. The principle of usefulness stands on this idea only- to create according to the purpose. In buildings, usefulness is determined by function, location, and users. Similarly, a culture should be constructed on the basis of the above-mentioned factors. The culture is created to fit the company, not the other way. The systems employed in the company have to fit in the culture, in a manner that enhances it.

Say your company demands that the employee shift to a new location, then you have to offer them something that makes moving worth it. A creative culture that encourages the work-life balance is extremely helpful and its demand is on the rise. The company culture has to function in the best interest of the employees, otherwise, there is no point to it.

Good Culture holds Beauty

A culture that is beautiful appeases those who work within its boundaries. As the adage goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, thus, what is beautiful for one company might not be the idea of beauty for the other. For one company, order, structure, and ability might be beautiful while another company might revel in spontaneity and the unexpected. If culture is to company what character is to person, then the individual culture needs to be unique.

Beauty is not limited to the surface or physical space. Rather, it has a quality of ‘know it when I see it’. Deeply appealing cultures are necessary because they help to create meaning in one’s work. Sense of belonging is fostered through beautiful culture only. It can be something as vapid as the beautiful scenery outside your window in the office or a strong bond with your colleagues which allows you to ‘belong’. Anything that motivates you in the morning to make it to your desk becomes part of a beautiful culture.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, you only need to ask yourself a couple of questions to measure your company culture. Is it durable enough to withstand various obstacles? Is it useful and designed to serve your employees’ interests? Does the beauty of your culture lie in its meaning and appeal to the employees? If you can honestly answer positively to the aforementioned questions, then your culture is built on strong foundations. It fulfills the three basic tenets of culture building. Vitruvius, in his book De Architectura, lays down the three principles that facilitate good architecture and construction. But the construction need not be of buildings only. You can fulfill these obligations and create the culture befitting your empire.

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