A corporate culture is the experience of the company's common values


Corporate culture can easily be mixed with the values formulated with fine words on the company's wall and web. The corporate culture is a, sometimes subtle, sometimes strong, feeling that occurs in the meeting with and at the company. Values are the essence of the company's idea and core. It is only when they are present in all the different events of the company, in decisions, behaviors and in communication, that they can be experienced and lay the foundation for a strong corporate culture. When employees and customers have the same feeling and image of the company and the experience of belonging is common regardless of whether you are an employee, customer or supplier. Then you have succeeded in your valuation work, the company culture is in place and everyone can make the same demands and have the same expectations of the company.

Working with your corporate culture

Study after study shows that companies with a clear value base and strong corporate culture achieve higher results than companies that see it as something fluffy, difficult and unachievable and thus choose not to focus and energy on this issue.

I think we can all agree that it is not easy to push through that everyone in the organization should have the same values and sense of what our values stand for. And the bigger the organization, the greater the challenge of getting everyone into the corporate culture.

How do you do it in concrete terms?

All activities and processes that are recurring in the company are cultural-building, and there must be forums for cross-border discussions about behaviors and values.
To work as a leader with the implementation of culture and the work with value words in the organization and to ensure that it does not just become a painting on the wall, the first question is to ask:

How many people keep track of and live by their values in their team?

By creating workshops when implementing a core of values as part of the corporate culture is quite common. Many people enlist the help of consultants to lead the work but if we do not have access to consultants, what do we do?
Of course, you can work with your company culture together with your own team.
The first thing you need to review is whether your value words are loaded with vivid clarifications and descriptions.
Otherwise, you should produce these together in the working group. What do these stand for in your team?

Ask questions like:

What does the word mean to you?

What do you think we as a team should think about in order to live the word, internally against each other but also externally towards our customers and suppliers?

What are we going to change? Stop it? Start with?

Is what you say in the values also what you do? 

For a good corporate culture, you do exercises in smaller groups and report in the larger group and then decide together.
It is one thing to have a workshop to create participation and commitment, but what do you do to ensure that it does not become a short-term sugar that then runs into the sand?

The next important parameter is how both teams and individuals live the values of everyday life. Is there something you're talking about on an ongoing basis?
Do you follow up on how you together- and each of them – live up to your values in corporate culture?
It is important that you as a leader work with each individual in developing with the support of the values. Do individuals have a plan for how they develop based on values?

If you can answer YES to all these questions, you have come a long way and probably have a stronger and more entrenched CULTURE than most.
If you feel that you need support in working further with your company culture and the values of everyday life, here is some advice.

The big challenge is to bring down the values to each employee. Everyone is different and should be so few, therefore it is important to sit with everyone and discuss the issue.

Examples from us at Rolf

Here you can see our values on Rolf. We have chosen to break these down into sentences so that it does not get too fluffy, which it can be.

Then, when we are going to turn this into what it means for everyone, we need to set up an individual development plan.
What we need to do is take the value word one step further and transform, discuss and evaluate where the individual stands today and from that set a reasonable development goal.
Of course we have to write down what we are discussing. The important thing here is that both have access to the documentation, which means that we have shared responsibility.

Once we get to the present situation and goals, we need to decide what to do to get there. Then we need to set clear activities.

Activities must not be fluff, but it should be concretely linked to what the individual should actually do in their everyday life to move slowly in the direction we have agreed.

Remember that:

A good corporate culture takes time to set and we have to do the job together. It doesn't matter how good we are at sitting around talking about culture and development if we don't work on it in between. 

Therefore, it is important that you create the conditions for your employees to reflect on how they work with their activities and that you together make a development plan and that you as a leader give continuous feedback.

You need to strengthen good behavior and give feedback on what needs to be developed in your corporate culture. Pretty obvious.
That you as a leader should live values and set the good example. Perhaps we do not need to point that out 😉

Good luck with your company culture and values work. 

Do you want support for this process or have more advice and tips.
Do not hesitate to contact us at Rolf!