You may have heard a lot about the need to build corporate culture in your organization. You may have even looked up some tips on how to do so. But just what is corporate culture? What defines it, and why is it so necessary for organizations to put an emphasis on it?
If you’ve ever found yourself asking these questions, you’re not alone. A recent Harvard Business Review article, The Leader’s Guide to Corporate Culture, mentioned that many executives are confounded by the idea of corporate culture, because a lot of what makes up corporate culture is anchored in the unspoken behaviours, certain mindsets, and social patterns of the individuals that make up the organization.
However, when properly managed, a healthy corporate culture can help you to achieve growth within your organization, build resiliency that will help you to thrive in difficult times, and drive positive organizational outcomes. So, even though it’s difficult to define, it’s important to consider how corporate culture can play an integral role in your organization.
In this blog, we’ll talk more about building corporate culture, including why it’s so important to have a positive corporate culture in your organization. Through a case study, we’ll also show you how Workplace from Facebook (Workplace) can give people within your organization a voice, drive engagement, lead to greater resilience, and more.
What is Corporate Culture?
If we’re going to have a conversation around building corporate culture, it’s important to start off with a definition. Of course, this isn’t always easy to do – as mentioned before, the definition of “corporate culture” can not only elude some business owners, but it can also be interpreted in many ways, based on the personal beliefs and biases of the individual. For example, your definition of a “positive work environment” may be vastly different from your colleague’s definition of the same.
One thing’s clear, and Indeed Canada seems to agree, that an organization’s corporate culture is based off of their beliefs, ethics, traditions, vision, behaviours, work environment, and more. Corporate culture determines how employees and management interact with each other in the workplace, and defines the relationships that develop, not only between colleagues, but between company and customer, as well.
Determining corporate culture can be done by examining a number of factors in your organization; from how you structure your business hours, to how your office is set up, to how you make hiring decisions, how much employee turnover you have, your office dress code, how happy your customers are, and others.
Most telling, of course, is your corporate values, vision, and mission statement. These key pieces of your corporate identity can help your organization to outline what you see as your corporate culture, and work to attract prospective employees and clients alike in deciding to work with you.
Why Does Your Organization Need to Build a Positive Corporate Culture?
Corporate culture is a particular buzzword in the hiring community these days. In fact, Greg Besner, Founder and CEO of CultureIQ says that culture is essential to attract and retain future generations. “Today’s top talent has the opportunity to work for any company, in any location, in any industry unlike ever before. Culture is what brings them in and keeps them around,” he says.
So, with that in mind, it’s simple to see that to achieve growth, build resiliency, and drive positive organizational outcomes, it’s important to focus on building a positive and healthy corporate culture.
Experts seem to agree that a positive, healthy corporate culture is achieved when employees feel that they are safe, their opinions are valued, they’re comfortable, and they have been given the opportunity to grow in knowledge and experience.
How Does Workplace from Facebook Help Organizations in Building an Engaging Corporate Culture?
One of the best ways to achieve this positive, healthy corporate culture that you’re looking for is to invest in an internal communications tool that provides a safe space for employees to share their feedback and opinions, more effective and open communication from the top down (and, from the bottom up, too!), and really cements the feelings of community among colleagues.
Workplace from Facebook (Workplace), can do just this. It’s an internal communications tool that can emphasize and amplify your corporate culture, and works especially well with supporting communication, integrating teams, aligning goals, and providing a platform for productivity, regardless of where an employee is geographically located or what device they’re using.
With features like Workplace Chat, Workplace Groups, Live Video, Knowledge Library, and much more, every member of your organization, from C-level to frontline worker, can better communicate, connect, and collaborate, creating a warm and welcoming environment for both new employees and seasoned veterans alike.
Workplace also provides a safe space to talk about diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, recognize those employees who go above and beyond, motivate those employees who work remotely, and connect with one another to create lasting work friendships (which, by the way, can increase productivity & overall job satisfaction).
Building Corporate Culture with Workplace from Facebook: A Case Study
Organization: Farmers Insurance
Number of Employees: 20,000+
Chief Human Resources Officer: Suzie Elliott
“You’ve got to make it worthwhile for your employees to get out of bed in the morning,” says Farmers Insurance’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Suzie Elliott. “They want to collaborate with other people. To be part of a community. Being connected helps you break down those barriers and open up conversations.”
Conversations are the building blocks to creating Farmers’ corporate culture. Prior to Suzie’s appointment to CHRO, the corporate tone was far more formal. People waited for top-down messaging to land in their inboxes before being able to start conversations. But Suzie is very clear in her thoughts on the subject, “I’ve believed for a long time that HR doesn’t own culture,” she says. “Our employees create our culture every single day that they walk through our doors. You’ve got to find a mix between connecting people to the bigger picture and then giving them the space to translate that for their world. You’ve got to give your people some freedom to make it work for them.”
When determining how to build corporate culture, Workplace from Facebook “set the tone” for the conversations that were taking place. “With Workplace, it’s our people that create the messages. They start the conversations, they drive where they want it to go. That makes it far more interactive and engaging,” says Suzie.
One of the most significant impacts of allowing employees to have the freedom to create these conversations and post what they want to on Workplace is that it’s shifted the dynamic of power within the organization. “The biggest change with Workplace is the flow of information,” Suzie explains. “Information is power, and you can use power to exclude people. But Workplace gives everybody the same access to information, regardless of where you sit in the hierarchy, or geography.”
To some, this relinquishing of power may seem ill-advised. After all, many organizations want to control what conversations are happening. However, Farmers Insurance experienced two major benefits to this open communication policy:
First, this has led to increased diversity. “There’s all these ways to interact, ask questions, challenge people, and bring up different ideas,” says Suzie. “You get different perspectives, which lead to better outcomes.”
Second, this has led to increased agility. “The efficiency play is there for us as well,” Suzie continues. “I don’t know anyone who wants to spend more time in meetings or wading through their inbox. Being able to throw something out there, get a reaction, and move, I think that pace is a huge enabler for us on the business results.”
Are there risks with this approach? Of course. But Suzie is confident that it works. “As HR leaders, sometimes we get stuck in the risk and the complexity,” she says. “I say, be a little braver. Push on the organization to think differently. Trust and empower your people. They're the engine; let’s not keep putting spokes in the wheel.”
Read more stories from HR Leaders on how Workplace helps to build corporate culture.
Building a Positive Corporate Culture Starts with the Platform You Choose
As you’ve seen in this blog, positive culture in companies can lead to employee retention and employee satisfaction. So, if you’re ready to take your organization’s corporate culture to new levels, let’s have a chat!
Already Using Workplace?
If you’d like to learn how to take your Workplace platform to new heights so that you can increase corporate culture, we’d love to chat! Give us a shout and we’ll help you create a strategy that will put corporate culture at the centre of your Workplace platform!
Not using Workplace yet?
Want to further explore how Workplace could help you build a positive corporate culture & take your success to the next level? Give us a shout! We’ll help you to brainstorm ideas on how to utilize Workplace to achieve your organization’s goals and objectives. From this brainstorming session, we’ll help you to see a visual blueprint that will show you how your existing technologies and Workplace from Facebook can integrate to help close the gaps between your business goals and objectives and your technology capabilities.