Corporate Culture


Marc DeLuca

Corporate culture. It’s a buzz phrase that rings through the hallways of every enterprise. But what exactly does it mean to have culture and how much is truly at stake?

By definition, corporate culture is a reflection of the beliefs, values and attitudes of an organization and its employees, and serves as a roadmap of how a company does business. It impacts every facet of the organization from morale and productivity, to the public’s perception of the brand, to business partner relationships—all of which affect bottom line.

Corporate culture is not as simple as “good or bad”. It’s more about “fit” for the industry—the norms and what works, and alignment of a company’s workforce—communicating a culture so that everyone understands it in the same way and share the same vision. The goal of a culture is get everyone rowing in the same direction by creating a sense of belonging, value and empowerment.

No company operates without a culture and every culture’s blueprint is unique to each individual company. Here is an outline of common corporate cultures KBS sees throughout its tenant roster. While some companies fit these to a tee, it is not uncommon for others to harbor components of several:

Entrepreneurial Culture
A company with an entrepreneurial atmosphere makes employees part of the process. It cultivates an open door environment where employees can share ideas and opinions and help drive the company vision forward. This inclusion leads to greater buy in and productivity because employees feel valued and appreciated. Companies with an entrepreneurial culture are often leaders in innovation because it operates like a think tank. Think heavyweights like Google.

Team Culture
A team culture-oriented company operates like a clan or family, focusing on mentoring and nurturing happy employees by giving them autonomy. Flexibility of how professional and personal time is spent promotes wellbeing because employees feel their jobs are more than just a job, but is part of their lifestyle.

Conventional Culture
Conventional cultures are your run of the mill, dress-code, hierarchal management environments. Characterized by a number-focused approach and risk-aversion strategies, conventional cultures have specific processes and rules that allow the organization to operate in a very carefully and predicable manner. Employees have defined roles, follow protocol and uphold policies. Companies in the financial sector often embody the conventional culture spirit.

Performance Cultures
Such cultures encourage high employee involvement, strong communication, supports change and is willing to take risks. Employees are celebrated for their successes and pursue accountability and ownership.

Every culture has its pros and cons and not one is better than another. It all depends on the company’s nature of business, its goals and vision. When those elements are aligned and a healthy culture has been established, organizations are more likely to experience increased performance in many areas, including:

  • Employee retention
  • Heightened reputation
  • Quality products/services
  • Skilled employee base

Corporate culture is more important than ever due to its strong correlation to healthier profit margins. There are literally hundreds of pages of research that point to happy employees being more productive and more involved, and it behooves all organizations to assess their existing cultures to ensure the potential for success is maximized.

 

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Marc DeLuca is the Eastrern Regional President for KBS, overseeing over 8.9 million square feet.