A great culture starts with a vision or mission. Both are fundamental to develop the company’s individual corporate culture because these statements guide values within the company – and values are the core elements of each corporate culture. They offer a set of guidelines for your employees on their behaviours, beliefs and mindsets.

You should actively and sustainably take care of your corporate culture to keep it alive because a healthy and good flourishing corporate culture has great influence on employee satisfaction and thus on economic success. Therefore it is wise to check once in a while if there is a gap between culture-as-imagined and culture-as-practiced.

How do we ensure that the desired corporate culture is still alive?

There are 5 steps to check if there is a culture gap and to establish the culture-as-imagined.

  1. Assessment: Identify the current culture. Find out all strengths and weaknesses in order to classify unwanted impacts. Identify sub-cultures.
  2. Determination of the degree of compliance: Analysis of the leading culture based on 8 cultural styles.
  3. Create understanding & Commitment to a target culture: Show how that results turned out and talk openly about strengths and weaknesses
  4. Action Plan: Generate ideas to drive culture forward; prioritisation and development of a concrete implementation plan
  5. Implementation & Evaluation: Implementation of the action plan; measuring the results

To carry out an assessment, to analyse and to nail down your current corporate culture it is helpful to use a scheme while interviewing and talking to your employees. DONE! recommends the following culture framework with 8 important styles.

Learning:                 open, inventive, adventure-seeking

Joy:                             playful, instinctive, cheerful

Meaning:                  sense-driven, idealistic, tolerant

Relationships:       warm, honest, relationship-oriented

Results:                     power driven, target-oriented

Authority:                 brave, decisive, dominant

Order:                        lawful, respectful, cooperative

Security:                   realistic, careful, prepared

Each cultural style has advantages and disadvantages. For example, authority will lead to higher speed of decision-making and faster response to dangers and crises. But too much authority and courageous decisions can lead to increasing political operation, conflicts arise and the working environment and the spirit are threatened.

In addition, a style is decided on the basis of 2 dimensions:

Human interaction

A culture can be highly dependent or highly independent.

  1. Independent: autonomy and individual commitment and competition in the company
  2. Dependent: integration, relationship management, control of group performance, tendency to cooperate

Reaction to change

  1. Stability: consistency, predictability, maintaining the status quo, rules and control structures, striving for efficiency
  2. Flexibility: adaptability, openness to change, innovation, open-mindedness, diversity and long-term orientation

After you have analysed your corporate culture and have found out that you need to adjust it, an action plan is needed. To implement your desired corporate culture you have to drive changes at all levels, including the organisation, processes, leadership, engagement, internal communication, meeting structure, team building, benefits, employer branding, feedback culture, recruiting, onboarding, performance management, job leveling, coaching and offboarding.

If you have any questions to the corporate culture within your company, please contact me (marie@doneberlin.com)