We May Misunderstand the Company Culture

We May Misunderstand the Company Culture

We aren’t going to start this conversation with the question, “can you describe your company culture?” We certainly don’t go that far without some direction. Now we’re set for the next stage.

Here’s how things generally work: The CEO and senior management set a statement and core values, and HR designs a campaign to brag about them. HR could start offering certain benefits, like free lunch breaks or monthly birthday celebrations.

The question is, are we truly making a difference? Are we confident we’re moving in the right direction as a company? Is the culture we own a good model to follow? We shall find the answer.

Building a Company Culture Should Come from Within

Building and measuring the company culture is everyone’s job. It’s because a top-down approach to business culture is not working for many reasons.

As HBR says, “Corporate culture is everyone’s responsibility,” the number one reason is that COVID-19 has changed the way leaders interact with employees and how colleagues communicate.

Secondly, corporate culture has become important as a result of recent media crises within large corporations. 

To find out why this approach no longer works, we’ll take you through the details:

1. Evolution in workforce expectations.

Today’s workers, especially younger generations, prioritize collaboration, inclusion, and empowerment in their workplaces. The top-down culture may feel overbearing and oppressive and may not live up to these expectations.

2. Need for flexibility.

In today’s business environment, companies need to adapt quickly to changing market conditions, customer needs, and technological developments. A top-down culture can slow decision-making and impede innovation.

3. Diversity and Inclusiveness.

Businesses are becoming more aware of the importance of diversity and inclusion in their workforce. A top-down culture may not promote diversity of thought or offer opportunities for under-represented groups to express themselves.

Businesses must adapt to evolving expectations and embrace a culture of collaboration and inclusion to stay competitive and attract their best talent.

3A: Methods for Measuring Company Culture

Measuring business culture is important to understand how things run in our organization. Once we understand how our culture affects the employee experience, we can make meaningful changes to shape it. Through this three-stage framework, we measure our work culture:

1. Ask

Start with feedback and questions to our people. Ask them how they do the job and how common behaviors affect them. Find out what they think about how the organization communicates, values people, and makes a decision.

2. Analyze

After gathering the data, review the results. What stories do they have? What has been discovered? Which are the common tendencies? What actions are required?

3. Act

When we have answered all these questions, the time has come to act. Speak to employees about our upcoming actions and why we need to take them. Remember to check if the changes we’ve made have made a difference.

Measuring and Improving Company Culture: Tools on the Go

Continually measuring, adjusting, and optimizing the culture is critical. Tracking culture metrics gives us a glimpse of insights about culture and helps us move forward confidently. Here are some tools to help us take it to the next level:

1. Observation and shadowing

We can observe and shadow employees to gain insight into their daily experiences and how the company’s culture influences their work.

2. Employee surveys

Conduct regular surveys to evaluate employee satisfaction, commitment, and opinions about the company’s culture. Polls can be conducted anonymously to encourage honest feedback.

3. Focus groups

Create small groups of employees from different functions or levels to discuss corporate culture. It may provide valuable information on specific questions or areas of improvement.

4. Employee feedback channels

Create channels for employees to offer ongoing feedback, such as suggestion boxes or online platforms. They can provide us with ongoing feedback on which we can follow up.

5. Exit interviews

Conduct interviews with leaving employees to gather input on their experience with the company culture. It can give us insight into areas of improvement and potential retention problems.


There are many examples of company culture we can adopt, or we come up with our own ideas to give a shot. But as managers, we also need to zoom out, refocusing on its effectiveness and how company culture can help our business to strike out.