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The Best Methods for Defining Your Corporate Culture

Corporate culture is a driving force in recruiting. Thanks to a vibrant economy and strong job market, packaging executives have tremendous leverage when choosing an employer. If you want to enlist top talent, a strong organizational culture is a must. Here are the strategies successful brands use to generate results.

In a previous article, we talked about how corporate culture can improve your brand. But we never dove into the details of how to go about creating one. And while this may feel like a daunting task, the blueprint is less complex than you might think.

It begins by defining your values and then living them through your everyday words and actions. These are a few tips to get you started.

Design and Own Your Company Culture

Part of implementing a strong corporate culture is defining who you are and what you stand for. Simply put, culture is the beliefs and behaviors that guide how organizations operate. It’s the values, mission, and attitude of a company alongside the atmosphere where it all takes place.

Culture embodies the kind of workplace you want, caliber of people you employ, and the methods used to bring them together.

According to the Harvard Business review, there are several major components that comprise robust corporate cultures. Each of which plays an important, yet distinct role in organizational growth. Some of the most prevalent include:

Vision - a brief mission statement that explains company values and provides context as to how and why they are important. Think of your vision as the overarching theme or compass that guides your daily activities.

Values - the behaviors and mindset that companies hold most dear. Elements often describe how clients are served, fellow employees are treated, and the professional standards that govern both internal and external transactions.

Practices - the roadmap describing how you live out these values on a daily basis. AKA, practicing what you preach.

For example, if you say employees are your greatest asset, how do you prove it? Awards, recognition, bonuses, or other compensation are one way. Instituting a growth and development program to nurture future leaders may be another.  

The point being it’s not enough to say what you believe in - you must demonstrate your commitment through action.

People - not only the most talented but candidates who are the right fit for the company culture as well. Hiring is one of the most important aspects of building company culture. Thus, it pays to be selective as you build your team.

The ironic part of culture is that the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

Take, for instance, recruiting millennials. This segment of the workforce places strong significance on shared culture and community. You should design organizational standards in line with modern expectations. Because doing so encourages these types of candidates to start looking for you.

It's worth noting that, although fun, perks are NOT part of your company culture. Catered lunches, massage sessions, and nap breaks may lure some workers in, but do nothing for the long-term strategy and growth of an organization.  

Find talent whose values closely align with your own first - then throw in the freebies afterward.

Live Your Corporate Culture

If there’s one non-negotiable in corporate culture, it’s that implementing a top-down approach is imperative. No exceptions.

If you want buy-in from all stakeholders, senior leadership must set the tone. From exemplifying the mission and values of the organization to maintaining accountability throughout the chain of command. Executives must walk the walk and talk the talk.

The irony is that many organizations think culture deficiency is an HR issue. Yet, in reality, it all ties back to leadership. Because if management is apathetic, you can bet everyone else will be too.

Setting a precedent in hiring is equally important. While some packaging firms concentrate solely on finding the most qualified candidates, others (wisely) include culture compatibility into their searches.

Because no matter how talented someone is, if they’re not a good fit, you can’t hire them. It only takes one bad apple to spoil the whole bunch.   

The Best Company Cultures Are Dynamic

It’s easy to assume that culture flows in a single direction - from company to employee. But there’s more to the story. What many organizations fail to realize is that culture should align with employees as much as employees align with culture.

Meaning that staff input is one of the most critical factors in cultivating organizational culture. The packaging companies who succeed are those who listen to what employees need and promptly deliver on those requests.

Using internal surveys is a great way to assess your corporate culture.  

Perhaps you’ll find that office politics are hindering productivity. If so, increasing departmental collaboration or promoting honesty may be in order. Or, surveys may indicate that resources are the roadblock to increasing growth. Which might mean it’s time to hire more talent or increase the budget for capital expenditures.

Whatever the case, the important part is to act upon the information you receive.

If employees know their contributions are important, they’re more likely to support company culture and encourage others to do the same. And while you can guide the development of culture, you can’t “force it” on anyone.

Your best option is to define your mission and values, motivate others to believe in them, and keep setting the example day in and day out. Over time, culture will become seamless and part of your company DNA.

Conclusion

While it’s true that pay and benefits will always entice candidates, money only goes so far. Today’s talent yearns to work in supportive environments and have the opportunity to make a difference.

A sense of contribution keeps people engaged, motivated, and productive. Not to mention content to stick around for the long haul. And it all goes back to culture.

Develop a strong vision, values, and practices while you hire the right people to build your brand. Then set the example to show them how it’s done.

Just remember - the current flows in both directions. Ideas from those at the bottom are just as valuable as the ones from the top.

How do you define corporate culture in your workplace? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Together- We Succeed!

Chase & Associates

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