Corporate culture is an organizational mindset that is present in every facet of business operation. It is characterized by the level of communication between management and staff. The staff will typically go all-out to meet or go beyond the standard once they are told about the company’s corporate culture. This is most evident in businesses that offer workers the opportunity to share in the rewards of company success, via additional benefits or profit sharing.

Your company’s corporate culture is an intangible asset that you can use to generate a competitive strategic advantage to distinguish it from other firms and to improve performance. It has a significant function in the development of your company’s reputation. A 2004 study proved that culture works together with communication and the relationship companies have with their staff to predict how the outside world views a particular company.

A detailed corporate culture analysis usually calls for profound understanding of the core values of the company. It won’t completely explain the idiosyncrasies of individual units, groups, and workers, but it usually will reveal practices and values that are common among most employees. The overarching objective is to find out how and why things are done in a particular organization.

A company with strong culture has employees who respond to incentives because they are aligned to the values of the organization. On the other hand, the employees of a company with weak culture are usually not aligned with the values of the organization and you can only control their work and behavior through extensive procedures and red tape. Studies have shown that companies promoting strong cultures usually have clear values that give workers a reason to fall in line with the culture.

Your prospective customers’ corporate culture is also important: a lack of understanding and alignment with your clients’ culture could be a key setback to achieving the results that each party wants. You need to know whether the companies you’re doing business with will micromanage your projects, or whether they prefer free thinkers or envelope-pushing talent.

Most culture changes don’t succeed because organizations don’t turn their vision and values into daily behavior. Organizations get over-involved in the activity of training and improvement teams, but see little impact from them due to lack of focus. Your staff needs to know how the company’s vision will be attained, and this “how” is contingent on the values of the organization.

You can change your corporate culture for the better … or you can live with it. Many executives are taking a closer look at the internal mechanism of their businesses – their values, attitudes and main concerns – to see if they can fit into the new American business setting of reengineering, downsizing, acquisitions and a crowd of other pressures causing havoc on the morale of your staff.

One of the big mistakes in this fast changing environment is the theory that corporate culture is consistent and resilient. Jumpstart:HR uses very refined and specific tools that will give you quantitative and qualitative information, which will result in total understanding of your company and its resources and how to use them effectively and successfully.