About corporate culture
Missions and lists of values and principles are often published on company websites.
Clients and job seekers are unlikely to be read by them – the idea of the company’s corporate culture is formed as a result of interaction with the company’s employees.
If the service or work in the company met expectations, employees and managers were attentive and friendly, and the working environment is comfortable, the overall impression of the company’s corporate culture will be positive.
If you were rude, provided a poor-quality service, sold a defective product, deceived or refused to help you – you will consider disregard for customers and / or employees as part of the culture of this company.
And it doesn’t matter that a particular employee or a manager spoiled your mood – by his behavior you will judge the corporate culture of the company as a whole.
What makes up corporate culture
Compliance with written and unwritten rules.
With written rules, everything is simple – a standard of desirable / undesirable behavior is described in a regulatory legal or local regulation with an indication of sanctions for non-compliance.
Behavior is formed at the level of a conditioned reflex.
If you do the right thing – well done, if you break it, you may be punished.
Someone is afraid of the penalties provided for by the Labor Code, someone is deterred from rash actions by the Administrative Code and the Criminal Code, someone has a condition for compliance with corporate standards included in the remuneration system.
Unwritten rules operate in the same way, but with a significant difference – standards of behavior and sanctions for non-compliance are not described anywhere – how to behave correctly can only be spied on from the “bearer” of the corporate culture.
Is it acceptable in the company to hang up when the client raises his voice, is it customary to blame colleagues for mistakes – this can only be understood by the usual behavior of experienced colleagues.
Unwritten corporate behaviors are reinforced through natural selection – employees who follow encouraged behaviors work in the company happily ever after, others leave it for various reasons.
Of course, it is the owner of the company that determines the “business-friendly” behavior patterns. which then selects the management, which should broadcast the corporate culture to the company’s employees.
This is in theory.
It is not always worth relying on the fact that your company demonstrates the “correct” unwritten rules and regulations that a new employee will understand and master.
Of course, a positive example – “do as I do”, is extremely effective, but this does not mean that you do not need to work to ensure that experienced employees and newcomers alike understand what behavior in the company is encouraged and what is condemned.
This is why it is worth promulgating corporate “laws” – corporate standards of conduct.
I will demonstrate how this can be done with a few examples.
Example 1. Corporate standards from the first person
Excerpt from the description of corporate standards developed by the consulting company “Sychev and K”.
Corporate behavior patterns are presented in the first person – “I think, I count, I know”, reminiscent of a mantra or speech formulas for auto-training.
Brand Standard 2.
I try to make my work transferable, and the result of my work reproducible in my absence. If this does not happen, then this means that the work is done poorly. Or the work is not finished yet.
In a situation of uncertainty, I make a decision that makes it possible to reproduce the result in my absence.
I expect my colleagues to do the same.
Brand standard 3.
I agree that documents of poor quality (contracts, applications, acts, etc.) should not be signed by me …
I expect my colleagues to share the same view.
Brand standard 4.
I know that any order related to the Client is done “day in day”. If this is not possible, then I must call the Client and inform that they remember him.
I am confident that my colleagues are doing the same.
Brand standard 5.
I know that entering information into the company’s database is done on the day the information is received, and I do not allow delays in entering. I know that a delay in entering information into the database by one day is considered a delay, and by two days – a concealment.
I take every possible step to comply with this standard and expect my colleagues to do the same.
Brand standard 6.
When I work in a team, I understand that – for example – 10:00 = 10:00, not 10:15 or 11:00. I understand that the general agreement organizes not only my time, but also the time of my colleagues, and my violation of the agreement disorganizes not only me, but also my colleagues, who are not to blame for this. In the event of various overlaps, I always call and warn colleagues in advance.
Example 2. Corporate Code – “an employee must …”
Excerpt from the corporate code of the medical center. I tried to count how many times the word “should” was used, but I got lost …
The employee must be able to exercise effective self-control of activities (planning, organization, workflow optimization).
Each Employee must be ready, on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer of the Organization or his immediate supervisor, to take on the duties of another employee or perform a non-standard task in the event of another employee’s illness or other unusual situations.
If an employee transfers the performance of his duties to another employee (including going on vacation), he should make it as easy as possible to complete this task – to plan and confirm all activities in advance and send a list of tasks in writing with due dates.
It is unacceptable to transfer responsibility for an assignment assigned personally to an employee to another in the style: “I said, but he did not.” The employee must independently execute or control the execution of the order and have the result of its implementation. The phrase: “this is not my responsibility” is not welcome. It is unacceptable to use the following phrases: “I called, but did not get through”; “That was before me.”
Questions from Patients / Clients and Colleagues should be answered promptly and to the point. If you do not know the correct answer to any of the questions posed, promise to personally find an answer or a solution and offer to choose methods of feedback on this topic – a phone number and coordinates for continuing communication, etc. Arguments, disputes, reproaches are inadmissible. Help is expected from any of us, and we must try to provide it.
Example 3. “Astrasaica”
The staff of the Internet marketing agency Astra Media Group is engaged in the corporate meme of Astrazaika, in teaching elementary norms of correct corporate behavior.
Neither spells with the words “I try …”, nor the imperative “The employee must”.
An exclusive example, but not original – infographics are often used for educational purposes – for sure you often see them both in kindergarten and on posters dedicated to safety.
Example 4. “Don’t be a pig”
Of course, this is the banter of the IT company.
But the very idea of an emotional description of the desired behavior “by contradiction” is very interesting.
The original source consists of 10 slides, for example I selected only two – in the rest, to describe unwanted behavior, vocabulary is used for official use.
As you can see, there are no restrictions when choosing the form and content for describing the standards of corporate training.
A universal recipe for describing corporate standards of conduct has not been invented – different companies employ different employees, so you should focus on the format of presentation of information from which the greatest effect is expected.
How to Enforce Corporate Standards
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to solve this problem.
There is one – the difficult one – to constantly and consistently get the “right” behavior from employees.
How? Encourage desirable behavior, point out the inadmissibility of behavior that does not correspond to the corporate culture.
At the same time, consistency in this work plays a key role – it is enough for a manager to violate the rules of corporate conduct at least once in order for the employees to understand that they are not necessarily followed.
Is it worth spending time describing corporate standards of conduct – I think so.
This work is definitely worth doing, if only to set benchmarks for new hires.
And you shouldn’t assume that the HR service is responsible for the corporate culture, in particular, for adhering to the standards of corporate behavior – the tool for changing the behavior of tens and hundreds of adults at once has not been invented by mankind.
I wish you all success and luck in working on corporate culture!
Author: Denis Karandashev
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