Leadership Defines What they Aspire to, Employees Define What Corporate Culture Is
Who You Are and Who You Aspire To Be
The distillation of a culture audit provides the content necessary to create a culture handbook. This guiding document becomes the living content hub that evolves as your corporate cultures evolves. It is both an internal document that should find a prominent home on the company intranet and an external document that should be integrated into an employee recruiting and retention program as well as external communications channels. Customers should know, just like prospective and current employees, what makes your company special, so they choose to be a part of it. The content of your culture handbook will align closely with the themes used to organize the culture audit. The biggest difference will be the format. The culture audit will be an analytical document focused on objectives and metrics while the culture handbook will be more proud promotion of your brand focused on creating a desire to belong to it. In a 2016 interview for the Greymatter podcast, Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix said,
“[a culture handbook] is a bill of rights for employees; here is a set of things that we, the company, want and aspire to operate by, and, if we don’t, you can call us out on it and we will either fic the articulation-because it’s too easy to misunderstand-or live up to what we want to. So, in some ways, its aspirational. By putting it in writing […] it allows all the people in the company to collaborate on it and suggest improvements.”
What's In A Great Culture Handbook?
Tells the world why culture means everything to your company
Defines your daily mission
Defines your mid to long-term vision
Shares the unique and great history of your company
Defines your values
Explains how your employees work
Explains what to expect as a new employee
States your diversity and inclusion policies
Explains how you handle failure
States what a talented employee means to your company
Defines your policy on transparency
Explains the importance of feedback from employees
States your commitment to making a difference in your communities
Get the Word Out
Now that your Culture Handbook is completed it must be distributed internally and externally.
Internal distribution of the Corporate Handbook is typically accomplished a communication systems that requires a company intranet which provides a bi-lateral platform for distribution, collaboration and development of corporate culture. An intranet is cloud based social intranet which is a private, secured online network where employees can create content, communicate, collaborate, manage tasks and events and develop company culture by providing a Communications Hub, Collaboration Facilitator, Knowledge Management and File Sharing Center, Internal Social Network, Employee Engagement and Development and a Scheduling Tool.
External distribution of the Corporate Handbook is typically accomplished through the internet utilizing the company website, social media platforms (SlideShare in addition to the standards) and employee recruiting platforms in addition to traditional media channels.
History is filled with companies who made excellence an imagined order shared as common myth with remarkable company cultures (IBM, GE, Netflix, and W.L Gore all come to mind), but it’s also ripe with companies whose entire businesses fell due to a lack of accountability and ethics in their organizational practice (like Enron, WorldComm, and Arthur Andersen). Company cultures are not about plaques on the wall or posters in the office. They are about setting a clear vision and expectation for the type of people, work, attitude, and output you expect from your team and holding everyone accountable to that standard of an imagined order with a higher purpose. Truly effective company cultures cannot manifest themselves in single person, benefit, or tactic, but rather emulate the values and beliefs upon which a group order can be created and maintained to that make your company truly unique.
Now is the time to maximize the one strategic advantage you have complete control over. Start with a culture audit then create a culture handbook, allocate the necessary resources to implement, monitor and maintain it, and develop the necessary operational systems to provide the communications systems that allow it to thrive.
Let Critical Mission Consulting help you define a culture that drives your growth and success.
Contact us below and we'll audit your corporate culture, create your Culture Handbook, and implement the processes and systems to distribute it, monitor it and manage it.