A good company culture can make or break a business. It is a pretty blanketed statement that not everyone loves going into the office every single day. Some days are better than others and some days are downright exhausting and overwhelming. That being said, the company culture can play a major role in whether or not you tolerate the bad days for the good. Knowing and aligning with your company’s core values, vision and mission statement can be a motivating force to push through some of the tougher assignments. Unfortunately, many companies fail to see how they can contribute to a more positive company culture. For example:

Most companies never define it.The leadership assumes the qualities and core values that drive them personally, must also drive everyone else in the office. Company culture should go beyond the “copy and paste” of mission-vision-values statements post-up on a website. Why do you exist?  Everyone believes in “integrity”, but how you define the execution of that simple word makes a difference. If your culture is not articulated, it cannot exist.

Most employees use a different vernacular.Part of culture is using the same language – consistent repetition of not only “why” we do what we do, but “how” we accomplish it together. What are the key phrases, quotes, colloquialisms or “slang” that outsiders may not understand, but your employees recognize in an instant as the defining “phraseology” of your company?

Most companies do not describe distinction.Characterize your company’s market relevance from the perspective of the customer. This will not only distinguish the culture from the competitors, it also provides a unique perspective that empowers employees to identify with other people external to the organization that may be a fit for your culture.

Most companies don’t plan for the distant horizon.Clearly distinguish the borders of the business, then challenge the employees to break through them. The culture of the business is evolutionary, so it must begin with a small number of cultural core components that will influence a large number of behaviors over a long period of time. As a company grows, so will the culture.

Most companies mistake extras for ethos.Yoga bonding and bring your dog to work day don’t make a company culture. These are perks that make the company a fun place to work. While these activities may “connect” your company to family, societal or even business issues, they do not distinguish the core value that drives the business.

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