The key is to divide this analysis into six key elements that will help you to know the current reality that guides the actions and behaviors in your company.
The stories, myths, and narratives that make up your organization are key elements of your corporate culture. They are part of your collective memory and influence the direction of your business, and this could include the story of how the company was founded, how it got to where it is now, and how it has been influenced by key players over the years.
What do your stories say about your corporate values and beliefs? How do they influence the attitudes and behaviors of your employees? What stories do we tell our clients? What about new candidates and recruited employees? Are they all on the same page?
Customs and routines
Another key element of your corporate culture is the customs and routines that your employees follow. This includes behaviors and attitudes that are accepted and expected, and those that are not tolerated.
What do you expect from employees when they come to work? How are your daily routines? Are there examples of negative behaviors that have become "normalized" and accepted over time?
When we talk about symbols we mean any visual image that is associated with your company. This includes obvious examples like the logo and branding but also includes other more subtle elements like the dress code, the office layout, and how you advertise your products or services. Basically, anything that can be seen, heard, or touched in the context of your organization.
How is your company perceived visually? Is the visual image positive? What language and terminology do your employees use with each other and with the outside world? What about your website, what image of your business does it portray? Is it authentic?
Structure of the organization
Organizational structure refers to the roles, responsibilities, and relationships in your organization. According to Johnson and Scholes, when you analyze this element of your business, you should consider both the "written" and the "unwritten."
- Written structures: Your organization chart (flat or hierarchical). Who works where, who reports to whom and who has final decision-making power.
- Unwritten structures: Does any role in your company have more influence than that reflected in your organization chart? Are there political elements at play? What contributions have the most value?
The next thing to look at are your organization's control systems. What processes do you use to manage your financial, quality control, and reward systems? How do you manage good performance and performance? How are underperforming workers motivated? What formal and informal systems are used to monitor and help people in your organization?
Power or command structures
The last element to analyze is how power is distributed in your organization. What chain of command structures have you implemented in your organization chart? How do they influence the basic assumptions of your corporate culture? What fundamental beliefs do your managers have? What about your employees? Is employee empowerment valued and promoted in your company? Do you trust your employees to carry out their duties to the best of their ability? If not, why not?
Characteristics of the corporate culture of a company
We have already talked about the elements that make up the corporate culture of our companies, but in the end, we can summarize them in four points:
- Organization rules.
- Business values.
- Chain of command and type of leadership.
- Relations between teams and workers.
Within these, we define the code of conduct, operating procedures, mission and vision of the company, vertical and horizontal relationships, social dynamics ...
Examples of the corporate culture
Because sometimes the concept of corporate culture can be too abstract, we bring you some of the companies that have best developed them.
Google's corporate culture
The corporate culture of this company has been an example for many years, and it is that its employees have benefits such as food, travel, parties, gyms, areas to disconnect, extra pay ...
But it's not just about extensive flexible pay - it's about how much has changed and been revamped to accommodate the ever-growing workforce. Google teaches us that corporate culture must be alive, evolving to always remain competitive.
The corporate culture of El Corte Inglés
Take a look at the values that El Corte Inglés promotes with its corporate culture:
- The loyalty of its customers, anticipating their needs.
- The professionalism.
- The trust.
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Coca Cola's corporate culture
Since 2020 Coca Cola has placed creating a more sustainable future at the center of its corporate culture, and that is why its vision focuses on achieving its objectives by adapting them to different areas:
- For your teams: May professionals be inspired to bring out the best in them every day
- For your product: Quality and satisfaction of the wishes and needs of consumers.
- For your partners: Develop a network and create a common and lasting value.
- For the planet: Responsibility, make a difference to build and support sustainable communities.
- For the company: Maximize performance to be an efficient and dynamic organization.
Bimbo's corporate culture
Grupo Bimbo prioritizes the physical and emotional well-being of its talent, so it focuses its efforts on carrying out initiatives for them and their families and helping them have a healthy lifestyle through prevention programs.
Apple's corporate culture
Many say that Apple changed the concept of corporate culture, and Steve Jobs said in his day that this change had to be generated from the inside out, starting with the company. Do you want to know what the values of this company are?
- Positive social contribution.
- Individual performance.
- Team spirit.
- Individual reward.
- Good leadership.
How to use the Cultural Web Model
The Cultural Web Model can help you analyze where your organization is now as a business and where you would like your corporate culture to be. It can also help you identify what you need to do to achieve the high-performance culture that every company strives for.
The key to getting the most out of this tool is taking the time to plan and analyze each element of the model.
Be honest with your answers and don't avoid negative comments - each identified weakness is an opportunity for improvement . What you want is to get an authentic assessment of your organizational culture so that you know what areas you need to focus on. Take some time to think about who you are and where you want to be. Next, find a way to align your goals with your business strategy .
Consider the following questions during your analysis:
- What stories are people currently telling about your organization?
- Do customers expect any custom and routine from your company?
- What symbols do people associate with your organization?
- Is your organizational structure formal or informal? Flat or hierarchical?
- Are employees rewarded for good work or are they penalized for poor performance?
- Who makes or influences the decisions? How is this power used or abused?
Strategy creation from the Cultural Web Model
Once you have done a complete analysis of your corporate culture, you are ready to create a strategy that will get you where you want to be. The deeper your analysis, the better equipped you will be to generate real and positive change in your organization. Your ultimate goal is to come up with a roadmap to move the company forward and foster the attitudes and behaviors you want to see.
During this stage of implementation of the Cultural Web Model, it is important to involve all areas of your organization. Make sure all your employees understand what they are doing and why they are doing it. Communicate well the objectives and values of the company and departments, and make these objectives measurable. It is also very important to communicate well the benefits of working on the corporate culture and to hold regular feedback sessions so that employees feel involved in the process! It promotes a culture of responsibility, rewards good work, and helps low performers.
Lastly, create a clear timeline for implementing the changes and be realistic about the timelines. Evaluating and improving your corporate culture takes time and this should be reflected in your strategy, which will consist of reshaping values, beliefs, and behaviors, and this requires a lot of patience. Support and guide your employees to help them get where you want them to go.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Cultural Web Model
Although the Cultural Web Model is a great tool, it is not perfect. Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of this organizational management approach:
- The Cultural Web Model approach provides a comprehensive assessment of corporate culture
- It can help you identify what your strengths and weaknesses are as a company, so you know what areas you need to work on.
- It can help you understand which direction your business needs to take to get where you want it to be.
- It can be the bridge to developing a plan for positive change.
- It can allow you to define a clear strategy for moving forward.
- The process can be time-consuming and requires organization and dedication.
- Objective evaluations can be difficult.
- While analyzing the 6 key elements will help you understand where your company is now, it is up to the company and its managers to interpret the data collected and find solutions to move forward. To get the most out of the process, it should be managed by a person or team with experience in corporate culture and in implementing change.
Best practices for the organizational culture of a company
Implementing a culture change is not easy, especially when customs, attitudes, and behaviors have taken hold over time. To get where you want to be, you must reshape your employees ' values and beliefs, nurture your organizational culture, and reinforce positive change. You should also make sure that everyone in your company understands what is being done and why. All of this takes a lot of time, energy, and patience, especially if you have staff members who have been with the organization for a long time and have gotten stuck in their tracks.
Big companies with more than thousands of employees have a department for corporate culture, and plenty of programs are organized via way of means of them, they maintain a date calculator - howmanydaysbetween.com with them, and prepare many packages from time to time.
When implemented correctly, the Cultural Web Model can help you understand what makes your corporate culture unique and what you can do to drive the performance and success of your company.
The key to success is designing a clear framework for analysis and change. Train and encourage your employees, support them throughout the process and encourage them to give their opinion or resolve any questions. Make sure they understand that what you are doing is not just about improving the company's bottom line, but about creating a culture where they can feel happy and comfortable and perform their tasks to the best of their ability in a place where they want to work.