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3 Tips for Building the Right Corporate Culture

January 10, 2013

Source:


If there’s one thing that I’ve learned, in my ten-plus years as a finance recruiter 1in Toronto, it’s that culture matters. It matters to employees, growing numbers of whom2 are looking to work at companies where they have a real rapport3 with their colleagues and managers.

Compatibility with a company’s work culture and environment, in fact, is becoming just as important a consideration among many jobseekers4 as salary, benefits, and commute, when they’re trying to decide between employers.

But culture matters to employers, too. A positive and impactful5 work culture can raise productivity, employee morale, and retention rates6. I’m not talking about fuzzy7, feel-good stuff here — hiring8 for fit has a real, quantifiable9 ROI10. According to a 2010 Hewitt Associates study of more than 900 organizations globally, companies with high levels of engagement among their employees outperformed11 the total stock market index, posting shareholder returns 19% higher than the average in 2009 (by contrast, companies with low employee engagement reported a shareholder return 44 per cent lower than the average).

In a ruthlessly12 competitive economy, companies are looking for any advantage they can secure over their rivals13. As JetBlue CEO14 Dave Berger has explained, a company’s culture might be the only “trade secret” that can’t be copied or commoditized15. “The hard product…as long as you have a chequebook, [that] can be replicated16,” Berger says. “It’s the culture that can’t be replicated.

It’s how we treat each other. Do we trust each other? Can we push back on each other?” A proprietary17 technology can be imitated, while a star performer can be recruited away by a competitor. But a successful culture? That’s bigger than any single individual or innovation, and can survive them both.

So how do you build a unique and original work culture that motivates people, delivers18 results, and attracts the top talent? How can you, as an employer, make your workplace somewhere your staff are excited to be at — and that others are champing at the bit to join? Here are three pointers to help you build the right culture.

1. Define the culture you want at your company

Every organization has its own unique personality, which is usually a composite19 of its management and staff. JetBlue and Southwest might both be major players in the U.S. airline industry, but their working environments20 are distinctive21; the same applies to Apple and Google, whose corporate cultures and philosophies are as diffe.....[read full text]

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What’s the point of having a great and vibrant culture if you’re not telling all the people you work with — or might hope to work with — about it?

But your values shouldn’t just be committed to print or paper; they should be reflected in the very physical environment, design, and architecture of the company — everything from your office décor to your floor plan. For example, if your goal to promote a more collaborative, team-oriented culture, then you’ll want to provide plenty of shared spaces — meeting rooms and the like — for people to meet and work together.

Maybe you’re looking to develop an environment that’s not so traditionally top-down, with managers and staff freely interacting with one another, both formally and informally; in that case, it might make sense to have a more open floor space, with offices and workrooms relegated31 to the edges.

Put some thought into how you can give some real life and body to your core values.

just because a candidate is qualified for a position doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a good fit for your company.

3. Hire for attitude32 over aptitude33

In many ways, the relationship between culture and hiring is as circular34 as that between the chicken and the egg: the best way to establish a culture that attracts great people…is to have hired great people who help to establish the culture in your organization.

Nothing contributes35 to — or, potentially, detracts36 from — a company’s culture more than its employees. The longer tenured37 employees and more senior managers will set the example and tone for everyone and everything else in your company, so it’s important to make sure that they’re cut from the right cloth.

That means recruiting people with a view to how well they mesh with38 the cultural ideals and values you’re looking to nourish39. Fit, in fact, is often the most valuable predictor of a hire’s success in their position. There’s no dearth40 of candidates with long and impressive resumes, so your focus needn’t be exclusively on hiring people with the right .....

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But by following these three steps, you can establish a winning corporate culture and work environment, so that your organization is something more than just the sum of its parts.

Tasks:

  1. Read your part of the text carefully. Prepare it (vocab and content) with your team members. You should be able to present it to others! You are an expert for this specific part!

Jigsaw puzzle

Team 1: Define the culture you want at your company

Team 2: Display your core values

Team 3: Hire for attitude over aptitude


  1. Find a mixed group and present your results. Also, listen carefully to the other group members of the other teams. They will give you information you need!


For the following tasks, only take into consideration ll. 1-25 and ll. 90-96.

  1. Define the term corporate culture as presented in the text (comprehension).

  2. Outline the importance of corporate culture (comprehension).

  3. Analyze the language and structure used in the text and show whether the author’s opinion becomes perceptible to the reader. Quote from the text to support your findings (analysis)!

  4. Imagine you have been offered a job at a company that is well known for its horrible corporate culture. Would you work there? Give reasons for .....

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23 entrepreneur: Unternehmer

24 to be mutually exclusive: sich gegenseitg ausschließen

25 to prioritize: etwas vorranging behandeln

26 to embody: darstellen

27 to broadcast: senden

28 internal: innere

29 policy manual: Programmhandbuch

30 to operate: betreiben

31 to relegate: verweisen

32 attitude: Einstellung, Haltung

33 aptitude: Begabung, Talent

34 circular: rund

35 to contribute: beisteuern

36 to detract: schaden

37 tenure: Besitz

38 to mesh with: ineinandergreifen

39 to nourish: ernähren

40 dearth of: Mangel

41 to jibe: spötteln

42 warrior: Krieger

43 to imprint: prägen

44 facet: Facette

45 to require: braucen, verlange

46 vigilant: wachsam

47 to preserve: erhalten

48 to envision: vorstellen

49 to boo.....

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