The Shocking Truth about Corporate Culture and Performance
Growing Your Business | Global Strategic Management Solutions
One might imagine that the most successful companies are the best places to work. Good corporate culture and performance one would assume go hand in hand. This, however, is far from the truth. It might indeed be true to say that when companies grow and profits come rolling in, ethics fly out of the window.
Cultural techniques when referring to a country, imply the particular intellectual and artistic excellence of the people. Indeed their very civilization is their way of thinking. In the corporate world, however, it is more likely to mean a set of rules formulated by the owners or in the boardroom and enforced upon the workforce with only one motive, profit.
Studies have shown that while the directors think their technique is marvelous and everyone is happy, nearly half the staff in certain places feels neglected. Profit is the carrot and the stick. Nothing else is ever considered.
There are enlightened organizations no doubt that arrive at their cultural norm in consultation with the employees. These are the good places to work. Profit although important, may not be the sole goal. The staff is always free and indeed welcome to highlight areas in which the so-called culture is letting the side down. You may see their name in lights but you will not see it so often in the Wanted ads as they have no problem recruiting and retaining workers.
The recent financial crises have been illustrative. Companies on the verge of total collapse have been propped up by government funding. Government money belongs to the people. So when the bosses of these same organizations start creaming off huge bonuses these are actually coming out of their employees pockets by way of taxes. And these very same employees are faced with losing their jobs or their homes thanks to foreclosure. Such is the corporate culture prevailing in many boardrooms today.
Corporate culture has an external face as well. How a business deals with its customers and clients is a sure sign of its code of ethics. Most people will have had bad experiences trying to get items repaired or replaced under warranty for example. The supplier delays and makes excuses hoping that in the end you will purchase either a very expensive part or opt for a total replacement. This is basically cheating and it sends a very clear signal to the employees who will inevitably change their attitude towards their job.
No company will admit that it condones bribery. Any employee caught accepting incentives from suppliers or money to facilitate a service is liable to instant dismissal. But when it comes to the top echelons, a little lobbying for contracts, holidays in Acapulco or even a bottle of Christmas cheer is definitely part of a different cultural standard altogether, and quite acceptable. Such double standards are common.
Just as the culture of a nation changes over time so must that of a company. Corporate culture and performance may be linked but for the link to be successful, it must be constantly reviewed. Bagmen and racketeers have the culture of the gun. Those who claim to be on the right side of the law should ensure that they stay there.