Company Culture Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All

Company Culture Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All

When you think about companies with a strong culture, there may be a few images that come to mind: a game room, team lunches every day, an open-plan office.

Organizationally, you may think strong company culture means flat structure, emphasis on team success, and employees who hang out together after work. But does this mean that every company that looks like this has a great culture, or that a more traditionally structured company can never have a strong culture? Not at all!

Some aspects of company culture have been shown by research to apply to nearly all companies, and those aspects form the basis of our core CultureIQ survey. These are qualities like support and collaboration, that will enhance your culture no matter what your company looks like or does. Finding out how your company performs in these qualities is helpful in identifying strengths and pain points, and figuring out where to focus on improvements.

But when working to strengthen your culture, it’s also important to look beyond the commonalities and find out how your specific company works. This is your strategic culture: a set of behaviors that support your organization’s strategy. When defining your strategic culture, here are a few (but not the only) things to keep in mind.

1. Industry. A culture of risk-taking may make sense for a digital marketing agency, but a nuclear power plant? Maybe not so much.

Think about what success looks like in your industry, and then what kind of cultural practices and priorities would help your employees achieve that success.