5 Steps to Building a Corporate Culture

corporate cultureA PEO champions talent recruiting, negotiates group benefits, and administers personnel and payroll functions. This creates an important opportunity for HR to engage in the less obvious strategy of shaping and managing the corporate culture.

With or without a PEO, your HR success is tied closely with a company culture that attracts, engages, and retains the best and brightest. With a PEO in place, you can give more energy and commitment to developing and growing a sustaining corporate identity.

5 Steps to building culture:

  1. Start from scratch.
    Executive leadership drives and models the corporate culture. However, the executive suite does not do the work on their own. The culture lives among the workers and must reflect their grounded input. You cannot expect the participation needed if the practitioners do not actively engage in the process.
  2. Develop a plan.
    You will wind up with a corporate culture one way or the other. However, if you want it to be the one that works and aligns with your business goals, you need a structured strategic plan that values but organizes employee input, executive purpose, and stakeholder interests.
  3. Pursue a mission.
    A clear statement of company vision and mission will drive engagement and productivity. However, it has to do more than hang on the wall. If meaningful at all organizational levels, it has to be quotable, doable, and achievable.
  4. Communicate it well.
    A clearly stated plan will frame the culture. However, effective communication is as much format as it is content. The message must reach everyone, include them all, and reinforce itself in strength and reiteration. It must be visible, audible, and tangible.
  5. Tweak as needed.
    Even with the best input and planning, you may not realize all you want at the moment you want it. Still, without losing commitment to your plan, you can debrief the results looking for additional input and surveying participation.

Red flags!

Specific behaviors are clues to a failed or failing culture:

  • Gossip undercuts teamwork.
  • Counter culture breeds in the dark.
  • Weak leaders create contempt.
  • Lack of participation reveals lack of trust.

Working with a PEO gives you the opportunity to be creative and strategic. One best use of that time and ability lies in designing and delivering a corporate culture measured by clarity, commitment, and consistency. An engaging culture builds on universal involvement, personal honesty, and total transparency.