Corporate Culture Index | Summary and Overview
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Summary and Overview

Where do we stand overall in terms of corporate culture? Our queries involved statements that could yield positive, negative, or neutral results. Results categorized as positive include responses of ‘always’ or ‘usually’. ‘Never’ is considered a negative result, while ‘sometimes’ could be considered neutral.

In general, our survey indicates a positive corporate culture. Responses to most questions tilt toward the positive side of the scale. Although only 3 of 9 questions saw positive results as a clear majority.

What are organizations best at?

Most of our respondents said these statements are “always” or “usually” true.
We’ll call these ‘positive results’.

  • People are encouraged to ask questions. (74%)
  • Communication between every level of management. (65%)
  • People cooperate across department lines. (71%)

Let’s break the same questions apart and look at just the “always” answer:

  • In one of every three organizations, people are always encouraged to ask questions. (43%)
  • About one in five says communication across management levels always takes place. (20%)
  • A quarter reported that communication across departments always takes place. (19%)

But what exactly do these numbers mean? Are higher numbers of positive answers always good? That depends on the question, and where the answers come from. Different environments and different missions call for different cultures….. and leadership styles that work within those cultures.

If you’re manufacturing pharmaceuticals, then you expect that every molecule you produce will be exactly identical. That calls for stringent standards and rigid adherence to policies and procedures. You might not want individuals routinely making independent decisions. Financial institutions operate in similar fashion. Details and minutiae are important in the delivery of tasks and projects according to ‘generally accepted accounting principles’.

On the other hand, employees working at an amusement park or a hotel must be prepared for the unexpected. They need to make real time decisions affecting the ‘guest experience’. Precise expectations and policies can’t always be expressed in advance.

You can see from these examples how ‘making independent decisions’ and ‘questioning management’s judgment’ might be good in one environment and bad in another.

But regardless of your industry, everyone deals with the unexpected. Conflict can arise any time. Mistakes can occur, expectations can change. A typically rigid operating environment can become fluid in a hurry.

When things go wrong, you need creative problem-solvers. Open communication and cooperation can keep things running smoothly. A positive corporate culture encourages people to work together and feel comfortable taking a risk. And, people feel open to question management if necessary.

Already taken the survey? Check out the results that can help your corporate culture.