How to Implement a Positive Corporate Culture

Christine Greybe joined DHR Global in 2004 as the managing director of Asia-Pacific and has held roles of increasing corporate responsibility, including as a member of the board of directors, president and head of global. Her services include assessment and coaching, succession planning, team effectiveness, onboarding and DE&I. Ms. Greybe recently sat down with Hunt Scanlon Media to discuss what it takes to create a great company culture and the benefits it brings.

June 11, 2024 – Christine, much has been said about the benefits of good corporate culture, but how does a company know if their culture is not a good one?

The first step is to evaluate your company culture. You can do this by conducting an audit of your organization’s current culture as well as monitoring and reporting on metrics, such as employee
engagement rate, absenteeism, retention, and productivity. The insights gained through the audit and metrics will be an indicator of the “health” of your company culture. Actively assessing your culture and swiftly addressing any issues creates a workplace where employees feel valued.

What steps can organizations do to reverse this?

To improve corporate culture, organizations should take the following actions. Define your desired culture and embark on a culture transformation initiative. It is important to create alignment across the organization, top-down and bottom-up. You must also develop a multi-faceted road map for your organization – culture transformation is a multi-year process. Companies must identify KPIs and implement measurement tools
to monitor success of the transformation. Lastly, take a holistic approach (e.g., promote inclusivity, implement training programs, address conflict promptly, invest in professional development, foster team building, evaluate policies and procedures, and recognize and reward employees).

What are some clear signs of a company with a great culture?

Strong company culture represents clarity of company values and sets an organization apart from its competitors. In turn, this translates into low employee turnover and an environment where employees feel motivated to excel and contribute to the organization’s success.

Does this affect the retention of employees more than compensation these days?

The research on what motivates retention has roots in both compensation and culture. The latest Gallup Poll on retention suggests that while competitive salaries and benefits are essential, creating a supportive and positive work environment may be equally crucial for retaining talent. Both research and anecdotal information indicate that individual priorities define what is valuable. There are aspects of a healthy culture that may be a higher priority in deciding whether to stay or go. For example, policies around how the organization views work-life balance, promotes a career path, pushes for psychological safety, and provides the desired work setting may have equal or more sway with younger generations and drive decisions on whether to stay or leave. The same may be said of compensation. There are also trade-offs that may be critical. Things like providing competitive salaries based on market conditions and fostering financial security will also play a role in retention. Therefore, an organization’s leaders should prioritize both culture and compensation to achieve long-term success.

How do you go about making sure a candidate is a good
cultural fit?

There are several steps organizations can take to help ensure that a candidate is a good cultural fit. Start with engaging members from different departments or levels to conduct candidate interviews. This would also include interviewing an ample group of external references. Both groups can provide insight into the candidate’s culture fit. Ensure interviewers ask questions that delve into the candidate’s values, leadership style, communication style, and approach for managing conflict. Discern their strengths and opportunities for growth, all of which can help in understanding culture fit. In addition, determine if the company’s hiring strategy reflects the organization’s core values and then evaluate how background, style, and experience align with key values. For example, if the organization values teamwork, you would generally look for candidates with a similar strength versus someone who prefers working independently. Incorporate activities or assessments beyond traditional interviews that reveal the candidate’s personality traits and abilities. At DHR Global, we use several proprietary tools in search for a holistic approach. This includes LEAP, which measures culture fit based on nine dimensions most associated with culture research. We also use Leader Lens™, our online tool that incorporates simulation, in-depth interviews, and psychometric assessment to predict a candidate’s performance and culture fit by measuring analytic, social, and emotional levels of intelligence. Lastly, provide opportunities for candidates to interact more informally with current employees to gauge their level of comfort with the culture and their potential fit. In the end, finding culture fit is not about finding
fit based on identical personalities – it’s about finding an environment where individuals can succeed and prosper because they share values, behaviors, and goals similar to the organization.

How do clients discuss their culture when laying out what types of candidates they are seeking?

Clients share their company’s core values, mission statement, and what makes them unique. They expand on where they are in their company journey – growth, transformation, or rebuild. Often, they share videos and other collateral that bring to life the organization and their culture.

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