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Grant Thornton


Why Company Culture Matters

 

If companies function like complex machines, then their various departments and teams are the interlocking parts that make the entire system work. Many business leaders therefore take a process-focused perspective toward problem solving – continually seeking out ways to furtheroptimize their machines.

This approach may be helpful in some circumstances, but it loses sight of a simple truth: People are driven by concepts like pride, personal beliefs, inspiration, and a sense of loyalty, in precisely the way that machines are not. These needs are as important as they are abstract, and organizations that treat them as an afterthought may soon wonder why their personnel are underperforming (or leaving outright).

A sensible and skillfully crafted company culture can turn each of these intangible elements from a weakness into a strength, reducing turnover, boosting operational efficiency, and ultimately increasing profitability. All it takes is a willingness to connect with your workforce on a personal level, starting with the three steps outlined below.

 

1) Develop a set of core values – and live up to them

Our audit firm in Thailand uses a set of six carefully defined values: Collaboration, Leadership, Excellence, Agility, Responsibility, and Respect. These principles help us remain properly oriented, and internally coordinated, when new or unexpected situations arise.

Every organization should likewise see its stated values as a natural extension of its ideals. Of course, for these values to have any effect, they must be honored; your word (and your reputation) depend on it.

 

2) Craft a mission and vision that inspire your team

A company’s mission should clearly articulate its reason for existing, along with its practical goals. This short text may be regarded as the organization’s ‘North Star’: A source of guidance toward its short- and medium-term objectives, including how it provides real benefit for customers.

A vision, by contrast, typically focuses on the company’s ultimate goals, as well as the kind of future it hopes to bring about. The right vision statement should endeavor not just to unite your team toward a shared goal, but to generate real inspiration while doing so.

 

3) Prioritize leadership and communication

Employees at every level of the company should be well-versed on the values, mission, and vision you select – including why they are important, and what their implications are for business activity as well as personal conduct.

Just as importantly, however, company leadership must faithfully live up to the cultural standards it preaches. From business strategy to hiring policies to sustainability initiatives and more, your stated principles should be reflected in every decision you make. People look to emulate the behavior of their superiors, and the level of commitment modeled by those at the top will soon be reflected across your entire organization.

 

Something to believe in

These fundamental cultural initiatives establish the two qualities that build and bind teams: A shared identity, and shared goals. Moreover, they imbue each organization with a deeper purpose – one that engages its people by giving them something to believe in.

Sustaining a positive culture naturally requires skill and dedication over time, but these initial steps can put your company on the path to success. For further guidance on these or other topics, contact our audit firm in Thailand today.