Blog: Is Your Culture Real? Or Just a Buzzword?

Every company that I've worked for in the last 25 years has congratulated itself on having 'amazing company culture'.

For me, only 2 companies ever had a culture that I could encapsulate and describe well to others. Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed things about every company that I've worked for. But, some have succeeded in this area more than others. 

Some companies believed that giving employees swag plastered in logos and hanging some concept art on the walls created culture. Others, went further, with noble goals and mission statements for employees to read.

But, for the companies that succeeded, it went much further than T-shirts and handouts. It was how the management team engaged with the entire company. It was about leadership doing its role and setting the tone for the rest of the company to follow.

  • Did they live by the culture that they wanted to create?
  • Was clear direction set? And the reasons behind it communicated?
  • How did they react to setbacks and failures?  
  • Did they energize the teams? Or create an air of fear and/or uncertainty? 
  • Did they understand (and react) to what was going on with their teams and employees?

Next time you discuss your company's culture, ask yourself "Are we living it? Or just talking about it?"