Sunday, December 7, 2008

Company Culture:Doing the Right Thing

Do the Right ThingImage via Wikipedia

Culture Should Drive the Company

I have read a number of blog posts recently discussing whether or not blogs should be writing about layoffs and other topics related to events taking place in the news. The jury remains out on a final answer.

On the one hand, people like Jim Stroud of The Recruiters Lounge mentioned the "workless" and "the almost homeless", and Joel Cheeseman of Cheezhead wrote about the "ax falling hard at CareerBuilder". On the other, Lance Haun of is saying "I don't need your 2 cents" about anything but what your competencies are, and Laurie Ruettimann, head shit stirrer at Punk Rock HR wants to blow up HR and focus on talent recruitment and retention.

All of these are worthy perspectives. I have my own: Companies need to focus on their cultures and use the right kinds of values to drive the right kinds of strategies, including recruiting and other aspects of HR, such as employee relations.

Here are some things companies an focus on in building the "right" culture.

  1. As an organizations faces change and duress, uphold commitments that have been made to your employees.
  2. Assuming your company has good principles, let your principles define your company culture.
  3. Principles should guide the way in defining your practices. Practices must be defined to respond appropriately to a business situation, but be defined by the principles.
Key principles for a strong company culture include:

  1. Defining and following the values of the founders (company history and heritage)
  2. Demonstrating concern for employees at all times
  3. Exercise integrity, even during periods of difficulty
  4. Providing career growth and opportunity
  5. Providing sustainable employment
  6. Recognition systems that actually recognize accomplishment
  7. Ensuring employees share in company success
  8. Open, transparent communication at all times
  9. Do the Right Thing!

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