If you are looking for trends in corporate culture, you are in the right place. Below, I am going to describe some best practices , which I find very interesting and that are great examples of how to approach and achieve a culture that generates engagement with employees.
But first, I would like us to delve deeper into the term "corporate culture". What are the benefits of having a defined culture? Even in 2021, we still find organisations that have not yet incorporated the great significance that an established culture can have and how it can positively impact the employee experience and consequently the customer experience.
So, what is Corporate Culture?
Corporate culture can be defined as the DNA of our company. Through it, we are going to make our employees feel more represented, committed and they will find their works meaning. Cultures can not be copied. Just as there are as many cultures as there are countries in the world, the same happens with organizational cultures! Organizational culture is the one that defines you as a company.
However, today I want to share with you some examples of organisations that have been working on their own culture and how they have achieved great benefits. I invite you to take these examples as a reference and even as inspiration. Always keep in mind that if you want to define or transform the culture of your company it will be necessary to do a vast amount of work so that both you and your co-workers feel identified in your workplace.
Best Practice Example 1: Salesforce Case Study
Salesforce Hawaiian´s origins have defined its culture and the experiences that characterise this company. One of the initiatives that marked the lives of all its workers is the use of Hawaiian T-shirts every Friday, to remember its origins, since the technology company began its activities with a team of engineers who worked from home, although today it is something normal, at the time it was not.
Among their memories, they remember having days with high workloads, but they never lost their essence, nor their north, which was to have a good time while they did it. In honour of those great days, they have implemented Friday rituals to remember that even today they can continue to work much more, but they still have a good time.
At the same time, Salesforce has adapted certain practices in their day-to-day work to make their culture feel closer to them, for example by still using Hawaiian words, phrases and expressions. It is also important to them to build value and differentiate their employees based on their brand values, so they work every day to promote gender equality in the organisation, for more information visit the Salesforce website.
Best Practice Example 2: Adobe
When the leaders of Adobe wanted to see how the organisation was doing (several years ago), they realised that there was a huge deficit in customer service. The company had been experiencing great success thanks to the creativity of its employees, always producing and developing new and innovative products and services, but there was a great opportunity to improve customer service.
This shortfall was due to the fact that the main distribution channels for Adobe's products were through retailers, partners, small technology companies and the focus had never been on the end consumer. As its business model changed, the company had to evolve the way it interacted with its customers, becoming more direct and transforming the brand.
To achieve this change, Adobe had to immerse its employees in a more customer-focused mindset, starting with improving the employee experience. Donna Morris, then senior vice president at the time, explained: "We realised that we needed to be as great to work for as we were to work for someone and that requires a cultural change.
Morris and her colleagues began by combining previously disconnected parts of the company into one. First, they merged the staff support and enterprise product functions, which previously operated independently, into one unit. By doing so, they achieved a more holistic view of customers across the company.
Then, they created a new department that combined the customer experience with the employee experience, making the support provided on the front end come from the HR department, which in turn supports the employees. At the time, his new role was to lead both the customer and employee experience, Morris' responsibility was to ensure that everyone (customers and employees) had a positive experience with Adobe.
At the time of the change, Morris explained that his role was to "ensure the success of people so that Adobe grows with them. If they are employees, it translates into attracting them, developing them and helping them grow. If they are customers, it's exactly the same. With that new department, Adobe wanted to be able to accelerate the company's expertise in creating great experiences for its employees and in turn translate into a great experience for customers.
"Ensuring the success of people so that Adobe grows with them. If they are employees, it translates into attracting them, developing them and helping them grow. If they're customers, it's exactly the same thing.
Finally, Adobe completely transformed its business model, opening up subscriptions to its cloud-based service, and generating a new need to "be more agile and adaptive" to meet the new needs of its customers. Morris and the team cut the number of offices they had open at the time from 80 to 68 offices. Their main objective for this change was to gain "proximity" with their team, as they realised that having so many offices could mean losing the desired culture and approach that Adobe wanted. However, it was not an easy decision to make, but it was definitely worth it to consolidate the team geographically.
Adobe's organisational change was a strategic business decision, something that today's leaders value very little. A study by recruitment firm Korn Ferry reported that while 72% of executives agree that "culture is extremely important" to organisations, only 32% say that culture is able to align their business strategy.
This huge disconnect may explain the study conducted by Bozz Allen Hamilton and the Aspen Institute, which shows that most executives see core values and, by extension, culture as also affecting corporate reputation and, in turn, recruitment. Far fewer believe that values and culture influence their organisation's adaptability to changing conditions, operational efficiency and productivity, risk management and economic growth. To see Adobe's results as a Great place to work.
Example 3 of Corporate Culture: Nike Case
Why do we exist? This is the question that all organisations must ask themselves and the question that Phil Knight asked himself in his most challenging moments, but then he was able to create his own company and today have one of the most recognised companies in the world of sports fashion, Nike.
Knight gambled everything for a dream, making "deals with the devil" by mortgaging his own home, but being clear that his dream was based on leaving a mark on the world, because he "believed in running" as he put it in the memoirs of Shoe Dog.
"I believe that, if all people would go out and run a couple of miles every day, the world would become a better place, and I believe that these shoes will be good for running". With this sentence we can identify that even Phil Knight himself realised the importance of having a clear purpose and convictions. Once defined, you can mobilise thousands and millions of people, as Nike does today with all its customers.
"I believe that, if everyone went out and ran a couple of miles every day, the world would become a better place, and I believe that these shoes will be good for running".
In addition to their customers, Nike has shown us how much engagement they have achieved with their employees. It is all because they are aligned with the same values and purposes of generating a benefit to all people and above all to build a better world. A clear example of this is simply to observe the evolution of this company in product innovation, how every day they question what they have done so far, looking for new solutions that help improve the experience of use of their shoes and that these provide a differential value to all its users.
Today that purpose continues at Nike and they have called it their "mission", which is the driving force in their brand and corporate culture: "To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you're an athlete".
At the same time Nike has revamped its tagline, "Just do it" translating its mission into a clear brand message that has accompanied thousands of Nike customers for many years. The mission and its principles that they call "The 11 maxims" are the ones that govern employees at all levels of the company, so that they carry out each of their activities and represent the organisation on a global level.
The 11 maxims that make up Nike's culture are:
It is in our nature to innovate.
Nike is a company.
Nike is a brand.
Simplify and that's it.
The consumer decides.
Be a sponge.
Wrap it up immediately.
Do the right thing.
Master the fundamentals.
We are on the offensive, always.
Remember the man (the late Bill Bowerman, co-founder of Nike).
For more information, you can visit the Nike website.
With everything said, if you'd like to further inform about Customer Experience management, its different methodologies and the way it can help your company strategy, just send us an email at email@example.com .We will be happy to chat with you, get to know you and help you improve your internal culture thanks to the our Employee Experience and our trajectory being leader in Iberoamerica in Customer Experience Management.
Author: Bessy Cedeño,
Senior Experience Designer.