Company Culture- What's it all About?

All Things Company Culture

While every business has a company culture, only some enterprises have a strong company culture. Company culture is also commonly referred to as-

  • Organizational culture
  • Workplace culture
  • Corporate culture
Although these terms are used regularly, many people do not actually know what company culture is. One widely accepted definition of company culture labels it as the collective values, behaviors, and characteristics of an organization.

Company culture influences virtually every aspect of a business, from employee retention levels to customer service capabilities. As such, workplace culture should be considered a top priority for human resources departments that want to build and maintain a long term successful and profitable organization.

There are several types of corporate culture that all human resources professionals should be aware of. Depending on industry type, the way people work within an organization, and company values held, different organizational culture types are a more appropriate fit than others.

The 4 main types of company culture include adhocracy, market, hierarchy, and clan culture. Learning more about the 4 distinct organizational culture types can help businesses to identify their type, or work towards a culture change more effectively-

1. Adhocracy Culture

Adhocracy culture is a great organizational culture choice for businesses that are technologically based, or start ups. In this corporate culture type, employees feel not only comfortable but empowered in risk taking, decision making capabilities, and non traditional hierarchical structures.

It is a well recognized phenomenon that some people work best in a non traditional work environment and are motivated by every day change and challenges. Unsurprisingly, many top talent employees are interested in working at an adhocracy culture workplace.

In order to correctly staff team members for an adhocracy culture, human resources should make their best effort to hire people who align with these culture values and company wide attitudes. Human resources should make sure that new hires feel encouraged to ask questions and work together unconventionally and innovatively.

2. Market Culture

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Market culture is a relatively traditional type of corporate culture in comparison with adhocracy culture. The primary objective of market culture is to get work done effectively and in a timely matter.

As the main objective of market culture is to gain profit and market shares, human resources may shift their focus to hire people primarily based on their experience and work ethic.
Especially in businesses where employees rarely work together closely, the personality and unique skillsets of new hires may not be as highly valued by human resources and senior management.

Market culture often fosters a work environment and workplace culture that is highly individualistic and competitive. Unfortunately, market culture can result in a toxic corporate culture where employees feel as if they are working against one another instead of working together.

As a result, market culture can result in lower employee retention levels and less happy employees on staff.

3. Hierarchy Culture

Hierarchy cultures, like market cultures, are less focused on team members and the overall employee experience. In a hierarchy culture, every employee must strictly adhere to tried and true procedures and processes.

In a hierarchy culture, new hires may feel discouraged to ask questions or even to talk to every employee on staff. However, a hierarchy culture is a great choice when employees want a highly predictable and formal workplace structure.

Hierarchy culture examples are commonly found in government organizations and in professions where safety and structure are a top priority.

4. Clan Culture

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Alternatively, clan culture encourages a collaborative work environment where employees work together closely and support one another. Clan culture can be a hallmark of a great company in which team members get to know each other both professionally and personally.

Clan culture corporations are generally well known for their customer service capabilities. With a company wide emphasis on making employees feel a part of a larger family, it is unsurprising that these happy employees create happier customer service experiences.

In order to create and maintain a clan culture, human resources must hire people that share their core values and support company wide objectives. Human resources should also provide every day team building opportunities to sustain employee engagement and morale.

Key Takeaways

  • Company cultures influence virtually every aspect of a business, from employee retention to customer service capabilities.
  • The 4 main company culture types are hierarchy, clan, adhocracy, and clan culture.

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