What is Company Culture?

How many times have you seen or heard "amazing company culture", "vibrant workplace" or some similar phrase in professional conversations? The problem is, terms like these are inconsistently defined, with only 12% of companies understanding what 'company culture' actually means.

The term is straightforward. Workplace culture is the environment that is created for the employees. But time and time again, businesses everywhere misinterpret this definition.  

But why all the sudden noise? The term 'company culture' became a buzzword and made headlines in 2017. Many think that this kind of culture only means creating a fun workplace for employee engagement. And by having a fun and vibrant workplace, you’ll attract the best talent, right? Because let’s face it, if you have to be somewhere 38 hours a week, it better be enjoyable. If you don’t like your workplace, you simply won’t collaborate.  

What Impacts Culture?

However, company culture actually acts as the foundation to your business. It impacts everything from performance to how your business is perceived. It has a profound impact on your employees, determining their job satisfaction, progression, and relationships.

The culture is a mix of everything - leadership, values, traditions, and beliefs all impact the culture of the workplace. Unwritten, they help your employees form bonds. They underpin how things get done and determine the growth of individuals and the rate of growth for the business.

Why is Company Culture Important?

Human nature is naturally drawn to wanting to belong to something. A friendship group. A cause. A community. Therefore, each of us should feel like we are personally making an impact. We should take responsibility for the business. And to do that, we all need to be aligned to one goal. Not a cycle of 3-, 6-, or 12-month goals.

There are no silver bullets. This is the blueprint to creating a successful business. Culture distinguishes one company from another. It provides protection and adaption to the economic forces on the outside. And sets the foundations for growth. It allows for productive conversations. It identifies issues and forms collective resolutions.  

Larger and mature companies are at a disadvantage here. They have bigger corporate hierarchy systems, more systematic processes and an old age way of doing things. SMEs, however, are at a unique advantage. More and more millennial-led start-ups are born every year. Internet and social-led entrepreneurs are forced to work on their business on the outside, as well as the inside. They can quickly respond and adapt.  

How We See Culture

We preach what we say at Summize. There are no 3-month projects. We don’t go after silver bullets. We all know the clear business objectives and are aligned on them. We don’t need to be reminded - they are embedded in what we do every day and it's why we come to work. We strive to be 1% better where possible. We are not department centric; we are collaborative. We have bold and valid discussions. We find our flaws and faults. We embrace change. We take responsibility for the future of the business, and we make a big impact in what we do. We are a small team with big ambitions.

Check out our video on the importance of company culture when building the legal team of the future:

We’re also expanding and are always on the lookout for new people to come on the journey with us. So, if you haven’t already, head over to our careers page.

About the author

Tom Dunlop

As an accomplished commercial and technology lawyer, Tom's experience with reviewing contracts was the catalyst that led to Summize. Prior to this, he worked as a Global Legal Director for several fast-growth technology companies.
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