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What is Company Culture and why is it Important?

In business circles, the words ‘company culture’ is often heard but not always understood. People are aware of it, but are not sure why it is an idea that should be at the center of your business’ identity.

According to Wikipedia, company culture is 'the behavior of humans within an organization and the meaning that people attach to those behaviors.'

That is all good and well, but it does not really tell us what exactly a company culture is, or why it is important.

An important thing to understand about company culture, is that it is something that pre-exists inside your company – it is not something that an employee brings with them, or takes away when he leaves. Any company, even if there’s just one employee, already has a culture.

Having said that, as your team grows, they can certainly influence and slightly change the company culture – often in positive or negative ways.

The vision, values, norms, systems, assumptions and language of you and your employees, all come together to form your company culture.

Then there are also more “cosmetic” aspects to your company culture – do employees need to suit up to work, or will shorts and sandals do? Can employees listen to music while working or do you want complete silence and order in the office? These things all form part of your company culture, whether you like it or not.

Your company culture defines how you work and how employees spend their days at the office. It defines what is acceptable and what is not, but also portrays a certain image to potential clients. More often than not, it also defines how happy, or unhappy, your employees are while at the office.

Some industries require a certain type of company culture, while others are more relaxed and don’t expect anything in particular – even if your industry expects it, you can break the status-quo by being different.

Whatever culture you have within your business, it is important that all employees are onboard and that your identity as a unit is clear for clients to see.


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