Know Your Corporate Culture

Posted on April 30, 2012 · Posted in Staffing

How can the same consultant be a hero at one company and be asked to leave his next corporate assignment? Maybe it’s the culture!

Culture is in your “cells”

Every company big or small has its own culture. Corporate culture is often defined as the way of thinking, behaving and your collective identity. But what does that really mean?

Take for example one of my clients in the home healthcare industry that prides itself on caring for its customers. That company has a unique “caring” culture for its employees. To be successful, consultants need to know that.

Or consider another corporate client where employees operate with a lot of ambiguity. The most successful consultants and contract staff placed there also need to possess that ability. But this was never articulated and it took me over six months to figure out. It shouldn’t be that way.

Convey your corporate culture:

  • Know and explain your corporate behaviors. Understand your pace of work, meeting and communication protocols, process of decision-making, and ways of interacting with peers and superiors; and help consultants and contractors grasp your culture.
  • Identify your “invisible” culture. Values, ethics, attitudes and beliefs are often not easy to articulate. Does your company emphasize the team over the individual? Are there assumptions that other hired staffing team members have made incorrectly that led to a problem? Let consultants and contract staff know about your invisible culture.
  • Encourage inquiry and communication. Consultants and contract staff bring added value from their creative “workarounds” and lessons learned on other corporate projects. Be explicit about your expectations and openness for new ideas and input versus asking them to do things “our corporate way” to fit into the project team and company culture.

Companies know their culture best. Being able to articulate your culture to staffing firms and the consultants and contract staff who are placed on your business and IT projects will ensure successful placements and project outcomes.