The culture of a company defines and explains the missing link. It is comprised of everything that happens in day to day, moment to moment affairs that the majority of people do not consider. It influences how employees approach or handle every situation. It’s a pattern of the feelings, thoughts, and basic assumptions that drive everything within the company and how the company approaches the market.

That said, a company’s culture is not all touchy-feely. A successful culture is made up of strategic elements, actions, and processes. It is a choice that needs to be made and reinforced every day. The touchy-feely aspect is simply a byproduct of a lot of hard work.

With something this powerful, it is amazing it does not command more of a focus. Identifying and understanding the potential is still a mainly underground talent. But the companies that do invest the time, money, and effort into their culture have rewards that other companies only dream about. They have learned that a company cannot survive and thrive by the numbers alone. The true value of having a strong culture is the ability to perform consistently over the long-term.

Omicle defines culture as, “the beliefs and values within a company or organization that influence the following: how decisions are made, processes, procedures, company policies, and interaction between employees.”

A company’s roots are what define its mission, value, and vision statements. Understanding the original and current goals of the company lay the groundwork for the company’s culture, purpose and sometimes even execution. A common mistake is allowing the core values and the core purpose of the company to become simply words on paper or on the wall and not acting to ensure those words actually reflect the culture of the company. The culture is how these words are brought to life—how these words affect the people within your organization, your clients, vendors and the market. Communication, rituals, and processes are how the mission, values, and visions come alive to create the culture of the company and also influence how it is maintained. These elements create focus and shape behavior which lays the groundwork for how your company will be perceived.

A company’s culture is dynamic; most have sub-cultures within the main. The challenge is in choosing to create, and then maintaining a cohesive culture that ensures your employees can work together as a unified team.

–Excerpt from Contractors: Doing it Right Not Just Getting it Done

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