Syra graduated at the top of her class and is now looking for a job. She is hoping to get a position at a leading Bank in the country. In the job interview, Syra is asked why she considers this as her dream job and interestingly enough, the success and brand name of the company is a secondary consideration for Syra. What attracts her the most is the open, collaborative and nurturing company culture that is a widely spread word in the graduate job market.
According to James L. Heskett, a healthy culture can account for 20-30% of the differential in corporate performance when compared with ‘culturally unremarkable’ competitors.  Based on the value of culture for an organization, the next question that arises is what are core components of a culture. There is no universal formula to identify the elements of a culture as every culture is unique! However there are certain reflectors that depict what the culture of the organization represents. Let’s take a look at some of the building blocks of the culture.
· Vision: It all starts from the vision; where an organization indicates its purpose. The vision of the company translates the culture in many ways. If the vision is all about innovation and creativity, the culture will be a likely reflection of this vision. For example, Oxfam envisions “a just world without poverty” and consequently, the culture depicts a caring nurturing culture be it in development of its talent or serving its end customers.
· Values: Usually, the terms culture and values are used together, thus showing that the values are strongly connected with culture. While a vision articulates a company’s purpose, values offer a set of guidelines on the behaviors and mindsets needed to achieve that vision.
· Practices: An organization’s practices make up the daily workings and processes that allow it to meet its objectives. A company is based on these processes and policies, so they have to be linked to the culture. For example, a fast paced organizational culture will reflect this culture through quick streamlined processes and policies. FMCGs where focus is on speed to market – the culture promotes quick resolution of issues and bottlenecks.
· People: It is said, that the people are the symbols of an organization’s culture! No company can build a coherent culture without people who either share its core values or possess the willingness and ability to embrace those values. That’s why the greatest firms in the world also have some of the most stringent recruiting policies.
All these factors are constituents that reflect an organization’s culture. Such components help employees and management understand what is required of them and they will try to act in accordance with the core values of the company. Are you satisfied with the culture at your workplace? What can you do to strengthen it further?