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Defining Corporate Culture

Written by Cheryl Brown, Human Resources Coordinator.

DeathtoStock_Creative Community6eThe term “corporate culture” and its various definition have floated around for years. Some say culture stems from the values, attitudes, practices and the mission of an organization. Others say that it is a product of the CEO and their executives. Regardless of what you believe it to be or where it originates, it’s undeniable that culture revolves around feeling.

If the physical environment is one you can see, touch, taste, and breathe, then the cultural environment is one you feel. Culture is the vibe you feel when you walk in the door, and the tone that’s set in a workplace. It’s the leadership style, the sense of purpose its employees feel, the organizational structure, and the people that embody that company.

Corporate culture is typically the factor that is closest tied to what energizes or drains us, motivates or discourages us, empowers or suffocates us. When asked what the number one thing employees care about at their place of business, culture lands ahead of pay or compensation. Here are a few steps your organization can take to shift more focus onto their company’s culture.

Definite Culture

Organizations need to literally define their own corporate culture. What does it look like, how will employees know when they see it, and how is it promoted across every aspect of the company.

Ask Employees

Bringing your employees into the creation and implementation process is critical. Ask employees where their values lie and what they care about most in the workplace. The types of questions that can get this conversation started include: What type of corporate culture do they want to be part of? What can they personally contribute to that culture? How do they definite and see the organization’s culture shaping their experience as an employee? There may be a range of different answers you will get to these questions, however common themes will emerge that can help you form a clear picture of what your employees see as already in existence, as well as what they’re looking and hoping for in the future.


Oftentimes companies struggle to balance creating a corporate culture that encourages productivity, as well as one that’s focused on creating a great employee experience. In other words, there is more work to do than building a workspace resembling those of Google and Facebook. We are tasked with creating an environment that employees want to be a part of while simultaneously balancing their business priorities.

A culture that can comfortably define and balance the role of leadership, their open collaboration and communication channels, transparency in the workplace, as well as embracing employee vulnerability and encouraging innovation and wellbeing, will be the one that sticks.

Cheryl_BrownCheryl Brown serves as the Cushman & Wakefield’s Human Resources Coordinator for the Central Region and operates out of the Dallas, Texas office. Her primary responsibility is communicated with National Human Resources and Payroll regarding new hires, new property management, payroll discrepancies and employee relations.


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