Every organization has a unique combination of leadership characteristics and employee behaviors that contribute to the shared values and standards that are expressed and acted on. At Eagle’s Flight, we have identified several types of corporate culture that can be cultivated to create a higher-performing workplace. Of course, not every corporate culture is suited to a particular organization, as each comes with its own set of benefits and potential detriments to be monitored.
4 Types of Corporate Culture
This list of pros and cons for four different types of corporate culture outlines how they can foster, or potentially hinder, organizational excellence.
1. Culture of Accountability
In this type of corporate culture, individuals feel accountable for both their own work and that of their teams. As such, they feel empowered to take ownership and trust that their colleagues do the same.
- Potential issues are identified before they become real problems
- Employees feel comfortable coming to leadership with new concepts
- Individuals are motivated to share ideas that might improve the organization
- The word “accountability” can sometimes have negative connotations to employees
- A heavy focus on accountability for poor decisions can decrease morale
In a culture of accountability that functions well, every team member actively and willingly contributes to the success of the organization, because they understand that their contributions have value. On the other hand, organizations that place too much emphasis on accountability for negative outcomes can experience a decrease in performance, as employees are less willing to risk testing new methods and ideas.
2. Culture of Innovation
In organizations that depend on innovation to maintain success in the marketplace, it is essential to integrate team members with diverse skill sets and provide the tools and processes that enable them to develop and implement new ideas.
- A shared commitment to innovation at every level of the organization
- Competitive advantage in the marketplace
- An inclusive environment that welcomes all ideas
- Internal competition can become unhealthy if not handled appropriately
- There is potential to create a culture of secrecy
Creating a successful culture of innovation depends on empowering teams to be creative and giving them the necessary resources to execute their ideas in a safe environment. However, too much emphasis on competition between teams can lead to secrecy and ultimately hinder performance by preventing knowledge from being shared.
3. Culture of Safety
Industries that require work that poses potential safety risks to individuals and the environment can benefit from a culture in which employees inherently protect not just themselves but also their teammates and their surroundings.
- Cost savings due to fewer safety incidents
- Inherent knowledge that the organization values employee safety
- A proactive approach to safety and compliance
- Lost productivity if employees don’t have proper training for operating both efficiently and safely
- A strong focus on adhering to strict protocols and regulations can limit innovation
A culture of safety contributes to high performance while mitigating risk and maintaining compliance. However, an organization that also wants to promote innovation must balance internal communication and training in a way that allows individuals to experiment with new ideas while also considering their own well-being and that of those around them.
4. Culture of High-Performance Sales
Organizations with a large salesforce benefit from having a common culture that supports the activities that generate revenue by providing access to the necessary information and resources to promote new products and services.
- An informed salesforce that can successfully promote the organization’s products and services
- A commitment from leadership and employees to support the salesforce
- Accountability in setting and exceeding sales goals
- Potential competition that results in not sharing knowledge or resources
- Loss of focus on customer centricity
A culture of high-performance sales has the potential to increase revenue, but without a tandem focus on truly satisfying customer needs, the team might not be able to achieve long-term success.
Balance Is the Key
When undergoing any type of culture transformation, consider both the desired positive impacts and the potential negative effects that might arise. Understanding the possible pitfalls can help you address them through organizational training, internal communication, and behavior modeling.