Before working at any company, you might wonder if it's the right fit. Does the company you're looking to join align with your values and career goals? That becomes especially important once you receive a job offer. Do you sign that offer or not? One aspect that can help you decide is company culture. Easily overlooked, it's critical to assess when evaluating any offer.
It's why DotActiv makes a concerted effort to cultivate an enjoyable and memorable working environment, focusing on fostering a strong and healthy company culture that has people as its heart.
That’s also the point of this article. We want to unpack our company culture and show why it’s essential to us. More than that, we’ll lay out the blueprint for our cultural success and list the characteristics that make up a healthy culture. We don’t want to brag, but we’re confident we have all the listed attributes plus more.
What is company culture and why is it so important?
The growing attention to company culture in the corporate world is partly due to the difficulty of articulating the concept. What is company culture anyway? We know inspiring examples of company culture when we see them, but defining the idea isn’t as obvious.
Company culture refers to an organisation’s core values, ethics and beliefs. It's expressed in many ways, from how business practices are decided and implemented to how individuals interact with others at work.
In plain words, a company’s culture is what the majority of the employees do the majority of the time.
Leadership styles and the physical work environment can all reflect a company’s culture. It can inform an organisation’s guiding mission and goals, shape management structure and set the foundation for what is expected from employees when it comes to behaviours and attitudes.
Yet, when it comes to defining company culture, it can get quite tricky. It all depends on who you ask.
For some, it can mean the perks, bonuses or salary offered by a company while for others seeking a more meaningful career, it can be as profound as the driving principle behind everything a company does.
What is more concrete is that company culture is an organisation's DNA, and plays a vital role in future growth and success. It can take years to create a healthy and strong company culture. However, you can't stop there. It's just as vital to nurture and maintain the company culture.
So why is a healthy company culture so important?
- It leads to happier employees and employee satisfaction;
- It provides a sense of belonging;
- It cultivates trust among customers and employees;
- It can increase productivity levels;
- It leads to improved employee retention; and
- It ensures better communication and engagement between employees and management.
What is DotActiv’s blueprint for cultural success?
There’s no doubt that DotActiv’s success depends on not just a vision or product but the people who carry out the vision and build the product day in and day out – our colleagues. That’s why successful companies foster cultures that allow their people to thrive and grow.
Below are the key elements that shape, nurture and create our unique culture.
1. Schneider’s model of organisational culture
You can describe the culture model according to two dimensions.
The first dimension is based on an organisation’s approach to decision-making, which could be more people-oriented (personal) or company-oriented (impersonal).
The second dimension is defined by what the organisation pays attention to, which could be more reality-oriented or possibility-oriented.
With these two dimensions, the Schneider Culture Model defines four distinct cultures:
- Collaboration culture - ‘working together’
The success of these organisations lies in working together as teams and building consensus in a trusting and emotionally charged environment.
- Command or Control culture - ‘getting and keeping control’
In this culture, problems are addressed quickly without spending time on consensus-building, and the approach is more direct.
- Competence culture - ‘being the best’
In such organisations, excellence and superiority are pursued, which creates a competitive and disciplined working environment.
- Cultivation culture - ‘learning and growing with purpose’
It is similar to the decision-making process of a Collaboration culture, but here the focus is more on the growth potential and achieving what hasn't yet been realised.
So where does that play DotActiv on Schneider’s model of organisational culture?
We lie between Command/Control and Collaboration culture.
If this is our predominant culture then we can assume that the following is true:
- Elements of the other cultures may manifest to a lesser degree;
- The diagonal opposing culture will manifest the least;
- We tweak culture through alignment with adjacent quadrants; and
- As far as possible, we retain the dominant culture and adjust the “work systems” to fit it.
So is there a culture that is better than the other? The answer is simple: no culture is better than the other. All of them have their own strengths and weaknesses.
Let’s take a look at the characteristics of a Control/Command culture:
- Company/Reality oriented;
- Process driven;
- Company success depends on data and processes; and [are]
As a Software and Retail company specialising in Category Management solutions, this culture makes sense as it establishes security, creates clear expectations from our colleagues and tries to solve problems efficiently.
But there is also a large portion of collaboration, which means we succeed together.
2. What our employees have to say about our culture
Our employees are the heart of the business, and they help shape our company culture. We asked 10 of our employees what they enjoyed most about working at DotActiv, and this is what they had to say.
3. DotActiv’s values and our open commitment to our values
What are some of the characteristics of healthy company culture?
We define a healthy corporate culture as a place where values and behaviours are lived out consistently across the organisation.
We believe that the health of an organisation consists of the following for your colleagues:
- Employee well-being;
- The ability to function effectively;
- The ability to adapt to change
- Creating opportunities for growth; and
- The effective use of resources.
Whenever you want to make a career decision based on a company’s culture ask yourself these questions:
- Is the job both challenging and rewarding?
- Do people want to join the team?
- Do leaders inspire those around them?
- Is knowledge shared in the company?
- Are complaints, disputes, whining and gossip minimal?
- Do current employees seem happy and valued?
- Is change generally well received?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, chances are that you have found yourself an organisation with a healthy company culture.
Realistically speaking, culture accounts for 40% of the difference between higher and lower-performing companies. That's because to be executed, strategies must go through culture, and intelligent leaders will establish and live out the team values that support a positive and healthy corporate culture.
Company culture shapes the workday experience of everyone involved. It emerges from the company’s mission, mood, values, expectations, goals and hiring choices — all the factors that shape the company’s overall direction.
At DotActiv, our culture consists of our people, structures and core values, and since we're growing rapidly, it also helps us achieve that.
Are you interested in joining the DotActiv team and providing category management solutions to retailers and suppliers around the world? We’d love to hear from you. You can read up about DotActiv, what we stand for and how we operate here or browse through our open positions here.