“Corporate culture” is the fundamental character or spirit of an organization that influences the loyalty and general behaviour of its employees. When you learn how to combine the right corporate culture with the right core values, your organization will thrive regardless of the challenges it faces.

One problem I see in most companies today is they create a mission statement only because it’s fashionable to do so … but they stop there. Some may even go so far as to create a list of core values to help guide their leadership and employees … but they fail to follow them. I see lots of mission, vision and value statements on corporate websites, but the majority of employees in any company cannot recite any of them.

Several months ago, one of my clients wanted me to work with their senior management team to identify ways they could create better employee engagement. An anonymous survey was conducted, and it turned up some alarming comments. Over 50% of their employees stated that the company:

  • Isn’t results-oriented
  • Doesn’t celebrate accomplishments
  • Doesn’t have training for growth
  • Doesn’t allow them to generate ideas
  • Isn’t empowering them
  • Has leaders who play favourites
  • Has leaders whose actions do not match their words
  • Doesn’t involve them in the decisions that affect their jobs
  • Doesn’t keep them informed about changes or important issues

This company has five excellent “Guiding Principles” (core values) that address all these issues, but they weren’t being followed. What most companies don’t understand is that their “corporate culture” is in the hands of local middle management. In other words, your corporate culture is your LOCAL BOSS. They are responsible for making sure your guiding principles, core values, and mission and vision statements are being followed.

Last week I did a program for Herr Foods. Herr Foods understands the importance of living their core values. They have been in business for over 70 years and have over 1,500 employees. Their formula for success is based on the acronym L.O.V.E., which stands for:

L - Live

O - Our

V - Values

E - Every day

A recent Gallup poll found that only 34% of American workers are committed to their company and are enthusiastic about their work. That means 66% are NOT engaged; they are just going through the motions, collecting a paycheque. As you look to the future, recognize that the principles that are instrumental to your success must be communicated throughout your organization on a constant basis. They should not only be part of your new employee training; they should also be part of every meeting, deeply rooted into every decision you make.

When your corporate culture is right, employees working for you no longer have jobs; in their minds, THEY HAVE CAREERS.


Robert Stevenson is one of the most widely recognized professional speakers in the world. Author of the books How To Soar Like An Eagle In A World Full Of Turkeys and 52 Essential Habits For Success, he’s shared the podium with esteemed figures from across the US, including former
President George H.W. Bush, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Anthony Robbins, Tom Peters and Steven Covey. Today, he travels the world, sharing powerful ideas for achieving excellence, both personally and professionally.