All companies have something in common, regardless of the industry they operate in or what they do: corporate or organizational culture. This broader concept includes others such as corporate values, vision, people and history.
What is the organizational culture of a company and what is the place of its core values?
Corporate culture can be defined as “the set of symbols, beliefs, values, customs and practices held by the people who make up the organization.”
It is not a logo or a brand, but something beyond that. It is a company’s identity — what characterizes them and differentiates them from others, what determines their way of being in the world. But it is not just a matter of identity, it also determines how you relate to your customers and your staff and the way you work.
Stopping to reflect on and express the corporate culture is usually a tedious process that inevitably requires significant time. Time to think about where you want the company to go, how to get there, and the strategies that will make your plans viable in the medium and long term.
However, although the first part is the most important, the most difficult part comes later: To be faithful to the corporate culture that you have come up with and to comply with the “commandments” that have been set out. And this is where many companies unfortunately fail.
Characteristics of corporate cultures
Leading publications such as the Harvard Business Review have identified five characteristics shared by the corporate cultures of the most successful organizations:
- Vision. The Vision is reflected in the objectives that the organization seeks to achieve, and the objectives must be achievable and feasible. Besides defining where the company wants to go, the vision must also deal with the how.
- Values. Values are the traits that define the company in relation to its competitors — not only when addressing customers and competitors, but also when team members speak among themselves.
- Practices. Practices refer to the company’s methodology, its way of doing things ethically and in accordance with its established values.
- People. People are the most important part of a company, from ordinary employees to top management.
- History. All companies have an origin, a history that tells the story of the emergence of the organization and its mission.
Organizational values: Why are they important?
Although all the pillars of corporate culture are important, values are the ones that best characterize an organization. Values are the pillar of identity that guide decisionmaking and give meaning to the actions carried out on a daily basis.
Values can be of different types:
- Social. These have to do with social or environmental responsibility, as well as work dynamics.
- Developmental. These look for ways to continuously improve, and to benefit the communities in which the organization works.
- Work dynamics. This is the answer to the internal question “How do we work with each other?”
- Customer service. Among the objectives of any organization is customer satisfaction: to meet their expectations and offer the best solutions, to be respectful and listen carefully to their needs.
Corporate values are crucial in offering a solid and coherent brand image to the outside world. But they also play an essential role for the people that make up the company. They allow staff members to share the same vision of the future and feel part of the project, like important pieces of the puzzle. This is reflected in a very stable and healthy work environment and in team members’ active participation.
Communicated and shared corporate values allow people to work better and keep customers more satisfied.
The values of ULMA Forged Solutions
ULMA Forja belongs to ULMA Group, a business group that from its beginnings has shown its commitment to people and the community. It has been in business for more than 60 years. This allows it to offer a kind of added value that other businesses cannot, as well as to have developed a very distinct personality. That is why every member of ULMA Group’s various business divisions shares the feeling of belonging to a supportive community involved in a common project.
In addition to the values of ULMA Group, at ULMA Forged Solutions we have our own corporate culture that has brought us together as a company.