The topic of company culture has been trending around the globe as of late, prompting a reevaluation of organizational strategy and identity. Culture has had a presence within the workplace for as long as the workplace has existed, so why is it earning so much attention now? Simply put, culture serves as the very backbone of an organization and leaders are beginning to recognize its gravity within employee engagement and overall success. You get a taste of a company’s culture when you walk through the front door. It can either welcome employees and guests into an environment of positivity and rapport, or it can leave them feeling isolated and uninspired. Recognizing your space as a means to support employee productivity and brand identity starts by defining your existing culture, comparing that to your desired culture and then designing a workplace that will foster any necessary change and help you reach your goals. Let’s dive deeper into the importance of a positive culture in today’s workplace and how your unique identity can be actively developed through design to create an engaged and productive environment.
Image Source: Office Snapshots, Hudson River Trading Offices in NY, NY
Culture can be defined as the unique personality or character of an organization. It is illustrated partly in how your company is run (strategy, procedures and standard workflow), what you offer (services and products) and who you are (employee experiences and behaviors). While the life experiences and behaviors that each employee brings to the table directly influence a company culture, this is especially true for a company’s leadership due to the impactful role they play in decision making and strategic direction. The workplace is where company values and strategy should become apparent, offering employees a place where they feel a sense of belonging and engagement, as well as the tools they need to achieve goals and reach maximum productivity.
Image Source: Office Snapshots, Wilson Sporting Goods Office in Chicago, IL
Try typing ‘Company Culture’ into a Google search and you will get an idea as to how momentous the topic has become. My search yielded over 1 billion results, a large portion of which most likely includes advice and beneficial steps that could be used to better understand and positively influence organizational culture. Many resources differ slightly in what they deem to be essential aspects of cultural success, showcasing the fact that the journey towards cultural success is not a one-size-fits-all model. Actively taking steps towards understanding your brand’s identity and workplace strategy are the first steps towards cultivating a healthy culture and engaged workforce.
You will undoubtedly see the Competing Values Framework within your search results, a widely recognized and proven model for identifying organizational culture and its drivers of innovation. A key takeaway from the framework, which has been recognized as one of the 40 most important frameworks in the history of business, is that no healthy company can be identified by one defining cultural trait. Departments and work groups may run off their own subcultures, helping them achieve goals that fall under the overall company culture and driving purpose. Utilizing the Competing Values Framework can help your organization recognize its own diversity and pinpoint where its cultural tendencies may be butting heads with the brand’s identity.
Root, Inc., an organization whose sole purpose is to help other companies manage strategic and cultural change, has partnered with more than 900 Fortune 2000 companies worldwide, including 70% of the Fortune 50. Through these partnerships, Root, Inc. has implemented positive change and helped some of the world’s most influential organizations overcome challenges while remaining true to their identity. Take a look at what they deem to be the five key elements for cultural success and their advice for successfully implementing cultural change during a time when change is constant.
Image Source: Office Snapshots, Bombas Offices in NY, NY
Imagine an organization whose sole purpose is to drive innovation and establish themselves as a beacon of originality. Yet, as you walk through their office space, you notice a dull, colorless lineup of cubicles, harsh fluorescent lighting and little to no artwork. Is this workplace design reinforcing or sabotaging the brand’s identity?
How a company expresses its brand identity, values and culture through workplace design has a very real impact on business and its ability to attract and retain employees. Recent Gallup analytics reveal that workplace productivity across the globe is extremely low. On average, only 15% of workers show up to work engaged and ready to maximize their performance. What is the key to creating an exceptionally engaged workplace? In their study of organizations and employees throughout 155 countries, Gallup found that the most successful companies are committed to creating a culture where employees can perform at their best. Far beyond an annual engagement survey and an often empty promise of exceptional employee experience, is the active development of a culture that maximizes performance and provides employees with the tools they need to continually thrive and reach both personal and professional goals. Reflection of brand identity through workplace design will help create a culture in which workers are engaged and embrace a strong sense of connectedness.
Image Source: Office Snapshots, Bumble Offices in Austin, TX
The design of your workplace can be used as a tool to either reinforce existing culture or change it entirely. Design features within a space drive behavior and have a profound impact on how people feel about their environment and the brand behind it. Availability of furniture, type and style of that furniture, tools and technology, as well as less tangible features like light, colors and climate all influence feelings and behaviors that will shape a culture. For those organizations looking to foster a culture of creativity, adopting an open office plan to allow for the circulation of ideas and meeting spaces that encourage collision and interaction will help ignite inspiration. Companies whose identity revolves around a culture of trust, transparency and collaboration don’t necessarily have to give up all private spaces. Rather, they may utilize glass enclosed spaces in conjunction with an open floor plan. For those organizations whose employees often experience increased workloads and extended hours due to globalization, flexibility and comfort are key. Providing the opportunity for employees to choose where and how they work, through a mixture of furniture solutions such as hot-desking or lounge spaces coupled with technology and privacy capabilities, will ensure that they remain engaged, comfortable and have access to the tools they need to perform at their best. It is important to note that one workspace design will not necessarily support every culture or subculture within an organization. Understanding your brand’s unique identity and what it needs to drive innovation and effectiveness will help you recognize your greatest design needs and aid in the creation of your ideal workplace.
Image Source: Office Snapshots, One Kings Lane Offices in NY, NY
The culture at Corporate Design Interiors is rooted in our passion for helping clients design spaces that embody their brand and our expertise for bringing those spaces to life. Our obsessive attention to detail, outstanding creativity and exceptional craftsmanship are what we pride ourselves on and we want clients and guests to sense that immediately upon walking into our workspace and into our culture. An open office coupled with glass enclosed offices and meeting spaces foster a culture of collaboration and transparency. Cohesive colors, textures and patterns incorporated throughout graphics and wall art, lighting elements and furnishings arouse the senses and trigger creativity. Our office layout, tools, technologies and policies are intrinsically linked to the culture we choose to nurture and they tell an intimate story of how our company operates. Through our space and through our culture, CDI fuels creativity, encourages engagement and empowers employees and guests to reach their maximum potential. Take a virtual guided tour through our space or contact us to schedule a tour.
Corporate Design Interiors Headquarters in Waukesha, WI
Designing Your Culture
Thoughtful workplace design speaks volumes about a company and its culture. Not only does it inspire organizational engagement and performance, it also plays a critical role in attracting and retaining a talented workforce and overall company success. From lounge furniture to wall art, architectural products to technology tools, allow CDI to help guide you in developing a captivating workplace and creating your ideal culture.
Featured Image Source: Office Snapshots, The Honest Company in Los Angeles, CA
For more information on how CDI is helping organization’s create their ideal culture through workplace design, please contact:
Corporate Design Interiors (CDI) is an industry-leading commercial furniture dealership whose award-winning product knowledge, thoughtful design coupled with strategic planning deliver functional and inspiring interiors designed to foster employee well-being, productivity and engagement. CDI’s relentless focus on delivering positive workplaces mirroring the culture and vision of companies while delivering a high value investment has earned CDI diverse clients including; established Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits/public sector and energetic startups.
As a “Select” Kimball dealer, CDI’s excellence in sales, partnership, quality improvement, community involvement and overall business best practices earned it the 2017 Kimball Premier Partner Award. CDI was selected among 52 other Kimball Select dealerships throughout the country for this industry-leading honor, earning additional praise for its company culture and enterprise practices.
Corporate Office & Showroom:
1711 Paramount Ct., Waukesha, WI 53186