How To Build And Evolve Your Company Culture

Published on October 11, 2023 by David Zhang

How To Build And Evolve Your Company Culture

Entrepreneur Peter Drucker is often quoted as saying, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” While strategy is essential, a company's culture influences everything from talent retention to client satisfaction. Building and evolving a strong company culture isn't a luxury—it's a necessity.

In today’s fast-moving business environment, culture isn’t just a buzzword. It's the operating system of your organization. If you’re at the helm of a growing company or a team leader within a larger enterprise, understanding how to intentionally craft and progressively improve your culture is crucial.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to build and evolve your company culture.

Understanding Culture in the Corporate Environment

Company culture reflects the shared values, behaviors, and tangible aspects of an organization's environment. It’s expressed in myriad ways, including work-life balance, decision-making processes, and intra-team communication. As you grow, your culture will be tested and will evolve—but the core message of what you stand for should remain consistent.

Laying the Foundation: Developing Your Initial Culture

Start by defining your company’s core values. These should reflect the principles you want the company to stand upon. Values should be specific, clear, and actionable. Rather than broad strokes like “integrity” or “excellence”, articulate what those terms mean within the context of your business practices.

Here are steps to establish a solid cultural groundwork:

  • Engage Your Team: Company culture is not something that's imposed from the top down. Engage your team members in its creation. They should have a say and believe in the values and mission of the company.
  • Be Intentional with Hiring: Hire not only for skill but for culture fit too. During interviews, assess how a candidate’s values align with the company’s.
  • Lead by Example: Founders and leaders must personify the core values of the company. If collaboration is a core value, leaders should be seen actively seeking input from their teams.

Nurturing Growth: Maintaining Culture as You Scale

Scaling a startup or a team within a larger corporation means bringing on new members, which can dilute the original culture. To maintain culture amidst growth:

  • Reiterate Values Regularly: Regularly communicate the core values across the organization through various channels like meetings, newsletters, and even casual conversations.
  • Incorporate Culture into Onboarding: Make sure that onboarding processes are steeped in the company's culture. New hires should understand why your culture is vital from their first day.
  • Decentralize Cultural Practices: Empower employees to become cultural ambassadors, spreading and maintaining the culture within their own micro-communities in the company.

Adapting to Change: Evolving Your Culture Deliberately

As your company matures, external and internal changes will prompt a need for cultural evolution. Here’s how to manage this evolution:

  • Stay Open to Change: Evolve your culture deliberately by staying open to new ideas that can enhance the working environment and productivity.
  • External Benchmarking: Look outside your company to understand how other successful companies have adapted their cultures during growth.
  • Regular Cultural Assessments: Conduct regular surveys and assessments to gather feedback on the prevailing culture and areas of potential improvement.

Cultural Revitalization: Refreshing Company Culture

There are times when a culture requires revitalization— perhaps after a merger, a significant downturn, or a major shift in strategic direction occurs. To refresh your culture:

  • Engage in Cultural Diagnostics: Understand the elements of your culture that are thriving and those that need retooling.
  • Identify New Cultural Champions: Who are the individuals who exemplify the cultural changes you're seeking to make? Enlist them as the new ambassadors of your evolved culture.
  • Iterate and Reformulate: Be willing to rewrite your cultural playbook to reflect the changes needed to drive future success.

Measuring Success: Evaluating Your Culture

How do you know if your culture-building efforts are successful? Tracking culture is a qualitative exercise but can include quantitative elements, like:

  • Employee Retention Rates: High turnover can signal cultural or subcultural problems.
  • Employee Engagement Scores: These can provide insight into the health of your company culture.
  • Customer Feedback: Often, a positive company culture translates into better customer service and satisfaction.

Best Practices for Cultural Development

Throughout the lifecycle of your company, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Transparent Communication: Transparent communication fosters trust and keeps everyone informed about the importance of culture.
  • Recognize and Reward: Recognize employees who exemplify the company’s values. This reinforces the importance of culture and motivates others to follow suit.
  • Diverse and Inclusive Environments: Celebrate diversity and create inclusive environments where every voice is heard.
  • Leadership Development: Invest in leadership development to ensure the growth of a culture-positive next generation of leaders.


Culture is the living, breathing essence of your organization—it shapes every interaction and decision. It's not a static set of rules, but a dynamic and ever-evolving ecosystem that requires nurturing, attention, and intentionality.

Remember, building and evolving a company culture is not an endgame but a journey that unfolds every day within your organization. It’s about the continual alignment of your team's behaviors with the values and mission at the heart of your company.

As a growing business, nurturing your corporate culture isn't a passive process—it’s an active investment in your organization's identity and long-term success. Whether you're refining meeting structures or launching large-scale initiatives, keep the pulse of your company culture strong and vibrant.

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