Quite often, we find ourselves googling about the richest person in the world or the world’s most valuable company and the likewise. If they have reached the top, then there definitely is a reason behind it. It takes a lot of Yes' and No's and a lot more risks to claim such a position. Culture is most certainly a deciding factor of success. Company Culture is a crucial aspect to be taken care of by every company.
Amazon now ranks as the world’s most valuable company. With Amazon’s huge 2019 hardware event, they have skyrocketed to the top like never before. They have always been at the forefront of innovation and with their new launches, they have changed the game altogether. Their company culture is something that everyone looks up to. It's peculiar and successful, to say the least.
What is Company Culture
“Culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.”-Lou Gerstner.
Company culture is the backbone of an organization. It can make or break the company. It is the collective image of the company- what it stands for, its mission, vision, how it treats its employees and the likewise. In conclusion, it is the entire behavior of the organization.
Types of Company Culture
The Competing Values Framework of Quinn and Rohrbaugh is a theory that was developed initially from research conducted on the major indicators of effective organizations. Based on two critical dimensions, which revolves around :
- Organizational focus: with an external and internal emphasis on the wellbeing of the people attached to the organization. That is to say, the employees.
- Organizational Preference for Structure: It depicts the contrast between stability and flexibility.
The two dimensions together form four quadrants and the four types of company culture are as follows:
1. Adhocracy culture
It is characterized by flexibility, employee empowerment and driven by individual initiatives. All members enjoy authority over their specializations and the company does not incline towards a bureaucratic culture. It is not a hostile environment and gives a platform for innovation and voices. The leaders in such a company culture would be visionaries, entrepreneurs, and innovators.
2. Clan culture
This is also referred to as tribe, wherein there is a strong bonding between the people in the organization. It is more or less like a family and the leaders quite often start to look like father figures for the employees. The root of this culture lies in collaboration. Clan Culture places stress on commonality and consensus. This is an easy and happy place to go back to which pretty much grows into a second home for the employees.
3. Market model/ Market culture
This is a competition-driven culture. It can be marked as a typical corporate culture wherein competition is encouraged not only between other companies but also between the employees. It has an aggressive character attached to it. There is a weight on individual performance. It claims that such an emphasis would make the employees work harder, thus increasing productivity. However, the other side of the coin says that this competition can instigate dishonesty and corruption.
4. Hierarchical corporate culture
This is an organizational culture model that is based on clearly defined structures and levels. There are clear cut roles and ranks. The job roles are well defined. This can turn into a hostile working environment where the communication from the ground levels can go unheard. However, it is just a feeble possibility. There are a lot of processes involved in carrying out a conversation and a lot may get lost in translation.
Open communication is essential in every company. No matter what
We have talked about the different types of company culture. Now, let’s take a look at the world’s most valuable company and their company culture.
Amazon - A sneak peek into the world's most valuable company and their company culture
Amazon drives innovation. It pushes employees to break the barriers of traditions and conventions and to come up with new ideas and innovations. This has helped the company to put it in the forefront as a pioneer in a myriad of realms.
Amazon.com Inc. says,
We’re a company of pioneers. It’s our job to make bold bets, and we get our energy from inventing on behalf of customers. Success is measured against the possible, not the probable. For today’s pioneers, that’s exactly why there’s no place on Earth they’d rather build than Amazon.
Following is an excerpt from the New York Times article titled “Inside Amazon, wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace.”
At Amazon, workers are encouraged to tear apart one another’s ideas in meetings, toil long and late (emails arrive past midnight, followed by text messages asking why they were not answered), and held to standards that the company boasts are “unreasonably high.” The internal phone directory instructs colleagues on how to send secret feedback to one another’s bosses. Employees say it is frequently used to sabotage others. (The tool offers sample texts, including this: “I felt concerned about his inflexibility and openly complaining about minor tasks.”)
This came as a bit of a shock didn’t it? Well, bruising might not be the apt word to have been used. Challenging or pushing might suit better. However, Amazon is one of the largest companies by market cap. The company culture encompasses a lot more parameters other than employee experience.
Giving back to community
Amazon took up a climate pledge in September 2019. It calls on signatories to be net-zero carbon across their businesses by 2040—a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement's goal of 2050. They are strongly committed to conducting their business in an ethical and lawful manner. Their supply chain standards are high, and the contractors are pushed to commit to the standards which they maintain at the company.
Other key commitments are:
The workers are entitled to safe and healthy workplaces, thus ensuring a hassle-free and danger-free environment.
Freely chosen employment
‘All work should be voluntary; no worker should have to pay for a job.’ is one of their key philosophies. One has to agree that all these in addition to their hard work has made Amazon, the world’s most valuable company
Amazon believes that quality jobs for women translate to positive impacts for communities. Ample enough opportunities are provided for women and they try to hit the right balance.
Wages should meet workers’ basic needs. Proper wages help in keeping the employee motivated and amazon realizes that.
Safeguarding the environment protects workers and their communities. As mentioned earlier, they have taken a pledge and have also urged other companies to try and go carbon-free. They try their maximum to leave zero hazardous residue on the planet.
Company Culture speaks a lot about the company. The company goals, the beliefs which it stands for, its vision all this adds to the personality of the company and thus to the culture. A good culture can help attain the right talent. Employee appreciation, for instance, is an excellent way of talent retention and attraction.