Culture

What Does Culture Look Like in a Company That’s All about HR?

linkedin-logo

Last week, I wrote about the steps needed to proactively manage company culture. Today, I’d like to look at one company who does just that – LinkedIn.

You’d think a company all about serving the needs of Human Resources would get this right, but that’s certainly not always the case. However, LinkedIn does get it right. Indeed, they take it to a level I rarely see – adding an additional layer of “dimension.”

As Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, said in an interview in The New York Times Corner Office column:

So our culture has five dimensions: transformation, integrity, collaboration, humor and results. And there are six values: members first; relationships matter; be open, honest and constructive; demand excellence; take intelligent risks; and act like an owner. And by far the most important one is members first. We as a company are only as valuable as the value we create for our members.”

How the values are different is important

Let’s look at that more closely. LinkedIn’s culture has five “dimensions” that many reading this probably would identify as “values” in their own companies. But then, LinkedIn layers in the values, which are different.

It’s how the values are different from culture that’s important – the values are very clearly behavioral actions. The values clearly say, “Go behave this way in how you get your job done.” And those values clearly support the culture.

Mr. Weiner also comments in the article:

We take culture very seriously, and we do draw a distinction at LinkedIn between culture and values. Culture is who we are. It’s essentially the personality of our company — who we are and who we aspire to be. Values are the principles upon which we make day-to-day decisions. And of course your values are a subset of your culture, so they’re very much inextricably linked. Getting that right helps with recruiting. It helps with motivating. It helps with inspiring. It helps with productivity.”

Your culture is the culmination of how you behave every day and the decisions you make to get the work done. Get that right, and everything else that drives organization success falls into place.

Do your values drive your culture, or are they merely a plaque on the wall?

You can find more from Derek Irvine on his Recognize This! blog.

Derek Irvine is Vice President, Client Strategy & Consulting Service at Globoforce, a global provider of strategic employee recognition and reward programs. In his role as a thought leader for employee recognition at Globoforce, Derek helps clients set a higher ambition for global, strategic employee recognition, leading consultative workshops and strategy setting meetings with such organizations as Avnet, Celestica, Dow Chemical, Intuit, KPMG, Logica, P&G, Symantec, and Thompson Reuters. Contact him at irvine@globoforce.com.
  • http://twitter.com/rivscom RIVS

    Derek, wonderful article. You say “your culture is the culmination of how you behave every day and the decisions you make to get the work done. Get that right, and everything else that drives organization success falls into place.” I agree, if employees are happy and this attracts more interested job candidates.