Corporate Culture: A Foundation for Success

Definition and clarity increase productivity.

By Clara Lippert Glenn, CEO/President, The Oxford Princeton Programme

Creating a corporate culture is a unique and important undertaking that will have a significant impact on your company’s overall success. It is one aspect of business that many overlook. However, cultivating a professional atmosphere where your employees know what to expect and what is expected of them is crucial to employee retention and production, as well as your company’s overall success. It is an investment in time and energy that is well worth making.

The most important element to consider in creating this corporate culture is that it must be specific to the mission and goals of your company. The corporate culture must be established at the top. However, it is essential that this culture and the workplace policies that support it be reinforced on a daily basis throughout the company. This consistency of the corporate culture will provide employees with the parameters they need to be creative, successful, and HAPPY at work. The corporate culture and policies also should be explained and discussed with potential new hires before a position is offered. Although hiring the most qualified person is usually the goal, if that person will not be comfortable in the professional environment you have created, he or she may not be the best person for the job.

One of the most common pitfalls in establishing a corporate culture is trying to create an exact replication of another company’s professional environment. While gaining inspiration from another corporation can be motivating, a direct model almost always will be detrimental. The reason for this is simple: No two companies are exactly alike. Your company’s offerings, clients, and, most importantly, employees are different than those of other companies. Embrace the distinction. Create a culture that not only reflects your company’s extraordinary qualities, but celebrates them. Create a culture that allows your employees to thrive, enabling them to meet their objectives and subsequently meet the objectives of the company.

Clara Lippert Glenn is CEO/President of The Oxford Princeton Programme, which provides education and training to the energy industry. For more information, visit

Lorri Freifeld
Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training APEX Awards and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 30 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.