7 February 2018

Whether your corporate culture is formal or informal, the key is whether your organizational values are conveyed through everything we can see and hear. As Jean-Philippe Grou, Director of Communications at Ubisoft Montreal, explains, “It is important for people to live our culture more than to read and understand it intellectually. It is communicated by actions.”

As Les Affaires magazine puts it, “bringing your culture to life is one way to keep your employees involved and to increase their pride in their company and the projects they are working on”. But how can we adequately communicate our organizational culture without having to formalize it verbally or in writing?

This is where we recognize the importance of the physical space and its layout (walls, furniture, office locations, etc.), as well as clothing, peer recognition systems, social benefits, meals, language, work schedules, and more. Indeed, all these elements speak volumes about the culture of a company. For example, Ubisoft Montreal hangs frames on its walls to preserve company memories and create a family atmosphere among its employees. Another excellent example is clothing: while ties and skirts convey a professionalism a little cold, the t-shirt and jeans project creativity and spontaneity. As a final example, Les Affaires magazine explains that “the long vacations allowed during spring break highlight a company’s commitment to promoting the quality of life of its employees”.

No matter how you transmit your culture, it is important to be authentic and consistent, otherwise, employees will soon realize that so-called prioritized values are not really so. “When that happens, it’s discouraging for employees, says Richard Déry. They have the impression of being instrumentalised.” Thus, unless we state values that embody a goal we want to achieve, we must not only avoid being scattered by unnecessarily multiplying the values we claim to defend, but also avoid exposing values that are inconsistent with our ways of doing things.

Finally, it is also important to recognize and accept the heterogeneity (minimal or not) of our organizational culture and, at the same time, encourage departmental subcultures. As Richard Déry explains, “if you are a company like Apple, you will naturally value innovation and creativity. That’s fine, but it’s also ok if your accountants are not the type to break the rules and conventions. ”

If you find it difficult to spread your culture among your employees, or if you find that they do not join, contact a member of the Inacre team and we will be glad to advise you in a personalized way.


To read the article that inspired Inacre (in French):


Leave a Reply