Organisational Culture

Introducing The Issue 

Is your workplace a happy and productive one? This will depend highly on your culture, which can be perceived as ‘the way we do things around here.’ Culture includes the behavioural norms that employees tend towards, the environment they work in, and how they behave towards one another and to other stakeholders such as suppliers and customers.

Describe What You Currently Do 

Responsible 100 has developed a number of introductory questions for both managers and employees. Our short question sets enable these key stakeholders to explore this important responsibility issue, relevant to their organisation, and to begin to describe current practices and views. Please respond with as much relevant information as possible. Nothing you submit will be shared or published without your permission.

Benchmark Performance Statements

  • EXCELLENT - Developing a healthy culture is a strategic priority and involves people at all levels of the organisation. Organisational culture is defined and measured in a fully inclusive, open, and accountable fashion. Policies, practices and structures are put in place for excellent culture to flourish.
  • GOOD - The importance of organisational culture is understood and widely communicated. The business takes steps to define and monitor culture openly and collaboratively. A range of good practices can be demonstrated and a healthy culture has been achieved.
  • OKAY - Good organisational culture is recognised and strived for, although with mixed results. The culture is occasionally diminished by hierarchical and top-down ways of working. Attempts to define and monitor culture are undertaken only on an ad-hoc basis. Or the business demonstrates that culture is not a material issue for the organisation.  
  • POOR - Company culture is highly hierarchical and top-down. There is no meaningful engagement on culture and what that means for stakeholders, and/or the prevailing culture is harmful to employees and other stakeholders, outdated (such as "work hard / play hard"), confrontational, or otherwise creating poor practices, higher risks, inefficiencies, stress and anxiety. 

Responsible 100 creates and develops detailed benchmarks on each of the issues we explore. The above reveals only summaries of the current statements describing POOR, OKAY, GOOD and EXCELLENT performance standards. No policy nor practice examples are included here. The complete benchmarks are shared with organisations which, through offering answers to the above questions, help to shape and improve the benchmarks on an ongoing basis. Find out more about our benchmarks here.

Exploring The Issue

An organisation’s culture can be described as the dynamics between a group of people and the sum of the perceptions, beliefs and values the group possesses.

Culture is what it feels like to be somewhere – it isn’t always a tangible thing something you can put your finger on. Because of this, organisational culture is curious, complex and in many ways ambiguous. But it is also the single most important attribute of any business or organisation and the most critical determinant of morale, cohesiveness, effectiveness and future success. Those who are aware that ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’ treat it with due care and attention, and invest in it on an ongoing basis. Where culture is neglected, employees will be neither happy, engaged nor empowered. And where this is the case, any kind of progress on any responsibility issue is an uphill battle at best.

The culture of a workplace is likely to change over time as its leaders, the organisation itself and its business environment change. The aim of defining a required culture is to support the delivery of the agreed business aims and objectives and, as such, there is no single culture definition that every organisation should adopt. The key is that it must link to what the organisation is trying to achieve and create a clarity for everyone across the business as they carry out their every-day duties. Through this, it is then more likely to support the delivery of the organisation's objectives.


Corporate culture refers to the values, beliefs, and behaviors that determine how a company's employees and management interact, perform, and handle business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people that the company hires. A company's culture will be reflected in its dress code, business hours, office setup, employee benefits, turnover, hiring decisions, treatment of employees and clients, client satisfaction, and every other aspect of operations.

Links, News And Further Resources


The Happiness Index: The Importance of Organizational Culture - 18 November 2022

This article dives into characteristics, importance, and cultivation of organisational culture.

Forbes: How Leaders Can Build a Sustainable Business Structure - 6 February 2023

Forbes gathered members from their business council to provide effective tips to improve the foundation of your business.

Workhuman: 7 Companies with Great Culture in 2023  - 30 October 2022

Learn more about what common practices lead to a successful company culture and examples of some of these success stories in this article


Organisational Climate and Culture

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development is an association for human resource management professionals that provides input on how people operate at work. This page can be used as a resource on what organisational culture and climate looks like and how companies can work to improve it.
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