There are many different ways to measure a company's organizational culture. There are exceptional corporate cultures, as well as disasterously bad ones, and obviously most companies are going to fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. There are many characteristics that make up a healthy corporation, and here is a ten point list of some of the most common factors that will be found in virtually all healthy organizational cultures:
1. Organizational pride. Employees who are embarrassed to mention where they work are obviously not in a good environment (Enron, anyone?). Employees who work for a company that they are will defend against slander, libel, or just plain criticism are a good sign of a company doing something right with their culture.
2. Ambition towards being better. The difference between ambition for the sake of power or respect and ambition to keep improving for the sake of improving is the difference between night and day. Strong company culture focuses on improving and getting better at every level.
3. Obvious teamwork and communication. The more open discussion there is, the more open exchange of ideas, the more competitive and cutting edge that company is capable of becoming. Period, end of statement.
4. Quality leadership. This isn't just at the very top. A brilliant CEO can have his greatest plans destroyed by a few low level managers who alienate employees and can't lead by example. Good managers are really interested in the problems that others are having, and are happy to offer help when asked.
5. Constant review of profits and costs. Nothing is assumed as Gospel truth from year to year. All financial records are studied, and especially expenses. Are expenses justified? Are they really effective in making the company stronger and more profitable? If not, they look for alternatives.
6. Employee relationships. A cut throat environment does not bring out the best in a company. The corporations with employees who work together is far more likely to succeed than a company where it's every man for themselves. Are employees willing to sacrifice their co-workers and advance themselves over other people's blunders, or do they aim for promotion through improvement? Huge difference. The team players will help a company out far more in the long run.
7. Client and consumer relations. The customer is always right. As annoying as this can be at times (and anyone who started at the very bottom of the service sector is gritting their teeth right now) the company that takes customer service as their true motto and keeps that focus will succeed and create great organizational culture.
8. Honesty and safety. No one should ever be asked to do anything unsafe or blatantly dangerous. Likewise, there are no five finger discounts from employees: they don't even think about stealing from an employer who is treating them so well.
9. Education and developmental programs. The company is heavily invested in training its employees and providing whatever education is necessary for them to succeed.
10. Cutting edge thinking. Companies with healthy organizational culture are innovative and can think outside of common trends to move ahead of the pack. New ideas are always considered, and employee participation in brain storming is encouraged.
These are ten of the most common traits you will find among the companies with the most healthy organizational culture.