The U.S. boasts one of the world’s most innovative and powerful economies. As a result, corporate culture is taken seriously in this country. But what is American corporate culture? It’s not just important for American business leaders to understand, but also other leaders around the globe with offices or business interests located here.
The fact is, society is evolving, and with it, so is what we think of as American business culture. But certain prevalent behaviors, traits and attributes are still important to know about if you are looking to build relationships in today’s business environment.
Common Qualities and Etiquette in U.S. Businesses
Your individual company or organization will certainly have its own quirks and personality. That said, this country is known for a few common cultural behaviors.
When compared with many other cultures, we Americans tend to be a bit more direct and straightforward. However, it’s still important to be discreet when it comes to sensitive or critical information – particularly when addressing people higher up on the corporate ladder.
When people come to the U.S. to do business, they may notice that greeting people in this environment can seem comparatively less formal than in their home country. A simple “hello” and a firm handshake while making eye contact will usually suffice. However, manners do still matter. In many places, people here are expected to be welcoming and accommodating, especially to outsiders who are meeting for the first time.
Work More Hours Than in Other Cultures
Sadly, the reputation of the overworked American isn’t without merit. It’s common for corporations to only offer two weeks of vacation annually to employees in this country, unlike our European counterparts that may take off six weeks a year. This doesn't mean people in other countries aren’t just as hard working, just that the work schedules in corporate jobs don’t necessarily match up.
Relationships Are Often Built Over Golf and in Social Settings
Perhaps thanks to those aforementioned long hours, professional relationships are often built outside of the office. Places you might find yourself rubbing elbows with your next business partner include:
- Golf courses
- Ball games
- Holiday parties
- Even personal events such as weddings
We Combine Formal Attire with Informal Behavior
It may sound like a contradiction, but American corporate culture is often a combination of qualities. While every company has the right to create its own culture as part of its brand, there are some common trends among businesses. Rather formal attire is still the norm, especially in certain industries (legal, financial, etc). If you doubt that, take a look at all the suits on their way to work during your next commute.
But tradition is often combined with less formal behavior than in the past. Wearing a buttoned up top doesn’t mean that coworkers don’t have fun at the office and convey friendly attitudes toward one another. Some of the tightest friendships you ever make might start at work.
Use High-Quality Gourmet Snacks to Enhance Your Own Company Culture
Finally, food is often used in workplace settings to bring people together and brighten their day while working on stressful projects. Encouraging bonding over snack breaks can even help build better relationships and ultimately improve employee morale.
Whether or not your organization follows common cultural traditions, it helps to have a vendor on speed dial that you can count on to supply you with upscale snacks and a product quality you can depend on.
The team at Funky Chunky works with a broad range of clients to supply them with products for everything from employee birthdays to holiday gifts to corporate events – in attractive packaging and with customized messages upon request. Contact us to find out more about what we can do for you, and start enhancing your own corporate culture today!