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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world's largest organization serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations, nonprofits and other private-sector organizations around the globe.

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Key Highlights:
-    A company’s culture can cause problems if employees perceive the company as not being concerned about their needs.
-    Corporate culture must be examined to see if it reflects the company’s values and helps employees succeed at their jobs.

This list prepared by the Association of Corporate Counsel is based on the ACC 2021 Annual Meeting presentation, “Inside Out, Upside Down Culture Creation or Culture Shift: Changing the Way You Do Work,” by Whitnie Wiley, Chief Evolution Officer and Chief Counsel, Shifting into Action, Greg Kettner, Greer McVay, Communications, PR and Marketing Consultant, and Sejal Thakker, Founder and Chief Civility Officer, TrainXtra.

Reasons people are unhappy at their jobs:

-    Dissatisfaction with the company.
-    Dissatisfaction with their boss.
-    Lack of recognition.
-    No advancement.
-    Lack of supervision.

What is corporate culture:

-    The way people do work.
-    What each person brings to the table.
-    Should serve to bring employees together.
-    The tone and mood of the company.
-    A top-down creation.

How to create a positive corporate culture:

-    Everyone must be accountable.
-    Provide recognition for employees.
-    Provide opportunities for employees.
-    Engage with employees. 
-    Allow employees to make mistakes without retribution.
-    Explain to employees any work that is assigned to them.

In-house counsel can help by:

-    Investigating any employee incidents such as cyberbullying and following through with action.
-    Don’t wait until something bad happens to address it.
-    Determine if problems are systemic and if they keep happening.
-    Encourage employees to bring problems to management without fear of retribution.

Learn More:

ReadQuick Overview: The General Counsel’s Role in Shaping and Advancing Corporate Culture in the Legal Department,” by Dr. So-Ang Park, Consultant, and Lisa Birkenbach, Leadership Advisor Expert, Egon Zehnder, an ACC Global Resource Provider.

Read5 Strategies for In-House Counsel to Enhance Their Organization’s Workplace Culture in the #MeToo Era,” by Jordan Ellis and Kathryn Brown, ACC Docket, July/August 2019, pp. 46-53.

Check out the ACC Resource Library:

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Region: Global
Interest Area: Law Department Management
The information in any resource collected in this virtual library should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on specific facts and should not be considered representative of the views of its authors, its sponsors, and/or ACC. These resources are not intended as a definitive statement on the subject addressed. Rather, they are intended to serve as a tool providing practical advice and references for the busy in-house practitioner and other readers.

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