Organizational Culture: 101

     Friday, February 15, 2019

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Organizational culture is among the most debated topics of 2018, and rightly so. CEOs and top management executives are heavily inclined towards implementing strategies to improve the culture of their companies. Culture is the primary driver of innovation, modernism, and productivity. It can also be leveraged to provide a competitive advantage over their rivals. Harboring a safe culture will ensure higher employee engagement, retention, and attract the best talent available in the market.

What Is Organizational Culture?

Organizational culture often referred to as corporate culture, is underlying assumptions, beliefs, shared values and practices that contribute to the distinct psychological and social atmosphere of an organization. A positive culture has shared beliefs that are in line with the mission and vision of an entity. Contrarily, a workplace where a large number of employees are unhappy or unsatisfied can represent a poor culture in a company.

An example of a company ‘Google’ can be taken to best describe an ideal corporate culture. Google provides flexible hours, encourages creativity, and allows employees to engage and collaborate in a fun and relaxing way. These perks serve as a great motivational tool and encourage higher productivity. Therefore, almost every person working at Google shows a great amount of satisfaction with the work environment and shows interest in playing a role in the success of the company.

“We want to understand what works here rather than what worked at any other organization.” – Laszlo Bock, Google

 

Impact on Employee Performance

Employees who are satisfied with their work environment and culture are more likely to be productive and remain loyal to the company. They tend to take fewer holidays, perform better, and show interest in collaboration with other employees and team members. When an employee feels that their managers value their work and care for their happiness, they tend to give their maximum effort and align their goals with the vision of the organization.

“Being a great place to work is the difference between being a good company and a great company.” – Brian Kristofek, President, and CEO, Upshot

Building a Positive Culture

Building an effective and positive organizational culture is not an easy feat to achieve and may take a considerable amount of time and strategic planning, however, its advantages and benefits make it well worth the effort.

The stepping stone of a positive organizational culture is creating a comprehensive strategy, which should take into account both short and long-term objectives of the business. For instance, a simple strategy involves a thorough review of policies pertaining to managing human resource. Managers must check if it contains any unnecessary rigid rules which may hamper the productivity and replace them with flexible rules that may improve their productivity. Another strategy is redesign the layout of the office and make it more open, perhaps with a lounge with an espresso machine and snacks. This will allow employees to collaborate, socialize, and feel more comfortable. Specifying a day, say Monday, as a kid-friendly day can also help in creating a friendly and pleasant work environment. Company events are another excellent way to effectively engage employees and improve their relationship.

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is a success.” – Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company

 

 

To conclude, culture is not simply an HR issue, but has broader implications, making it a business concern. The executive team, therefore, should take adequate measures to improve organizational culture by devising policies and providing resources while the human resource department must ensure that these policies are implemented effectively.

In Summary

 

  • Culture is the primary driver of innovation, modernism, and productivity. It can also be leveraged to provide a competitive advantage over their rivals.

  • Organizational culture often referred to as corporate culture, is underlying assumptions, beliefs, shared values and practices that contribute to the distinct psychological and social atmosphere of an organization.

  • Employees who are satisfied with their work environment and culture are more likely to be productive and remain loyal to the company.

  • The stepping stone of a positive organizational culture is creating a comprehensive strategy, which should take into account both short and long-term objectives of the business.

 

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